Jan 17, 2022
Address Drum Exteriors Now to Prevent a Breach During Production
BY AsphaltPro Staff
One could argue that the workhorse of the plant is the drum. If this component fails this spring, you’re down for the count. You’ll be out of service while haul trucks form a line outside the gates. Given the supply issues as of late, you could be down for a while if you haven’t planned for “an unforeseen emergency.”
That means you want to use this season to get the drum conditioned for a smooth 2022.
Look at the shell. Do you see a pretty, almost floral burn pattern near the combustion zone? That’s not a good sign. You need to run the plant so you can point a temperature gun at the zones of the drum. Assess the readings and then (after everything has cooled), adjust flighting and/or tune the burner accordingly. Your OEM will have tips and tricks for exact flighting; consultants will offer tried and true practices for updating according to the mix designs and moisture percentages you encounter in your state, elevation, etc. We’ll talk more about the interior next week.
What else do you need to check regarding the exterior of the drum? Your OEM will have a checklist in your maintenance manuals. If you lost track of that booklet, you can probably find a pdf on the OEM’s website. Consultants and parts manufacturers are another good resource to assist, but here’s a good list to get you started:
- Check the trunnions—and their bearings—for excessive wear
- Look at the inlet chute’s air dam—if it’s overly worn, you want to shore it up now
- Look at the discharge chute’s air dam—same story
- The RAP collar’s seals need to be in good condition—check on them
- Inlet and discharge collars at the barrel ends also have seals to check on—these will affect your fuel efficiency come spring
- Do you have a chain-driven unit? Make sure that’s in excellent repair. If you have a friction-driven unit, the trunnions (listed above) have even more importance.
- Check gear boxes
- Check belts
- Check slope of the drum
QUICK TIP: Back in September or October, did a member of the ground crew put a bucket under a faulty nozzle to collect dripping liquid material? Now is the time to repair or replace that nozzle. Look for such stop-gap measures and fix them now for a stellar start to 2022.