Telford College’s highways maintenance apprentices have been given an exclusive demonstration of the UK’s very latest pothole-fixing technology.
The Balfour Beatty apprentices, who are working towards their level two diplomas, were able to see the new JCB Pothole Pro put through its paces on a site near Telford Hornets rugby club.
The machinery has been specifically developed by JCB to help meet a growing need for pothole repairs in the civil engineering industry.
Gareth Pegg, operations manager for Balfour Beatty’s Telford highways maintenance contract, said: “Traditionally there is a lot of manual work related to the process of fixing potholes.
“This piece of machinery from JCB eliminates a lot of the danger for the road workers because it cuts, crops and cleans all in one operation. The ‘hydro dig arm’ also has a brush, bucket and breaker to create a surface ready for resurfacing.
“The Balfour Beatty Telford College apprentices have had an opportunity to see this in action, as we consider whether this could be a tool we need in the fight against potholes.
“We try to get our younger apprentices involved whenever we can, as this type of machinery could be what they are using in their careers.”
One of the apprentices, 20-year-old Scott Mansell from Wednesbury, said: “This has been a good day. This new piece of machinery looks fantastic, and I hope to get to use one in the future.”
Former Hadley Learning Community student Callum Beddoes, 17, from Trench added: “The new Pothole Pro is a fantastic piece of machinery, I’ve learned how to fix potholes manually but this makes it a lot safer and much more accurately.
“I’m on the Highways Maintenance Apprenticeship with Balfour Beatty and Telford College, I recommend this as a career to anyone who is considering it.”
The new JCB Pothole Pro was being put through its paces and Balfour Beatty had the opportunity to watch and assess its effectiveness with the view to maybe adding on to the fleet of highway maintenance machinery they already operate.
Telford College’s highway maintenance apprenticeship is a level two programme, delivered over the course of 18-24 months, with 12 weeks of block release training at the college.
It leads to a level two Highway Maintenance General Operative diploma, which enables a Skilled Operative CSCS Card to be obtained.
The course is ideal for people who want to work for a variety of companies within the private sector such as utilities or infrastructure businesses, or in the public sector with local authorities, or bodies such as Highways England.
More details can be found at www.telfordcollege.ac.uk/apprenticeships.