County Council’s first dragon patcher takes to Hampshire’s roads

Hampshire Highways’ first dragon patcher has arrived in the county to tackle potholes and defects on the roads caused by cold and wet winter weather.

Jan 23 2018

dragon patcher

The dragon patcher is quick and efficient: it can repair a defect five times faster than traditional methods.  The whole operation, which is done by only one person working from the cabin, takes just a few minutes, and the road is ready for traffic immediately afterwards.

Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council, said; “The County Council is committed to investing in technology to boost productivity in public services, and I’m really pleased to see this new dragon patcher added to our innovative highways maintenance fleet.  We are always looking for the most effective and efficient ways to get the job done.

“Good roads are crucial to Hampshire’s long term economic prosperity and the quality of life of all who live and work here. It is vital we continue to look for the latest innovations available to provide long-lasting, quality maintenance work that represents good value for money.

The dragon patcher gets its name from the flames it breathes to dry out and, where necessary, thaw the road surface. It is then cleaned with compressed air and sealed with a stone mix and hot bitumen emulsion. With the surface repair completed in just two minutes, the patcher can move on to the next repair.  The dragon patcher is working across Hampshire alongside four jetpatching machines, which, like the dragon patcher can complete repairs in a matter of minutes, ensuring the road is ready for traffic immediately. Together, these innovative patching machines can complete up to 2,500 small repairs every week.

Matthew Riches, Skanska’s Business Director at Hampshire Highways, explained: “Potholes are a nuisance to motorists and cyclists, and can be dangerous too, and keeping people who use the road network across Hampshire safe is a top priority for us. The arrival of the dragon patcher means we can fix more potholes in less time and it doesn’t require road closures to be put in place, so any delays to motorists and cyclists are also avoided.”

In 2017, the dragon patcher was named the Highways Industry Project of the Year at the Highways Magazine Excellence Awards.

Road problems can be reported direct to Hampshire County Council online at: www.hants.gov.uk/transport/roadmaintenance/roadproblems