Amey is rolling out its new road maintenance vehicles on its two Highways Agency asset support contracts in East Anglia (ASC Area 6) and the East of England (ASC Area 8), which started this month.
The road patcher machines have been custom-built for Amey by Irish manufacturer Archway Products.
The Roadmaster is built on an 18-tonne single-axle Volvo truck with an automatic transmission. It is fitted with an elongated hopper to store chips and a container to store binder. It is also fitted with a hydraulically controlled articulated boom which, when not in use, folds across the front of the truck for safer transport.
Archway says that the Roadmaster delivers significantly lower cost per tonne compared to both traditional and other velocity patching methods. The capacity of the Roadmaster allows for a full day of operation – up to 7 tonnes per load of chips and two loads of chips per day.
Amey says that the machine can fill potholes in just two minutes, rather than the hour that conventional methods can take. This temporary reinstatement should be good for at least 12 months, it says.
The patchers will become part of a ‘find and fix’ assessment process whereby Amey carries out inspections of trunk roads and motorways with the vehicle with a pot hole being fixed rapidly once the pothole is reached. This can usually be carried out without the need for traffic management. The driver just extends the robotic arm from the cab over the pothole and fills it with material to fix the hole. The patcher can then move onto another location as needed.
The patchers are the major part of a £500,000 investment in new road maintenance vehicles for Amey. It has also bought a Swedish-made Brodd Europa high-speed sweeper, which has not been seen in the UK before. This vehicle has a unit that is towed behind a tipper and can sweep at 20km/hour.
It will allow the road network to be swept more regularly, improving both its condition and road-user safety with less deterioration and surface flooding of the roads, Amey says.
Amey business director Margaret Seear said: “Things like potholes can be a real headache for drivers and we are pleased to provide an efficient and cost-effective solution that has real benefits for our customer, our employees and road users.”
Under the five-year contract for Area 6 Amey will be responsible for improving and maintaining routes through Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and parts of Cambridgeshire. Area 8 covers Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes.
The contracts, both worth up to £200m over five years, extend beyond routine maintenance to: scheme identification, value management, design and construction of schemes up to £5m; and design and management of schemes in excess of £5m.