Oct 09, 2023
Control Quality With Milling Speed
As we near the end of paving season in parts of North America, the pressure’s on to complete jobs before the snow flies. Have you noticed workers speeding through tasks that they might otherwise take time to get the details right on?
Take a look at milling and paving speeds. If you rush this process now, you might be back to fix alligator cracking and potholes in the spring.
Wirtgen’s Tom Chastain spoke of the importance of milling speeds to get material sized correctly and to get a tight, consistent pattern behind the machine. Let’s look at the pattern and quality control issue right there on the job site this week.
According to Chastain, a good pattern behind the machine can be achieved when you mill around 30 feet per minute. You can still achieve a good pattern at 60 to 80 fpm, he shared, but you might see the drum no longer pulling the material toward the center of the cut.
“When we get to 85 to 90 feet per minute, we’re starting to get a little coarse and stretching out that pattern,” Chastain said.
Speeds above 90 fpm can present all manner of trouble on the job. Not only does the machine start to walk faster than the drum is turning, but the chunks of coarse material in the inconsistent pattern “could find its way toward live traffic,” he said.
No matter how crunched for time last-minute projects might be this time of year, watch those milling best practices to keep speeds—thus patterns and safety—under control.
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