Improved pothole repair is a key part of Nottingham City Council’s Transforming Neighbourhoods agenda, and the combination of a Multihog multi-purpose implement carrier and a front mounted patch planer attachment is making a significant contribution to the success of the programme when it comes to efficiency, quality, health and safety and cost savings.
Revolutionising reactive and planned repairs
“Due to the ongoing problems with damaged road surfaces we carried out an evaluation as to whether we could be doing things differently to offer a better service for residents as well as to make the job easier for our workforce,” says Highway Asset Manager Peter Wells. “We thought the key to this may lie in new technology and after trialling a Multihog we realised that this was the case.”
Saving 30% per permanent repair
The initial trial was so successful that a Multihog was hired for a time until the Council took delivery of its very own vehicle which is now working a busy schedule of response work across the city’s 486 miles of roads. As well as being around 30% cheaper than traditional methods of permanent repair, the finished quality with this new system is superior in its durability, greatly reducing the need for repeat work.
A safer and greener solution
Previous methods for excavating the defective area prior to repair relied heavily on manual labour, in particular hand operated devices such as pneumatic drills and Nottingham City Council is not alone in wanting to minimise strain on its workforce and avoid the risk of HAVS. Using the Multihog’s planer with its powerful carbide steel tipped picks for surface removal instead of manpower results in a much more uniform, even cut and is around three times as fast according to Peter. Furthermore the planing residue is of such good quality that it can be recycled for more environmentally friendly use which also saves on disposal costs.
Productive as well as prudent
When one job is done, or even whilst the team is finishing off infilling and asphalting, the Multihog can quickly move on to its next location: as a road legal machine with a good top speed of 40km/hr it travels under its own power, unlike skid steer machines which require additional vehicles for transportation. Faster access to sites coupled with quicker overall completion minimises disruption to traffic in the busy town centre and productivity has been greatly increased.
Offers versatility and efficiency
Planing is just one of the many tasks that can be carried out with the Multihog. The council has also acquired front and rear winter attachments which enable the base unit to be transformed into a snow plough and gritter when bad weather strikes. This will complement the city’s conventional winter clearance fleet and the Multihog’s compact dimensions will be an asset in areas where these larger vehicles find access difficult or in some cases impossible. Peter: “The area that we look after includes densely populated residential areas with old narrow streets that were not even designed with much room for cars let alone large plant equipment, so the Multihog’s ability to work there as well as in pedestrian areas in the centre, around schools and in bus lanes will give us more options and flexibility whilst ensuring safe conditions for the public.”
With such positive testimonials from within the Council, it isn’t just the Highways team who are optimistic for the future. Local media, including BBC television and radio, picked up on the positives of the Multihog method by broadcasting the benefits across the region to satisfied residents.
One of the best machines on the market
The Council decided to give some younger staff the opportunity to train up as Multihog drivers (a standard driving licence is all that is required) and one of these is Jordan Ward, who is impressed by the in-cab comfort and easy operation. “It’s a powerful machine which cuts through everything, and visibility from the cab is really good even in tricky areas and at junctions,” he said.
In fact the whole team is full of praise for the machine as well as after sales service from Multihog UK. “Quite often, once you have signed the deal and paid the money you hear very little from the suppliers, whereas the Multihog team have been refreshingly proactive and helpful,” says Peter. Highway Engineer Stephen Walker goes even further: “The Multihog will give us long term benefits, will reduce overheads and is one of the best tools I’ve seen on the market.”