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Machine Matters More

Posted By Brooke Wisdom On April 1, 2011 @ 6:00 am In In the Magazine | No Comments

Churning ahead

Regardless of what you call them, milling machines are at home in front of pavers

By Mike Anderson

Some manufacturers call them “cold planers.” Others market them as “cold milling machines.” Yet another puts the two terms together for “cold planer milling machines.”

[1]

Capable of full-lane milling, the Wirtgen W 250 unveiled at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2011 has “parallel-to-surface” technology to automatically keep the cold milling machine level as it moves into the cut. An intelligent speed control system includes an electronic flow divider that makes the machine’s four tracks work in harmony when turning.

There’s more, too. “Milling equipment” and simply “planers” bring the number of market terms to almost as many actual makes.

Regardless of what you call them, though, milling machines not only play an integral role in the road rehab process, but increasingly form part of a roadbuilding contractor’s fleet.

“In the not-so-recent past, mill-and-fill and remove-and-replace projects were performed in multiple stages that could cover a period of days or weeks. Excavation was the standard method of removing failed asphalt, prior to grading and repaving,” says John Hood, milling and recycling marketing and training manager with BOMAG Americas – a milling machine manufacturer that has pulled away from the paver market at this time. “With the integration of cold planer milling machines into the process, most of these projects have become very streamlined. They are now completed in days rather than weeks … sometimes in hours rather than days.

“Many smaller jobs can be handled in-house,” he continues, “retaining the profit potential of the milling process, as well as completing the project on the roadbuilding contractor’s timeline.”

When a contractor is in control of both the milling team and paving crew, there is more control of the final product, says Caterpillar. The company’s cold planers make it easier to mill the correct profile in the existing pavement, with the correct slope, ensuring that when the paver comes along, crew members can place a mat of uniform thickness and won’t have to correct any slope errors. Uniform mat thickness will mean there will not be problems achieving uniform density and high smoothness. This, the company says, will maximize payout and provide a longer service life for the wear course.

“Teaming pavers with milling machines from a single manufacturer enables contractors to simplify their maintenance team and tool set. They can concentrate on fewer relationships with dealers and manufacturers while balancing that with machine performance,” adds Mike Rodriguez, district manager for Terex Roadbuilding. “We are quite proud of the fact that Terex pavers have roughly a 70-percent part number commonality across all models. Think of what that means to the number of parts both an end-user and a dealer have to carry to service our pavers. Over time some of that would make its way onto the mills.” EW

The following roundup provides a snapshot of available milling machines with cutting widths of 72 inches and above.

ROADTEC

[2]RX-500

• 630 horsepower

• 86” maximum cut width

• 13” maximum cut depth

• 150 fpm maximum working speed

RX-700

• 700 horsepower

• 86” maximum cut width

• 14” maximum cut depth

• 165 fpm maximum working speed

RX-900

• 950 horsepower

• 150” maximum cut width

• 14” maximum cut depth

• 156 fpm maximum working speed

Strong and rigid without adding what the company calls “unnecessary” weight, Roadtec cold planers have one-piece side sheets running the entire length of the machine that are made of A656 Grade 80 steel. This material, claims Astec-owned Roadtec, has twice the yield as the mild steel used in other milling machines on the market. Each of the company’s largest cold planers, the RX-500, RX-700 and RX-900, is available with either three or four tracks. Roadtec says there are advantages to each configuration: Cold planers with three tracks are more maneuverable, lower in weight and have slightly less maintenance; those with four tracks provide greater traction and flotation.

VOLVO

[3]MT2000

• 610 horsepower

• 79” maximum cut width (86” optional)

• 14” maximum cut depth

• 188 fpm maximum working speed

Accompanied by a smaller wheeled unit, the four-track MT2000 represents the Volvo entry into the milling machine market. Three distinct engine and drum cutting speeds selectable from the operator’s seat is claimed by the company as an “industry-first” solution to assorted jobsite conditions: Low speed provides higher torque at a lower engine rpm to power through tough material or deep-cut applications; standard speed offers maximum horsepower at normal cutting depths; high speed is for maximum travel speed on shallow cutting depths. To meet cutting drum capacity, independently-controlled gathering and discharge conveyors have variable speed adjustments.

