The Roadtec RX-505 milling machine enables contractors to efficiently recycle asphalt using technology and an ergonomic design that increases worker safety and project productivity.
Jurisdictions across Australia are reviewing and performing trials to investigate increasing specifications for the percentage of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) able to be incorporated in a new mix.
The environmental benefits of RAP, including the reduced need for virgin materials, has led to a boost in its popularity.
With a growing push for enhanced environmental practices from the industry and stakeholders, Astec has introduced the new RX-505 milling machine into the market.
One way of producing RAP is to mill existing asphalt pavement and incorporate the used asphalt into the new mix. While the RX-505 delivers positive environmental outcomes for contractors, it goes further, with worker safety and efficiency at the heart of its design.
Kyle Hammon, Roadtec Product Manager for Milling Machines, says the most striking features of the RX-505 relate to its focus on the end user.
“We have launched a system on this model called rear object detection. It enhances the level of safety for people on the ground and anyone who might be behind the machine,” Mr. Hammon says.
Rear object detection, an optional technology for the RX-505, provides an increased level of safety for the crew. If a person or object is detected behind the reversing vehicle, the system will automatically put the machine in neutral.
Additional sensors and ground level buttons also allow ground crew to disable reverse if necessary.
The RX-505’s rear leg load sensing disables the drum when an abrupt change in rear leg pressure is detected. In addition, a cutter drum safety interlock prevents the gearbox and drum drive components from absorbing the shock if the cutter drum makes contact with an object underground.
A dust extraction system, rear back up camera and magnetic base halogen work lights also increase safety and visibility for the RX-505’s operator and ground crew.
“All the safety features are customer driven. As companies get bigger, they want insurance their staff will be best protected in any situation,” Mr. Hammon says.
Another important feature on the RX-505 is a drum index device which can be activated in maintenance mode.
The mechanism allows the drum to rotate independently of the cutter belt drive, enabling safe access to the cutter drum during maintenance.
“To perform routine maintenance on the machine you have to go underneath it. The drum index device removes the possibility of an accident or malfunction causing a cutter drum activation, which can seriously harm the maintenance staff,” Mr. Hammon says.
Alongside operator safety, efficiency is a major focus for the RX-505.
“This machine has updated controls that will give the operator display notifications if a failsafe or safety system is active. And that prevents the crew from having to do unnecessary trouble shooting.”
The machine also features customised conveyor belt tensioning. This means that each belt can be independently tensioned, ensuring all belts are tracking properly and so reducing breakdowns.
The RX-505’s folding conveyor with self-cleaning pulleys saves time, first by enabling quick transport and loading of the machine, and then by ensuring maximum efficiency in operation.
The cutter drum cuts up to 330 milimetres deep and up to 2200 milimetres wide. The inside walls of the cutter housing are fully lined with replaceable chromium-clad wear plates to withstand the pressure from milling operations.
Automated water spray bars are featured at the front for dust suppression and at the rear for cooling the cutting teeth.
“The automated system will spray water onto the cutter drum to cool it down and the water will cut off when you over propel the system,” Mr. Hammon says.
As with all other Astec machines, the Roadtec Guardian Telematics system is available on the RX-505. The system allows customers to remotely view aspects of the milling machine’s operation.
If an issue occurs, the Guardian System allows the team to identify the problem and despatch the right person and equipment to rectify it quickly.
“You can connect to the machine using a cellular system in real time, this allows you to diagnose issues with the machine and sometimes solve them remotely,” Mr. Hammon says.
He is excited that the introduction of the RX-505 into the market will enable more contractors to do cold-in-place recycling.
“Cold-in-place recycling has grown steadily in the US and it tends to really surge in interest whenever contractors come to the end of a highway build where preservation is the focus, so we are excited to bring more of this technology to Australia.”
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