British yellow digger firm JCB showed off its new PotholePro machine, which claims to be able to repair holes in the road in less than eight minutes – four times as fast as using normal methods.
The firm also said the work could be completed at half the cost of traditional repairs.
The demonstration at Alness in Easter Ross came as part of a two-day trial with Highland Council, which is responsible for virtually all the region’s roads.
The PotholePro was used to fix a series of potholes over a 300 square metre stretch on Westford in the town.
The street is close to the circular North Coast 500 driving route, which Scotland on Sunday revealed last month was in a “terrible condition” after being savaged by the harsh winter.
Many potential new approaches to the scourge of driving have been proposed over the years, including “keyhole surgery for roads” where a small circular hole is drilled in the road rather than a large trench.
JCB said its PotholePro meant a single machine could cut defects, crop the edges and clean the hole.
JCB product specialist Paul Swallow said: “Potholes are a huge concern for councils all over the country and one of the issues with repairs at the moment is that in most cases they are only short-term fixes – and that’s where the JCB PotholePro differs.
“Just like when you have a filling, the dentist has to carefully remove all the decay so your tooth can be filled properly without recurrence of pain.
"It’s just the same with a pothole - it needs to be prepared properly before it is filled so the pothole doesn’t open up again within weeks.
"That’s exactly what the JCB PotholePro does - it cuts, crops and cleans the hole so a permanent repair can be carried out.
“It’s been a hugely successful trial in the Highlands and I’m confident everyone involved got to see just how effective the PotholePro is at fixing potholes permanently."
JCB said its new machine could repair up to 250 square metres of potholes per day and 700 potholes a month.
Highland Council has been contacted for comment.