The machine has been trialled across Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire and Peterborough.
According to Skanska, client highways engineers have nicknamed it ‘the dragon’, because of the fire-emitting nozzle it uses to de-ice the surface area of potholes on Scandinavian roads.
The machine is operated by one person in the cab. Skanska claims that it is safer, quicker, cheaper and more environmentally sustainable than traditional methods of defect repair. The area is blown clean, and for colder climates a flame is used to de-ice the surface and then sprays a hot bituminous emulsion to the area needing repair, followed by chippings. The surface is then immediately ready to take traffic.
The patcher also treats minor cracks and crazing that could otherwise develop into potholes, thereby treating a potential defect before it occurs.
Skanska claims that costs are almost half those incurred using the traditional method and twice as quick when compared with a manual repair solution.
Managing director Gregor Craig said: “Bringing innovative techniques from Sweden to the UK is part of our strategy of sharing best practice and learning across Skanska. The Swedish Patcher is an example of the strategy working in practice.”
Cambridgeshire County Council street management head Nicola Debnam said: “We will be assessing whether this method will be suitable for our roads.”
Peterborough City Council highways chief Andy Tatt said: “We are excited that Skanska is testing out this machine in the Peterborough area and we are pleased with the results of the trial."
Oxfordshire County Council deputy director for commercial services Mark Kemp said: “This sort of mobile patching is ideal for quieter roads as it can keep on the move and does several areas in one go without holding up traffic. I will be very interested to see how it does in Oxfordshire and other parts of the UK.”