Maintain Your Mill Safely with Roadtec Mill Maintenance Mode
Roadtec’s Maintenance Mode was launched on its RX-505e at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 to make it simple for the operator to lockout the machine during routine maintenance.
“Mill maintenance mode provides an increased level of safety and convenience for the crew members while performing routine maintenance,” said Kyle Hammon, technical sales manager for milling machines and stabilizer-reclaimers at Roadtec Inc., Chattanooga. “Mill maintenance mode is a simple way for the operator to lock out the machine’s cutter drive during routine maintenance. This is accomplished by combining a number of functions into one switch rather than performing these functions individually.”
When the system is engaged, the parking brake is locked so that the machine doesn’t move while people are underneath. The cutter drive belt is physically separated from the engine pulley. With this “unique functional improvement,” Hammon explained, the crew is able to change cutter bits or perform maintenance on the underside of the milling machine while also having engine power for use of the air compressor. “Then, a simple toggle switch is used to rotate the drum and provide the proper position for tooling maintenance.” Let’s take a closer look at each of those features.
How Maintenance Mode Works
With the machine parked in a safe location, an operator or crew member can maintain the machine by applying the parking brake with the machine in neutral, ensuring the cutter drum is off and fully raising all legs of the machine.
When changing teeth, the operator can use a handheld pendant to switch on maintenance mode, and lights will flash at ground level and on top of the machine to indicate that it is protected. This will lock the parking brake, de-tension the belt, and move a shim to physically separate the drum drive belt from the engine pulley to prevent accidental spinning.
This patented Belt Lifting System from Roadtec provides an extra measure of safety while maintaining the mill and allows the engine to continue to run, providing power to the on-board air compressor, which enables the use of an air hammer to change teeth on the drum.
The pendant has a magnetic base that allows it to be positioned underneath the machine’s frame within easy reach of the operator so that both hands are free to perform the tooth change.
The indexing switch, located on the pendant, allows for slow and controlled rotation of the drum at the touch of a finger for inspection and change out. The drum can rotate forward and backward as needed to get the angle for all working tooling.
After replacing the necessary teeth, the operator simply lowers the rear moldboard and switches the machine out of maintenance mode. When maintenance mode is deactivated, the shim will automatically return to working mode position and belt tension is restored.
The blinking indicator lights on the side of the machine stop flashing when the belt is tightened and is ready to resume normal milling operations.