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W 220 Fi mills road surface 46cm deep

Wirtgen W 220 Fi milling machine

Large milling machine from Wirtgen removes entire road surface in Illinois in just two passes

IN the US state of Illinois, a W 220 Fi large milling machine is being used to remove an entire road surface in just two passes. Thanks to the Mill Assist machine control system, the milling operations are being carried out particularly cost-effectively. In the process, the Wirtgen Performance Tracker is responsible for the job’s precise documentation.

To rehabilitate the on and off ramps to Interstate 55 in Bolingbrook, the contractors opted for an 801hp (812PS) Wirtgen W 220 Fi because the demanding milling job required a machine that could offer both maximum productivity and efficiency.


In order to allocate the large milling machine’s impressive power reserves to the various machine components as required, Mill Assist dynamically controls the machine’s operating point. This means that it automatically adjusts the speed of the diesel engine and milling drum, the travel drive, the machine’s advance rate, and its water consumption, to match changing job site conditions.

Mill Assist also automatically controls the two-speed Dual Shift powershift transmission. In combination with the diesel engine, this allows the milling drum speeds to be increased and decreased. Thanks to the significantly increased range of possible milling drum speeds, the large milling machines in the new F series can be used for a wide range of applications.

For Mark Lindbloom, head of operations at K-Five Construction, the W 220 Fi’s drive concept also had an impact on the company’s purchase decision. ‘The two-speed powershift transmission was very appealing to us. It puts the horsepower to the pavement on long sections of road [and at smaller milling depths] as well as when working at larger milling depths,’ he remarked.

As a result, lower milling drum speeds can be used, which reduces both fuel consumption and pick wear. At higher speeds, it is possible to achieve a high-quality milling pattern while still covering large areas.

For the complete two-layer removal of the entire road surface in Illinois, the W 220 Fi was equipped with a standard 2.5m milling drum fitted with 196 picks. As the job needed to be carried out in a cost-effective manner, the W 220 Fi milled in ECO mode, one of three operating strategies that machine operators can select from on the new large milling machines from Wirtgen.

In ECO mode, Mill Assist always seeks the machine operating point with the most favorable fuel and pick consumption per cubic meter of milled material. At the same time, it also reduces CO2 and noise emissions.

Foreman Ed Mesko summed up the milling work near Interstate 55 in a positive light: ‘The W 220 Fi has numerous features that make life easy for machine operators and the ground crew. It is packed full of technology and performance,’ he said.

On the subject of performance, the large milling machine was also delivered with a Wirtgen Performance Tracker (WPT), which precisely determines the machine’s surface milling performance, milling volume, and consumption rates. All of the key performance and consumption data are shown to the milling machine operator in the operator’s cabin in real time. Immediately after completing a milling job, the data is also e-mailed to the machine owner in an automatically generated report.

‘When we purchase a machine, we expect reliability, versatility, value and performance. The W 220 Fi offers all of these qualities and, thanks to the WPT, a significant technological upgrade. It allows us to measure our performance extremely accurately,’ explained Mr Lindbloom. ‘We’ve used telematics systems before, but never at this level. We’re confident that the technology will help us increase our efficiency.’


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