BOMAG

[4]BM2000/60-2 (new)

• 590 horsepower

• 79” maximum cut width

• 12.6” maximum cut depth

• 131 fpm maximum working speed

Each of BOMAG’s four milling machine models available in North America is being updated to the “-2” Series for 2011. For the largest BM2000/60-2, this includes a 10-percent larger water tank for longer runs between refills, as well as the ACS advanced control system featuring a new folding hard canopy, upgraded seats and an operator’s platform isolated from vibration to cut operator fatigue. Among other product line redesigns, the new-look rear scraper door and hydraulic side plates can be locked in position for better in-place milling functions, and the track drive pivot and columns have new geometry and longer stroke for machine stability in various working grades.

WIRTGEN

[5]

W 210

W 200 (new)

• 550 horsepower

• 87” maximum cut width

• 13” maximum cut depth

• 279 fpm maximum working speed

W 210 (new)

• 671 horsepower

• 87” maximum cut width

• 13” maximum cut depth

• 279 fpm maximum working speed

W 2100

• 700 horsepower

• 87” maximum cut width

• 12” maximum cut depth

• 275 fpm maximum working speed

W 2200

• 950 horsepower

• 87” maximum cut width (150” optional)

• 14” maximum cut depth

• 275 fpm maximum working speed

W 250 (new)

• 980 horsepower

• 87” maximum cut width (150” optional)

• 14” maximum cut depth

• 289 fpm maximum working speed

With close to 20 cold milling machine versions in total, including the larger models available in North America, Wirtgen continues to drive new technology to the market. Following the 2010 introduction of the half-lane W 200 single-motor and W 210 dual-motor mills, the larger W 250 equipped with the Widrive intelligent machine management system was rolled out at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2011. A dual-power concept allows the W 250 to mill with one engine at 654 horsepower or two engines at the full 980 horsepower. As with the W 2200 model it will eventually replace, the W 250 is available in a 150-inch cut width version, identified as the W 250-12.

CATERPILLAR

[6]

PM200

PM200

• 575 horsepower

• 79” maximum cut width (88” optional)

• 12.6” maximum cut depth

• 125 fpm maximum working speed

PM201

• 650 horsepower

• 83” maximum cut width

• 12” maximum cut depth

• 132 fpm maximum working speed

With the 2010 introduction of a wider cutting rotor option, Caterpillar’s 575-horsepower PM200 cold planer can, at 79 inches, be placed into urban applications requiring maneuverability or, at 88 inches, put to work on mainline milling jobs where fewer passes can result in less fuel burn. For units with the wider rotor option, also available is a dust-reduction package featuring an additional water pump and extra spray bars inside the rotor housing and conveyors. With all Caterpillar cold planers, quick-release conical tool holders not only make tool replacement easy and quick, but ensure proper tool rotation for maximum tool life, the company says.

TEREX ROADBUILDING

[7]

PR950

PR600

• 600 horsepower

• 103” maximum cut width

• 14” maximum cut depth

• 158 fpm maximum working speed

PR950

• 950 horsepower

• 150” maximum cut width

• 15” maximum cut depth

• 175 fpm maximum working speed

Boasting a maximum cutting width of 150 inches, the shared largest in the market, the behemoth Terex PR950 cold planer was updated in the past year with a quieter, 950-horsepower Caterpillar C27 diesel engine delivering 10 percent additional torque. An air compressor generating 20 cubic feet per minute of flow, powered by a stand-alone 10-horsepower diesel engine, is available for quick cutter teeth changes. With the main diesel shut off when changing teeth, service personnel safety is enhanced, noise is lowered and fuel consumption is reduced, says Terex Roadbuilding. As with the PR600, the PR950 is available in a three- or four-track configuration.


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