A new pothole repair machine has been developed by road repair specialists Velocity bringing benefits to parts of the road network that are the most difficult to reach.
New from the wheels up, the machine is the latest iteration of Velocity’s spray-injection patching technology – a process that the company pioneered 25 years ago. The compact machine is designed to be mounted on the smallest possible chassis, enabling it to access very narrow rural lanes, as well as congested urban environments.
At the heart of the machine sits a power pack that provides energy to the high-powered blowers and hydraulic systems that enable Velocity to carry out road repairs in a fraction of the time and cost of traditional excavate-and-fill methods.
This power pack has been completely redesigned, lowering fuel consumption and emissions to meet the highest standard. At the same time, knowledge gained through years of operating a fleet of machines has driven design and manufacturing changes that will increase up-time and make routine inspection and maintenance easier.
The design and manufacturing work was carried out by Velocity at their facilities in Sunderland by their in-house team.
Iain Jones, production operations manager at Velocity, led the project. According to Iain, the redesigned equipment brings reliability, maintenance and cost improvements: “A key part of the redesign of the equipment was reducing the power demand and emissions generated by the machine. The engine size has been halved, reducing manufacturing and running costs and bringing the emissions in line with the most stringent regulations in the world.”
“Complexity during manufacturing and maintenance has been designed out, with intricate couplings replaced by belt and pulley driven methods. The biggest challenge has been packaging the equipment on a very short wheelbase, including the latest safety features and extra equipment.”
The new machine was designed in collaboration with Velocity’s customer Cormac and Cornwall Council specifically to meet the unique characteristics of the road network in the county.
With communities connected by very tight lanes that are inaccessible to larger vehicles, road maintenance and repairs is difficult. With all equipment necessary for repairs mounted on a single short-wheelbase vehicle, the machine allows Velocity to carry out maintenance on the most constricted parts of the network.
Typically operated in Cornwall by a 2-man crew, permanent repairs are able to be carried out in minutes. Ready for traffic immediately, the process minimises disruption for road users.
With that productivity comes cost effectiveness. Velocity’s managing director, Dominic Gardner, said: “Our crews are repairing up to 1,600 defects per week in Cornwall. So far this year, around 26,000 repairs have been completed. Over the last seven years, we have repaired hundreds of thousands throughout the county.
“Cormac estimate using traditional methods cost £65 per square metre; Velocity’s repairs have cost under £18 per square metre this year. The savings are enormous, that’s enabled us to get so much more work done than would be possible using other methods.
“By investing in this machine, we are able to help Cormac maintain every part of the network for road users throughout Cornwall.”
The new machine has a capacity of 1.5m3 and joins a fleet of machines made up of 3.5m3 machines for rural and urban work, 5m3 general purpose machines and high capacity 7.5m3 machines.