JCB’s New Machine Can Fix Potholes in Under 10 Minutes, Would Still Take Forever to Repair Our Roads
So it'll only be a thousand years until they repair all of the roads in Boston. Woohoo!
Anybody with a thin tire sidewall knows the pain of smacking a pothole. If there's damage as a result, the emotions go from disappointment to annoyance, to anger at your local municipality. This is their fault! Why didn't they fix this? Even your strongly worded email didn't get you anywhere.
But thanks to heavy equipment manufacturer JCB, there may soon be fewer potholes on your local streets. Its new all-in-one machine called the "Pothole Pro"—really going crazy with the name there—has been specifically designed to repair ditches in the road in as little as eight minutes. Apparently, that's not an exaggeration.
It does almost everything necessary to repair a pothole. It doesn't fill the offending section of the road with tar or new asphalt, but apparently, there's more to proper pothole repair than just filling the ditch in the road with concrete. Who knew?
As a team of several people typically would do over the course of hours, the machine first cuts up the space in and around the pothole, creating a nice little area to deposit the fill. Then, it crops the area around this new ditch into a nice, clean square, which makes future repairs easier. The cropping tool also allows for repair around things like ironworks or manhole covers. Finally, a brush cleans the area thoroughly to make sure the fill material actually sticks to the road surface, and not leftover debris from the cutting and cropping. The brush also collects the fill material to be recycled as a massive portion of asphalt is re-used as opposed to just being thrown out.
JCB says this entire process can take as little as eight minutes for the average-sized pothole, and the machine can repair as much as 250 square meters of road per day, or about 2,700 square feet. That's a lot of fixed holes, but knowing the average speed of roadwork, It's doubtful even these machines will ever reach that kind of speed, unfortunately. The refilling is likely to be the bottleneck.
But even though this machine won't solve the problem of potholes—it's no pothole repair drone—it certainly has the capability to speed up repairs. Currently, this product is only available in the United Kingdom, hence the demo video from Stoke-on-Trent. There's also no price listed as these machines are typically sold through dealers. That being said, if you wanted to ship one over from England, I would pay you 20 bucks to fix a few potholes around my apartment. I mean, you would likely be arrested for trying to do so, but just think of the possibilities. Twenty whole dollars.
We contacted JCB asking if it would eventually bring this machine to the U.S., but we have yet to hear back. For the sake of city streets everywhere, let's hope they do.
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