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Favorite Mills

Discussion in 'Mills' started by milling_drum, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. milling_drum

    milling_drum Senior Member

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    Just thought I'd put it out there what everyone's favorite mill is and why.

    Being that I'm a little strange to most people, I do not have a favorite mill. I've run pretty much all of them at one time or another. The only ones I have not are Dynapac, Bomag, and the assorted mill head attachments found on backhoes, excavators and graders. (Don't even get me started on 12ft mills)

    Of the Half-lane mills, they are all good in different ways. Obviously Wirtgen make a great machine however the quality factor has dropped off since they started mass production. The older DC series were also excellent machines as well. From what I can remember back in the early 90's it was only CAT and Wirtgen that made a machine that really could hold grade with all 4 tracks where others either couldn't do it or did not have that option.

    Back in the late 80's and early 90's CMI pretty much dominated the market with the best forward loading, powerful mills out there. When they released the PR800-7 everybody went nuts for them. However around the same time Roadtec had some good mills as well which, despite them not having the HP that CMI had could still pull a decent amount of asphalt up per day. The older Roadtecs main problem was getting the load off the ground, if you went at it too hard the lower conveyor couldn't handle it. Back then they didn't have bulkhead/front mouldboards of which to raise to ease the load on the tail pulley...but if you knew how to run them...they got it done nicely.

    Ingersoll had a half-lane mill that was pretty consistant as well, lots of bad things were said about them over the years but the time I spent around them they seemed alright, the grade system was a little to ahead of its time and not perfected but their drives and loadout systems were excellent.

    I could go on and on but its your turn now:cool:
     
  2. chincot

    chincot Member

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    Volvo mt2000

    I think I'd go with the new Volvo MT2000. After watching a demo, they remind me of the old Ingersoll-Rand mills made back in the early 90's. They have it all together on these 2meter drum mills. I believe they can go 18 in deep on a cut and their grade & slope system seems easy to set up and dig.
    I just recently attended a mechanics class from Volvo on these units, as we are buying one, and I was impressed with the quality of it. The conveyor folds uppright for transport and the gathering conveyor is removeable without removing the discharge conveyor or the drum.
    I think they said on a shallow cut they will mill at 180FPM, and have 3 drum speeds. The drum runs off a clutch direct from engine.
    It will give our old wirtgen a run for it's money, WE HOPE:rolleyes:
     
  3. milling_drum

    milling_drum Senior Member

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    Not long ago I heard a complaint from some folks who had demo'd a newer Ingersoll/Volvo that it had some strange issue with the turning of the tracks cutting the travel, something simular to Wirtgen's system. While safety is important that would really be annoying. The Volvo version of Ingersoll from what I've seen is pretty much the same machine as they were.

    Then again, the people I heard that from were pretty much clueless as far as milling goes and would never make it without the comfort and ease of a Wirtgen. I'd be inclined to believe they simpley weren't running it properly or had a safety switch in the wrong position.

    The drum speed control is great....they definetly have alot of others beat with that. The older idea was to changeout the pulley wheel sizes on the upper and lower drives to increase or decrease drum speed....looks like that is a thing of the past:)
     
  4. andoman

    andoman Well-Known Member

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    What do you think

    I perform a lot of utility work for railroad, counties, gas company, and electric company. That said we've been doing all of our milling with mill attachments on large skid steers. After the past three years averaging 4000 to 12000 sq.ft. a day we've decided to invest in a utility size mill (40" / 1 meter). What are your guys opinion of the following?

    Wirtgen w100F
    Roadtec RX-400
    Cat/bitelli PM-102
    CMI/bartmill PR 220 with 30" box
    CMI/bartmill PR 330

    We're trying to decide which machine will be the best overall value and last the longest since it won't get worked like a mainline machine. Keep in mind with would be our first mill. :beatsme

    Thanks,

    Andy
     
  5. milling_drum

    milling_drum Senior Member

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    Great Question!

    Those mills are all pretty good, it would depend on the operators preferences. I've a few along the rails cuts for paving joints and know its always best to have a mill where a clear view of the outside drum (or endslides) of BOTH sides is necessary, specially for those that don't do it often...the location of drum on most all those machines above have a small blindspot....takes getting used to but after a system is worked out its fine. (Traffic swap or comfortable running the blind side against rail.)

    I dunno which would be best cept to say its obvious Wirtgen make the easiest machines to run....they win hands down. Bartmill make a tougher machine, Roadtec make a reliable cheaper machine.

    Post pics when you get running this year please!
     
  6. cps

    cps Senior Member

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    Occupation:
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    Do'nt know Alot about mills, but all i could say is here in Ireland and even the U.K Wirtgen seems to have the NO1 spot.

    I can only remember EVER see one other make here, a single bitelli (may have been bought by Cat now) and i think that contractor has changed to a Wirtgen now!
     
