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Dig this pothole buster! How JCB's £200,000 giant digger repairs road craters in just EIGHT minutes

Completed: the last step requires traditional skills

Dig that pothole breaker! How JCB’s £200,000 giant digger repairs road craters in just EIGHT minutes – when more than half of UK councils are expected to invest in the 13-tonne machine

The target has been identified – an oval pothole about four feet from the sidewalk on a residential street. It’s not much bigger than the lid of a trash can.

Yet, like so many other imperfections on our pitted roads, it could cost a motorist thousands of pounds in repair bills – or a cyclist his life.

Fortunately, a potential solution to the scourge of potholes came in the form of 13 tonnes of JCB machinery.

At £200,000 JCB’s Pothole Pro might seem like an expensive way to fix a few holes in the road.

But, while traditional jackhammer repairs can take half a day, the Pothole Pro cuts through the damaged road surface, before re-framing the edges of the cavity and clearing it away, in eight minutes.

Completed: the last step requires traditional skills

Completed: the last step requires traditional skills

Sharp edge: Pothole Pro straightens the sides of the scraped hole

Sharp edge: Pothole Pro straightens the sides of the scraped hole

Tell us about the worst potholes near you and we could FIX it for FREE!

We want you to name the biggest pothole in your area…and then we can come and fix it for free!

MailOnline and This is Money readers can submit photos of the worst potholes near them and you’ll automatically be entered into a draw to have it permanently removed.

When a winner is chosen, JCB will send their PotholePro crater repair machine to fix it.

Email by following the five steps below:

1. Send an email with the subject ‘POTHOLE’.

2. Please attach an image no larger than 2MB of the pothole.

3. Include a brief description of the pothole and how serious you think it is.

4. Tell us where it is, including the name of the road and the nearest town or village.

5. Include your full name and a phone number in case we need to contact you for more details about the pothole you named – and possibly fix it.

We’ll choose a selection of the worst potholes you’ve named and put to readers’ vote which one should be repaired by JCB’s PotholePro for free.

Personal data will not be shared with any third parties.

> Find out more about the JCB PotholePro and how it could fix a road near you

A team of four workers can then fill the hole – and the whole process is completed in half an hour.

Spent a chilly morning in Stoke-on-Trent to find out exactly how it worked.

Grabbing two yellow handlebars from the side of the vehicle, I pulled myself three feet into the cabin.

The commercial end of the machine can swivel, allowing it to tackle multiple potholes without having to move.

The Pothole Pro’s 52 tungsten-tipped tines grind down the pothole to leave a clean, square pit.

Fragments of the road surface are swept up for recycling and the yellow arm of the machine then returns twice to the crater, brushing it and spraying a thin layer of water to remove the dust.

Next is the “reframing” process. It is crucial to ensure that the sides of the crater are square and straight, otherwise the new road surface may not hold.

The gaps will lead to the formation of the pothole again.

For this task, a 400mm Hardox steel blade emerges from the extendable arm, attacking the road surface with 30 tons of pressure.

Another sweep and the cleanly cut pit is ready to be filled with 140C tar by workmen.

The process takes less than half an hour and leaves a neat rectangular patch.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council was the first local authority to buy a Pothole Pro in November 2021 and since then claims to have eliminated seven years of road defects in 12 months.

The machines are said to fill up to 50 potholes a day, but Ben Rawding, managing director of JCB Pothole Pro, tells me his record is 80.

He said: “I’ve had people come in and say, ‘We’ve got one that needs to be done, can you come here’.

Targeted: The hole is marked

Targeted: The hole is marked

Again: The Mail's Fiona Parker and the filled pothole

Again: The Mail’s Fiona Parker and the filled pothole

JCB hopes that more than half of municipalities will use a Pothole Pro – rented or purchased – by the end of the year.

A council told the company it had reduced its pothole removal costs from an average of £60 per crater to £30 – due to reduced time and labor costs work.

The Daily Mail is campaigning to end the UK’s pothole plague, which is costing drivers millions of pounds in repairs while putting cyclists at risk of injury or death.

Latest figures released last year by the Asphalt Industry Alliance suggest councils would need an additional £12billion and nine years to tackle the current backlog of road repairs. At least there is now one less pothole to worry about.

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