Company’s newest milling machine offers versatility and flexibility in a variety of applications
ASTEC Industries are debuting their newest asphalt cold planer at Conexpo 2023 in Las Vegas. The versatile RX-405 milling machine is said to be ideal for contractors who need a smaller cold planer that offers versatility and flexibility in a variety of applications. With the addition of the RX-405, Astec’s mills now range from 2ft to 13ft in cut width.
Kyle Neisen, product director for Astec, said: ‘We’re excited to offer the RX-405 so that all contractors can benefit from the Astec line-up. Contractors of all sizes now have a machine that they can take to size-restrictive job sites like trenches, utility work and parking lots.’
The RX-405 features all-new control stations that focus on user comfort and intuitive use. ‘The button layout and joysticks offer all-day comfort for long jobs,’ said Mr Neisen. With the new control station design, operators can protect the controls from tree limbs and other obstacles by adjusting the tilt on-the-fly. The same tilt mechanism can turn the controls all the way over for safe storage and protection when the machine is not in use.
The compact mill is designed to make changing drums fast and easy. ‘The RX-405 has a hinged door on the side of the cutter housing that provides quick access to all the necessary parts,’ explained Mr Neisen. ‘The side door is part of a single cutter housing that can transition from 2ft to 5ft wide so that no matter what job site you're headed to, the base machine is ready to go.’
The RX-405 is designed to make drum maintenance better as well. The machine features a belt lifter that takes the belt off the main engine sheave, disabling the engine’s ability to turn the drum during tool changes. The mill also includes a drum indexer, which remotely turns the drum, making it easy to get the drum to a good spot. Mr Neisen added: ‘You’re no longer pulling hard on the drum, nor are you worried about the engine engaging it.’
The new cold planer can also be equipped with a rear object detection system, which uses a camera system to spot objects that might end up behind the mill. The system includes buttons at the back to temporarily lock-out the machine from reversing. Mr Neisen said: ‘If you plan to walk behind the machine, you can simply press the button on one side and stop the machine – tap either side button again when no longer behind the machine. When any of those buttons are engaged, the machine will not allow the operator to go in reverse.’
The RX-405 also features the ACE grade and slow system. ‘It’s incredibly intuitive and easy for our customers to use. It allows either the operator at the main level or a ground operator to control the machine fully when they need to,’ said Mr Neisen.