The United Kingdom has recently emerged from one of its mildest but wettest winters in decades; a winter that left towns and villages flooded and which destroyed road surfaces up and down the country.
It seems fitting that the country’s leading equipment manufacturer should be the first to wage war on the nation’s millions of potholes with the launch of a machine designed to rid roads of the menace.
The company is taking the wraps off a brand new product called the ‘Potholemaster’ – a new twist on its iconic backhoe loader that can permanently fix potholes which blight motorists’ lives. It comes as the Government makes an additional £200 million available in the Budget for councils to tackle the problem.
The self-deployable machine, which can travel at 40 kph, has a patch planer attachment at the rear that is equipped with 45 steel teeth to grind away the surface of the pothole and surrounding road.
Once that job is complete, the digger slips into reverse and drives backwards and then forwards over the ground-out pothole, sweeping up the resulting dust, dirt and debris with a giant sweeper collector on the front of the machine. With these tasks completed quickly and efficiently, a sound base is created for a permanent repair of the pothole with tarmac.
Backhoe Loader Growth Managing Director Yvette Henshall-Bell said: “We’ve had a team of engineers working closely with the highways industry for the past six months to ensure we develop products the sector wants and needs. Potholes are a huge issue for UK motorists and in lots of cases the repairs are nothing more than sticking plaster solutions. With the JCB Potholemaster we are offering a cost-effective, permanent solution for fixing potholes in an attempt to help rid Britain of the pothole menace.”
More than two million potholes a year are filled across England and Wales and millions of pounds in compensation is paid every year to motorists whose vehicles are damaged.
Yvette added: “The beauty of the JCB Potholemaster is that it has two attachments on one self-deployable machine. Some competitive machines can only carry one attachment, so lots of time is wasted swapping the patch planer and the sweeper. And when the JCB backhoe loader is not mending potholes, it can be equipped with a bucket and an excavator to carry out digging and loading tasks, making it truly versatile.”