New milling machine advances

Two of the leaders in the milling machine market are now offering upgraded planers
June 15, 2020 2 mins Read
By Mike Woof
Roadtec’s latest RX 405e and RX 505e
Roadtec’s latest RX 405e and RX 505e milling machines are said to be more versatile than earlier designs

Two of the premier manufacturers of milling machines, Roadtec and Wirtgen, are now offering upgraded planers that offer extra capabilities. These new models benefit from the latest technology and are said to be more productive and more efficient than previous generation models.

From Roadtec come the RX 405e and RX 505e milling machines, which are said to deliver significantly higher performance than the models they replace.

The RX 405e weighs in at 20.4tonnes, with power from a 321kW Cummins diesel that meets Tier 4 Final/Stage V emissions requirements. The machine is versatile as it can be used for milling widths from 600-1.5m thanks to the firm’s new variable cutting system (VCS). This feature allows the user to open the side of the cutter drum and change the drum. This task is straightforward and Kyle Hammon, product manager for mills and stabilisers at Roadtec said, “Changing the drums takes 1-2 hours.”

For safety, a drum drive belt lift system is fitted that prevents the drum drive from engaging while the machine is in its maintenance mode.

The cutter drum is centrally mounted and the machine uses a belt drive instead of the hydrostatic drive used before. According to Hammon, these changes allow the new model to be more production focused. The new cutter and drum configuration also allow the machine to cut a full 330mm depth, allowing it to mill down to the base layer and ensure that any reflex cracking is properly removed when carrying out road repairs.

Moving up in size, the more powerful RX 505e weighs in at 24.9tonnes and shares many of the same features, such as the VCS and drum drive belt lift system. Power for the RX 505e comes from a Cummins QSX15 diesel rated at 466kW, which meets Tier 4 Final/Stage V emissions requirements. Hammon added that the RX 505e competes in the market for a ½-lane milling machine, while it benefits from an output conveyor with a 60° swing.

Wirtgen large milling machines
Wirtgen claims that its new large milling machines offer higher productivity and sophistication than previous generation equipment

Both machines benefit from new controls and twin cameras, plus rear object detection technology that will put the drive into neutral should anyone stray into the working area. In addition, both models have full camera systems around the machine that allows a single operator to control the units safely, whether seated or standing.

Meanwhile, Wirtgen is also expanding its range of cold milling solutions with the introduction of its new generation of large milling machines. The firm claims that its high-performance

W 250 Fi and W 220 Fi models deliver a combination of finish quality and productivity. Reliability, durability and lower maintenance needs are also key features of these new machines. Versatility has been increased over earlier generation units, as customers are now able to select a wider range of performance options and can adapt the machines more quickly to suit a diverse array of working conditions.

The new W 220 Fi and W 250 Fi milling machines can be used for a wide range of applications, with maximum milling depths of 350mm, while they can handle surface course rehabilitation and fine milling work. Various drive systems are available to ensure maximum milling performance. The W 220 Fi is equipped with a two-speed Dual Shift powershift transmission, while the W 250 Fi has an Active Dual Power dual engine drive. With engine power ratings of 597kW for the W 220 Fi and 753kW for the W 250 Fi, the two models are said to be highly productive even in tough working conditions.

The operator can also preselect several working modes to suit the application: Cost-optimised; Performance-optimised; Milling texture quality. The machine has a Mill Assist system that automatically controls the two-speed Dual Shift powershift transmission. In combination with the diesel engine, the milling drum speeds can be increased or decreased, suiting a wide range of applications. At lower speeds, fuel and pick wear can be reduced, while at higher speeds, high milling pattern quality is ensured.

The Wirtgen Performance Tracker (WPT) calculates surface milling performance, milling volume, and consumption values. Important performance and consumption data is displayed in real time and are also emailed to the operator at the end of a job.

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