  7. milling_drum

    milling_drum Senior Member

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    The CMI PR-800 pictured in this article is a pleasure to look at for a number of reasons.

    http://clearymachinery.com/const/MC/RT78TRAPROCK.pdf

    The machine is running nice and level, not alot of dust or material on the ground ahead of it. Means they have ample water running and they take care of the flashing on the conveyors.

    Leak pattern by engine covers typical to PR-800's cuz the air compressor is located around there, (and the gearbox behind) means they do some cutting with that thing, most likely day and night during the season.

    An indicator sits on the track to give the operator an outside of the drum mark, that means they custom built a drum or CMI came and did it, pretty much all those machines were standard 7'2" drums. (unless its one of those 12' models which were rare cuz they didn't work out too well) I'd guess that drum at 8' cuz I saw The Miller Group make that Modification on an 800-7 in 1999/2000. (although it the mod was done in Canada and sent to us in Atlanta).

    Just by that picture you know Schifano at one time had people working for them that knew the score on running mills. They run all Wirtgen now....go figure:)
     
  8. andoman

    andoman Well-Known Member

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    At this point we don't have any operator preferences at all, we'll be learning from scratch with the purchase so from that end it doesn't matter. When you say bartmill/CMI/Terex makes a tougher machine what do you mean by that, harder to operate or just rugged? Has anyone had any experiance with the bitelli / cat PM102? Just curious because the specs seem to put this machine a few thousand pounds lighter than the equivalent wirtgen and roadtec.

    thanks,

    andy
     
  9. milling_drum

    milling_drum Senior Member

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    CMI/Terex/Bartmill would make the machine that could make the cut in pretty much any situation at the maximum depth the machine will cut at without losing engine RPM. They have always maintained the best drives and overall power. The Wirtgen will cut at Max depth a little slower but not be as hard to work on, the cutter on a Wirtgen is an easy fix where the Kenametal drums take a minute to get used too change-out tooth holders and so on. Drum designs, speed, operator comfort, are all an issue to consider. Bitelli/Cat most likely make a powerful, good machine as well, I've never seen the smaller ones.

    Since you would be using it intermittantly its probably wise to choose the one easiest to operate.

    Down in the Florida Keys I was doing some intersection removals with a Wirtgen 1200F, (4ft cutter) the removal depths varied from 2 inches down to 6 inches. The 1200F would have to slow down due to the amount of material being removed. Keep in mind that wasn't all asphalt that deep but the base rock was wet and heavy. The Contractor we were working for had a Ghel (sp?) skid steer with mill head attachment with a 2 ft cutter on it working behind the 1200F in certain spots. Even at full depth the Ghel was never under load, it could be run as fast as the operator could hold it straight. If somebody had walked up to me and told me the Ghel had alot of power like that over a CAT skid steer, I'd laugh them off. But this time I saw it with my own eyes....

    How deep is the asphalt on average? I've seen some pretty deep asphalt close to railway crossings. Over the years on ever fixup they seemed to pile it up...If thats the case you will need brute power more than anything else. BTW Wirtgens come with a tool box that has pretty much every size of wrench/allen key and socket head to fit the machine....pretty nifty channel locks them Germans make too.

    Gimme a call at demo time, I'll help you sort one out real quick;)
     
  10. andoman

    andoman Well-Known Member

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    They can range from 8 to 12 inches (they can go a lot deeper but usually we go to a stable layer) at the track (usually for he first 2 to 3 feet) and we thin them out to 3 inches at the edge of the approach. You can find just about anything at these things though concrete over asphalt, asphalt over concrete, asphalt over corduroy you name it we've found it. Just to make mention we're also considering some lower hour late model used machines.

    thanks,

    andy
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  11. milling_drum

    milling_drum Senior Member

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    I can imagine you have which is why I mentioned cutter drums.

    Wirtgens change out system is the outright best to keep you running through the day, they give you all the tools required with the machine when they bring it too you for teeth/bit holder change outs.

    Kenametals system is great as well but requires more experience to be thoroughly comfortable with. If you get tangled up into something the holder MUST be hammered off and that can lead to more problems depending on what you hit and how hard.

    Years back, One time we had a piece of old track they threw under the asphalt get caught up in the drum housing, we were welding/cutting/grinding for 2 days afore we got going again...(some of that was our fault, we didn't have enough holders and had to send for more, sssshhhh)

    Figure you fellaz might have seen the same action but with a smaller drum it doesn't hurt quite as much:)
     
  12. chincot

    chincot Member

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  13. milling_drum

    milling_drum Senior Member

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    I've run the older ingersolls, they were great! I'd like to try one of the smaller newer volvo mills.

    Chincot, are you a Volvo rep? Every post I see from you mentions them. Volvo make good stuff, no doubt about it.
     
