Top 10 Considerations in Selecting a Stationary Asphalt Drum Mixer

You will be running your new asphalt drum mixer for the next 20-25 years; make sure you weigh all of your options.

  1. "Weigh Your Options" - Remember, the plant you select today will be running for the next 20-25 years. Therefore it is critical that you and consider all aspects and make sure your plant will fulfill your needs.
  2. "Maximize RAP" - With the rising cost of liquid asphalt, producers must consider the drum that will allow them to utilize as much Recycled Asphalt Pavement (RAP) as possible. The asphalt drum mixer must also be able to introduce RAP while maintaining low fuel consumption as well as low emissions. Selecting a plant that can run up to 50% recycle is one of the best defenses to help you keep control of your costs.
  3. "Don't Stop at One" - Select a plant with multiple recycle bins.
  4. "Mind your Green" - Make sure the drum mixer you purchase meets current and anticipated air pollution codes.
  5. "Keep Your Cool" - The lower you can make the temperature across your system the less energy your plant will require to dry your aggregate. The exit gas temperature dictates the amount of energy you are using. The BTU's are either going into drying aggregate or up the stack.
  6. "Target Your Market" - Are you going to be catering to your own paving crews? Are you handling a large FOB market? If you will change mixes during your operation, make sure the switch can be done easily and still maintain the mix quality.
  7. "Go With Experience" - There are many different ways to make Hot Mix Asphalt, and people in our industry that have a lot of experience. Most of the designs that are out there are from contractor's experiences and suggestions. Select the simplest design that will create the least problems down the road.
  8. "Service, Service, Service" - Choose a drum mixer from a manufacturer with a reputation for providing excellent service. You are investing into your company for the long term and you need the manufacturer to be there and support the product they are providing. The asphalt drum mixer manufacturer should encourage you to visit plant locations as well as to travel and see their factory.
  9. "Burn, Baby, Burn!" - Is your asphalt drum mixer burner proven in the field to handle Recycled Fuels? Another factor in the rising cost of fuel is your ability to locate a consistent supply of heavier fuels.
  10. "Ease of Maintenance" - Over the life of your asphalt drum mixer you will produce millions of tons of hot mix. What drum will provide the least amount of maintenance? Wearing and build-up are two terms you will hear during your decision making process. How important are they to you and your company?

Meeker Equipment and Astec Inc. contributed to this article.