Since the mid to late ’90s, Reid encountered an increasing number of paving projects calling for milling as a prerequisite to the repaving. With such projects available, Reid took on contracts where milling was part of the paving process. He subcontracted out the milling part to a third party. Another reason to include milling services was that some customers wanted him to be responsible for both the milling and paving.
Unfortunately, Reid found that using milling contractors often met with disaster. He says, “It was a failure in more ways than one. Often the milling machines were poorly maintained and they would break down during the middle of the work. That brought the whole paving process to a halt. Many projects call for us to repave any milled out sections before the day’s end and with a milling machine broken down, we would fall behind schedule. Reliable milling contractors who supply reliable compact milling equipment are difficult to find, so I hired whoever I could get.”
After five years of subcontracting out the milling and all the problems associated with it, Reid took bold steps to rectify the problem. “I didn’t want to lose the milling-paving projects, yet I knew I had to do it differently,” he says.
“Frankly it was a potentially good profitable business.”
Time to buy
Reid did not relish the idea of investing in a cold planer milling machine because he was not sure he could justify such a large investment. Equally challenging was to find a compact milling machine that was suitable for his milling needs.
He decided on the Marini model MP 1300 cold planer milling machine marketed by Marini America Inc., based in Downingtown, PA. Marini America is now under the management of BOMAG Americas Inc. in Kewanee, IL. Both companies are part of the Fayat Group, a French company that purchased BOMAG in January 2005.
The compact MP 1300 has an overall nominal length, less its extending overhead conveyer, of only 213 inches. The overall width of the MP 1300 is 81.7 inches.
Reid says that existing asphalt pavements in very tight or narrow areas are easily milled using the maneuverable MP 1300; another benefit of this compact machine is that special road permits are not required to haul it on an ordinary lowboy. It is so simple to load/unload that the operator singly loads/unloads and hauls the MP 1300.
“Its compactness was a main reason why I bought the Marini machine. I don’t know of another machine that is as small as this one. Yet, it’s very productive to use on many different projects from small-diameter cul-de-sacs to milling or reprofiling shoulders on secondary roads,” he says.
Despite its compactness, the MP 1300 can mill to 51.4 inches wide in a single pass. On small projects, one or two passes often is sufficient.
For example, Reid recently had a paving job in an exclusive residential area where another contractor already laid the base and binder courses incorrectly by not meeting the streets’ specified lateral pitch. It’s not the first time Reid has been called in for reprofiling another contractor’s paving.
“I can’t lay a wear coat over a poorly laid base and binder,” he explains. “Some of the street areas were paved with small area lows in them or they were poorly pitched so surface-water gathered in puddles after a rain instead of running off to the gutters. This remedial work calls for reprofiling the binder by milling out the high areas and putting on an acceptable pitch before we could pave.”
Other applications Reid finds for his milling machine are in revamping golf course paths that are constructed with asphalt paving. A recent project was the Skippack Golf Course. It’s an 18-hole golf course that had an existing 6-foot-wide cart path. The project called for widening the path to 8 feet and repaving it. Since the pavement was degraded by weathering, it was more cost-effective to first mill it to a 6-in depth. The aggregate pavements milled were 23,000 feet long by 96 inches wide.
“Our milling machine was ideal for this job,” says Reid. “Its narrow overall track width was close to the width of the new pathway so none of the immediate surrounding landscape was disturbed. The milling machine was used for both milling out the existing pavement and the adjacent ground that had to be excavated for the widening.”