JCB has unveiled a new pothole-repairing machine that it claims is able to repair holes in less than eight minutes.
Called the Pothole Pro, the all-in-one machine repairs holes four times faster than traditional methods yet is also significantly cheaper, according to the British firm.
The Pothole Pro is equipped with a cutter, sweeper/bucket and a hydraulic cropping tool, allowing it to cut defects, crop pothole edges and clean holes.
By streamlining these tasks, which would traditionally be done manually by pothole-filling teams, JCB says the Pothole Pro reduces daily costs by up to half.
With a 25mph top travelling speed, the Pothole Pro can also save transport costs by relocating quickly between sites.
It's further equipped with a 600mm-wide planar and integrated dust-suppression system, enabling the driver to plane a full carriageway from the curb without repositioning.
The Pothole Pro was trialled during 2020 in Stoke-on-Trent, where it repaired holes at a rate equivalent to 700 per month.
In initial testing, the machine filled 51 holes in 20 days – a task that JCB says would have taken a team of up to six fillers 63 days to achieve normally.
JCB chairman Lord Bamford, who led the development of the machine, said: “Potholes really are the scourge of our nation. Our country is quite rightly fixated on this dreadful problem and, as a British manufacturer, I'm fixated on finding a solution.
“JCB’s solution is simple and cost-effective and fixes potholes permanently, first time. Once the machine has done its job, all the contractor then needs to do is just add tar."
The arrival of the Pothole Pro comes after Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a £2.5 billion pothole repair budget last year – enough to fill 50 million potholes by 2025 and equivalent to an investment of £50 million every year.