Asphalt milling is performed by heavy-duty construction equipment known as cold planers or milling machines.
The machine features a large rotating drum equipped with carbide cutters that removes and grinds the asphalt surface. This rotating drum holds the carbide cutters that actually cut the pavement.
Coco Group of Companies recently purchased a new Roadtec RX-900e cold planer for milling operations on highway projects. The machine is currently helping Coco Group fulfil a Ministry of Transportation contract to rehabilitate 32 kilometres of Highway 401 near Cornwall, Ont.
“One of the main reasons Coco Group purchased the RX-900e is because of its horsepower,” says Brian Keveryga, general manager at HMA Equipment Company of Canada.
With 950 hp (708kW) the RX-900e is the most productive cold planer available, claims Roadtec. Power and heavy-duty construction lead to higher productivity for half-lane and full-lane milling.
“It certainly has a lot of power,” says George Zenti, manager of milling operations, central and eastern Ontario, for Coco Group.
Zenti is also pleased by the simpler design of the control systems compared to previous models, allowing for a more user-friendly experience.
“One of the things we like about the new RX-900e is the new system for the automatics. This makes operations easier, especially running slope,” he explains.
“Roadtec has simplified the CANBus system, making the machine easier to operate, troubleshoot, fix and maintain,” adds Keveryga.
The cold planer’s new Automated Control of Elevation (ACE) system is designed to automate the elevation of the machine via several grade and slope sensors plus one central microcontroller. Three graphic displays provide enhanced operation, continuous sensor monitoring and the ability to transition quickly between sensors.
The ACE system allows the operator and ground crew to easily make changes to the machine’s grade and slope parameters, states the company. Heavy-duty smart cylinders mean more precise depth measurements. Data is continuously updated and displayed, keeping crews informed of the most recent data.
Each leg of the machine is controlled by a different sensor, gathering four data points, for accuracy.
This cold planer is available with either four-track or three-track assemblies.
“This time, we purchased a four-legger,” says Zenti. “It keeps a nice line.”
“The machine is very versatile, which is unique for cold planers with a grinder that size” says Keveryga.
The machine cuts up to 14 inches (35.6 cm) deep and can be set to work at different cutting widths.
The carbide cutters are positioned in such a way that after being cut, the milled pavement is automatically moved to the centre of the drum. Water is applied to the drum while it’s grinding the pavement to reduce the extreme heat produced by the milling machine and decrease dust caused by the milling process.
Roadtec cold planers have two independent spray bars to inject water in the cutter housing. The front spray bar is primarily for dust suppression, while the rear spray bar cools the drum.
The milled pavement is then loaded onto a conveyor belt attached to the cold planer.
All Roadtec cold planers offer a 60-degree swing conveyor, allowing you to easily feed a truck in an adjacent lane or around a tight bend. A folding secondary conveyor helps with transport and loading, the company explains.