Derby ideas help JCB

The area before works started.  Note the areas marked.

The area before works started. Note the areas marked.

General deterioration.

General deterioration.

The 'Derby' sweeper unit on the JCB in action.

The ‘Derby’ sweeper unit on the JCB in action.

Bristles to the ground!

Bristles to the ground!

Spreading new tarmac.

Spreading new tarmac.

Patch one completed.

Patch one completed.

This morning a road repair crew arrived at the top of my road to deal with a pothole collection.  The worst ones had been filled a few weeks ago, but the general deteriorating area was today’s task.

This was particularly significant as last night I was at an overview and scrutiny meeting discussing next year’s budget.  This was recommending cutting £300,000 from the road maintenance budget…

Early on the road was quite busy with schools and commuting traffic, and I chatted to the team.  They planned to combine two areas of patching to avoid the strip between being the next to deteriorate, but would also have to do the work in more than one section due to working across the junction.

When I went out next, the area to be filled had been dug out using the grinder on the back of the JCB digger, and the debris was being swept up.

I’d not seen it done like this before.  They were being swept up by a sweeper unit on the other end of the JCB.  Really neat.  Using the digger’s bucket like a dustpan, and a horizontal brush like one on an upright vacuum cleaner it swept the area clean, and dumped the waste into the nearby lorry.

This may in fact have been the first to go on a JCB.

The idea came from the City Council guy operating the JCB, Peter Robinson.  Based on sweepers available for forklift trucks, it was built by a company in Yorkshire.  Final details were developed with JCB in nearby Rocester and it went into service about a year ago.

JCB quickly developed their own the ‘Pothole Master in time to capture the market for bigger patching around the Government’s capital grants for road repairs announced this spring – Derby received about £280,000.   The main difference is the cost – the City Council device was about £5000 and fixes onto the standard bucket.  The JCB device costs more and includes a separate (smaller) bucket.

It’s one of those ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ inventions.

Simple. Obvious.

But only once someone else has done it.  Well done Peter!

 

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