SCOTTISH Borders Council (SBC) has been trying out a new machine which claims to fix potholes four times quicker than normal – and at half the cost.
The PotholePro, launched by JCB, is a three-in-one machine acting as a planer, cropper and cleaner.
SBC gave it a trial today (April 16) and yesterday, with councillor Gordon Edgar witnessing the results.
Mr Edgar, the council’s executive member for infrastructure, travel and transport, told the Border Telegraph: “It’s an effective piece of kit – I’m quite pleased with the operation.”
The PotholePro could replace four pieces of equipment currently used to temporarily fix potholes.
Ben Rawding, from the JCB Product Team, said: “The Pothole Pro fixes potholes four times quicker and is half the cost of current machines. On average it costs £60 per pothole, [but] we cost £30.”
In the last year, SBC has temporarily repaired around 22,000 potholes in the region.
“No pothole is the same,” Mr Edgar said. “We have a project of repairs which costs up to £1.2 million over a year.”
While current repairs to potholes on Borders roads are temporary, JCB’s Mr Rawding says the PotholePro offers a permanent solution which gets to the root of the problem.
He said: “If you go to the dentist with a cavity, they won’t fill it straight away, they remove the decay and then fill in.
“That’s what we’re doing here, removing the decaying road so it can be filled in.”
According to Mr Rawding, the average time it takes for the PotholePro to clear a large pothole is eight minutes, compared with 45 minutes per pothole by other means.
He added that the machine is able to clear 56 potholes a day, whereas current methods could see 10 or 12 cleared.
Meanwhile, Mr Edgar said that although the PotholePro replaces four pieces of equipment, this would be unlikely to affect road workers.
“We would have dedicated teams,” he said. “We’d have to restructure the team we have now to work with the equipment.
“We can get more work done with the machine and in experienced hands save the council money.”
The council only had the PotholePro for two days, but there is scope to extend the trial period.
To see the PotholePro in action, visit our Facebook page to see live videos captured today on the A699 near St Boswells.