By Mike Anderson
LAS VEGAS – A self-propelled, 85-horsepower broom not only represents a new product line for Roadtec, but a first-ever foray into compact construction machinery for the renowned Astec roadbuilding equipment brand.
Capable of operating brooms ranging 72 to 96 inches in width, the Caterpillar-powered FB-85 model introduced at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2011 keeps with “the tradition of rugged construction” established by the Roadtec highway-class asphalt finisher and cold planer product line, the company says. The heavy-duty, front-mounted vehicle features 14,000 pounds of “construction grade” axle capacity which, claims Roadtec, is twice the strength of competing models.
An infinitely-variable-width telescoping broom head, capable of rotating 33 degrees to either side, allows the operator to switch brooms quickly without the need to change heads. Working inside a pressurized cab, the driver controls tractor direction with a steering wheel and most broom functions with an ergonomic control/joystick with single-hand access.
The FB-85’s side-shift feature prevents tire wear when sweeping next to a curb. The broom drive motor can be mounted on the right or left side of the broom head, allowing flush-sweeping on either side.