He says that even though intermediate machines are smaller than their large "highway" counterparts, they are still very productive (milling up to 100 feet per minute) and require the same high level of maintenance to ensure optimum performance.
Wiley agrees. "The lower conveyor belt on our mills will generally last a season whereas the upper belt is good for two, under normal wear conditions. But conveyor belts run at 350 rpm and are susceptible to tearing. Operators simply cannot see beneath the pavement surface. It's even more challenging on equipment when milling in concrete where a hard surface is compounded by picking up rebar that can damage a belt or drum among other parts."
He continues by noting that ongoing daily inspection and monitoring is just as critical to performance as is allocating an hour at the end of each day to clean, lubricate and inspect the machine. In fact, many pavement mills operate with a driver and a down person whose job it is to monitor for leaks, adjust the grade, and overall observe a mill's performance.
Adds Hood, continuously inspecting a milling machine, following a daily maintenance regimen, and replacing torn belts, track pads, and broken tools is costly, but not nearly as costly as being broken down on a job for a day. "Maintenance does cost, but it pays back dividends, too."