  14. andoman

    andoman Well-Known Member

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    We looked at a MW500 and it was a nice machine but the price they quoted us was slightly less than a Roadtec RX400 or a W100F :eek: so we ruled them out immediately (which seems completely out of line when it should compare to a w50 or w60 sized machine). It seemed like they were trying to take advantage of us :beatsme I'd welcome a "second opinion" if you'd like.

    Andy
     
  15. andoman

    andoman Well-Known Member

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    We've hit plenty of track and blown holders off like crazy but the worst was hitting a unmarked rail comm line and spooling up 2000 feet of comm lines (we're talking like 48 to 72 pair line). Let me tell you, way worse than sucking up a crab trap on a jet ski.
     
  16. chincot

    chincot Member

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    Volvo Rep?

    Well, I guess you could say that since they sign my checks. I worked for Ingersoll-Rand for 20yrs til Volvo bought us out. I really had my doubts about Volvo the first year they bought us, but the last year and ahalf, they are starting to impress me with their quality standards. I don't want to sound like corporate stooge, but the are making the same ingersoll products better.
    I spent the bulk of my career, testing and troubleshooting all types of road building equipment Ingersoll/Volvo make. Alot of it was done thru prototype testing and final shipment testing. Spent ALOT of time off-site testing prototype equipment from mills, pavers, rollers and graders along with variable reach lifts.
    I'm not out to sell Volvo equipment, that's marketing's job. Just curious about how the IR/Volvo equipment is holding up, especially the newer 6000 series pavers. The mills are done being tested now and are in production. I'm willing to help anyone antway I can with my experience.
     
  17. andoman

    andoman Well-Known Member

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    We've been impressed with the 6000 series pavers, they're a little big for what we need them to do (we stick with 1055 cats and 5110 IR's, however, we're trying to get into roller compacted concrete so we've looked at a ABGs with the tamper bar screeds) but a good college friend of mine has picked up a few of them and they like the large hopper size, stability, and power for highway work. The problem in michigan is the IR / Volvo line changed hands 2 or 3 times in the past 12 months and the current reps (wolverine equipment) just got bought out by a forklift company so I don't even know where to start, they don't even seem interested in selling equipment (throwing out high prices on everything to companies like ours with outstanding credit history).

    Honestly for us volvo skips the size mill we're truly interested in. We want the smallest usable form factor with approximately 750 - 1000mm head (30 to 40 inch), rear mount drum for tight cuts, and a front discharge conveyor if possible (we can live with a stub conveyor and load into buckets). It's not just volvo but bomag, and dynapac both skip this size mill. Both the roadtec and writgen reps have told us this is the largest growth segment they have right now, paving contractors need a utility size mill and they hire out big jobs to the pros. But I understand opinions are like A-holes everyone has one :rolleyes: it's just what I've been picking up from the past 1.5 months trying to pick out the right piece of equipment. Please let me know if you have any suggestions since our reps are less than useful.

    Andy
     
  18. milling_drum

    milling_drum Senior Member

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    Thats cool Chincot...I just wondered what was up since hardly anybody even bothers with Volvo/Ingersoll lately. I've always liked them.

    I'd love to see the Volvo half lane mill in action, I'm thinking with the variable drum speed you mentioned and someone that actually has a clue on how to use it, it would out perform the others...CMI had a gearbox control similiar to that on the pulverizer/reclaimers that worked well.
     
  19. hoosier

    hoosier Active Member

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    For power and a machine that was a cakewalk to do maintenance as well as operate I have never came across a mill that compares to the Roadtec RX50's I ran back in the 90's at Turtle.

    Milling drum:Came down your way over the holidays,Cannot remember the name of the construction company that had 5 W2100's on I-95 in mid Georgia.
    Venture Construction or something like that.....
     
  20. milling_drum

    milling_drum Senior Member

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    out west lately
    Thats Villager, they have the most mills in the east.

    Turtle run a great maitenience program, thats what happens with old school mill people, they realize the importance of taking care of equipment, Unlike that bunch your mixed up with now:)

    Back then I was with your competition not far away in Leesburg Fl. They were originally called Hill Milling, they were taken over by a northern outfit called Donegal, and then turned into Delta Milling. Those dudes didn't care care of squat and are now gone. That, even after another takeover by a northern outfit called Midwest Asphalt.

    Delta had a Few RX 50 models, they were beat up but they did kick some @ss for sure. I always had a problem with them traveling backwards comming into the cut, even with the parking brake on, they just weren't heavy enough in some cases. Those Cummins engines were great too, lots of Hp if you had the drive belts tight enough.

    Remember what fun it was to tighten those up? Having to slide the entire engine back with prybars, piston jacks and whatever would work, usually with the PTO leaking and engine leaking oil from being run all day.

    Ah...back in the day:)