8 March 2024

Wagga Council hopes to reduce labour times on potholes with trial of new machine

| Jarryd Rowley
Start the conversation
JCB Pot Hole Pro on Vincent Road

Wagga’s council is trialling a new pothole machine on the city’s worst roads to determine if it is worth future investment. Photo: Jarryd Rowley.

Wagga Wagga City Council has begun trialling a new pothole machine from the UK, hoping to reduce the amount of time spent on fixing potholes.

The JCB Pothole Pro is one of only two machines of its kind in the country and unlike the council’s existing skid loader machines, contains a profiling attachment and a sweeper green bracket on a true wheeled excavator. According to Roadworx Industries, the owners of the Pothole Pro, the new machine and its attachments can fix potholes in a third of the time taken with WWCC’s existing machines.

Council began looking at trialling the machine in December 2023, following Cr Richard Foley notifying the council of the existence of the JCB Pothole Pro in September. Council decided to move a motion requesting for a trial of the machine from asphalt company Roadworx Industries.

READ ALSO Coota MP ramps up calls for focus on regional level rail crossing safety ahead of national summit

Following consultation with Roadworx at the end of 2023, the Sydney-based group quoted a trial cost of around $14,500.

Despite confidence from WWCC councillors, primarily Cr Foley, the new machine is advertised to function primarily on asphalt roads. According to a report delivered by WWCC in December, only 6.5 kms (less than 2 per cent) of Wagga’s 2309-km road network is sealed with asphalt while the rest of Wagga’s sealed roads (511 kms) are made up of granular pavements.

Council’s recommendation to councillors in December was that while the JCB Pothole Pro could be used on granular pavement repairs, it might not be as efficient and effective as the current plant and equipment council used.

Even with the concerns about the effectiveness of the machine on Wagga’s pavement roads, Roadworx Industry supervisor Alan Nutterfield said Wagga roads were not unlike anywhere else in Australia, and the new machine’s productivity was worth the investment alone.

“Unlike doing roads manually or with older equipment, this machine [Pothole Pro] is able to reduce the average time of fixing a pothole from 25 minutes down to eight,” he said.

“During our time here in Wagga, we are here to showcase the effectiveness of the machine and why councils can and should invest in something like this.”

Roadworx has previously completed works in Wollongong and Sydney as well as regional areas such as the Shoalhaven.

READ ALSO Online survey gives Griffith and Narrandera residents last chance to oppose substantial council rate hikes

“The benefit of a machine like this is that you won’t need to bring out extra equipment, as long as there is diesel in the machine it will run,” he said.

WWCC’s new approach to fixing the city’s potholes will potentially dig into the current backlog of roadworks waiting to be fulfilled. The estimated cost to repair all of the roads as of December 2023 sat at around $85 million.

Wagga Wagga City Council will deliver a report about their findings from this week’s trial to councillors sometime in April or May.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.