For ease of service and reduced downtime, all key components of the milling machine — the engine, hydraulics, fan and coolers — are within easy reach in the protected environment of a walk-in service compartment.
“The biggest difference is that it has the ability to go out and mill 10, 12 or 14 inches of asphalt in one sweep,” Engroff says. “It’s just a real hog and can do whatever we ask of it.”
More power = more efficiency
That power, says Torneden — who operates the machine and performs routine daily maintenance — helps the crew complete a variety of projects much more efficiently.
“We’ve done several large patch jobs that would have taken us a couple of days before using other equipment in our fleet. Now, we can bring the new milling machine in and get the job done in a matter of hours,” Torneden says. “We recently completed a county job that had 12 miles of paving and included 3,500 tons of patching. It was full-depth, 6-inch patching, ranging from 50 up to 300 feet long. What we did in just four days would have taken weeks.
“Milling 6 inches deep, we easily can get out 30 tons in about 10 minutes. Then it takes the lay-down crew about half an hour to fill it back in. Increasing our production rate is what helps us get the work,” he says.
Torneden says the crew’s biggest production day with the new milling machine has been 8,000 tons in 12 hours.
“On that day we just happened to have a good, mile-long strip about 7 inches deep, and we had all the trucks we needed to run all day,” Torneden says. “We’ve had a lot of people comment on how fast we can load trucks with this unit.”
In addition to power and production, Torneden says he likes the design of the machine and the operator’s station.
“The design is very centered. I can steer the machine with my right hand, the middle control moves the conveyor left, right and up and down, and the pistol grip on the left controls forward, reverse and speed. Then there are seven different screens I can view on the monitor in front of me to see how the machine is operating. If something isn’t right, it will identify the problem. That technology is really nice in a lot of ways.”
The bottom line, Torneden says, is that the MT2000 is one of the key factors in the success of Sunflower Paving’s new milling division. “Acquiring a milling machine has given us more opportunity to do more jobs — jobs we couldn’t have completed without it.”