multevo 2020

Swindon Borough Council

Highway efficiency; Doing more for less

Two years on since their purchase, Swindon Borough Council reflect on benefits they are achieving using the Multihog

In 2015, Swindon Borough Council scrutinized how best to deliver cost savings to combat service delivery cuts and identified their frontline service delivery as an area of improvement.

After careful consideration, the authority opted to take advantage of a Multihog trial hire to determine what benefits could be reached through implementing innovation to tackle reactive and planned highway repairs, in comparison to their traditional ways of working. Off the back of the trial hire the Council have purchased their own Multihog machine with Planer, Brush Bucket Lifter and Trailer attachments which they have now been using for over 2 years.

Old versus New- Real life results


Previously a cause for concern, the authority currently achieve 150-200sqm of repairs per dausing the Multihog, with it used solely on highway repairs 12 months of the year to plane and sweep road defects. They are now self-delivering more highway schemes as opposed to contracting out work, with the machine tackling repairs from ½ sqm up to 140sqm in size.

Cost Saving

The Council anticipate they are now carrying out 200-300% more work with the same budget using the Multihog. Savings are as a result of increased productivity and the machine’s ability to plane to an accurate depth required i.e. 50mm off the surface course as opposed to breaking out 100mm inaccurately with a jackhammer resulting in base and binder courses needing replacing which is unnecessary and costly work.

Health and Safety

Risk of operatives having health issues as a result of overexposure to vibrations, noise and dust are eliminated entirely.

Increasing Workforce Skillset

Traditionally the workforce had responsibilities limited to only breaking out and reinstating defects manually. Following the acquisition of the Multihog 6 Council operatives are now trained to drive and operate the multi-purpose utility vehicle achieving accredited LANTRA certification, whilst ensuring the Council always has availability from an operator perspective.

Income Generation Opportunities

Given the bulky nature of jackhammer broken out road material, there is usually some form of material disposal cost, which in Swindon was £50 per tonne. Given the fine degree of Multihog planings, now the Council never have to pay disposal costs on materials, it is now recycled into future schemes i.e. haunching along a carriageway, offered to local farmers or sold on at £10 per tonne (the Council could sell 20 tonnes of Multihog road planings for £200 with no disposal costs, whereas the material broken out by jackhammers could not be sold and would cost the Council £1000 to dispose of).

Future Opportunities

Swindon are currently considering investing in Multihog winter attachments to increase income generation potential through maintaining schools and car parks around the Borough which aren’t currently a responsibility.

Mirroring Success

Swindon Borough Council’s handlay patching highway gang set up is as follows:

  • 1 x Multihog MH, 400mm Planer, Brush Bucket Lifter, Trailer & Operative
  • 2 x Traffic Management Operatives
  • 1 x 18 tonne wagon (carries hot material) & Driver
  • 1 x 18 tonne side tip wagon (Multihog BBL tips defect material onto) & Driver
  • 2 laying operatives & 1 general labourer

Swindon Borough Council is a unitary authority based in South West England bordering counties Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. Highway services are responsible for maintaining 824km carriageway, which consist of both rural and urban environments.

If you would like more information or are looking at increasing efficiency of your permanent repair programme call 01254 703212

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