Caterpillar’s PM range of cold planers is hugely popular overseas – and now May Asphalt Group has become the proud owner of the first PM620 sold into the Victorian and Tasmanian markets. This is a versatile machine that plays a key role in road surfacing, says William Adams Product Specialist – Paving, Toby Kay.

“The Cat PM620 ‘profiles’ the asphalt, cutting and removing the old surface and preparing the base for the new surface, which comes along afterwards. “May Asphalt Group will get maximum use out of its two-metre-cut capacity and will use it for profiling everything from suburban roads to freeways. But they will also be able to use it for bulk milling and doing small patch and paving work.”

Caterpillar makes PM-series machines in several sizes ranging from the small PM310, with a one-metre-cutting width, all the way through to the giant PM825, with a 2.5-metre cut. The 30-ton PM620, with its 2010mm-cutting width and 330mm-cutting depth, is the most popular in the asphalt and concrete cuts in a single pass.

A quick look at the machine’s specifications reveals more reasons for its popularity. Its 470-kW, 3710 Nm Cat C18 turbo diesel engine, which meets the Tier III emission standard, has Automatic Idle Control, and multiple rotor speeds to ensure smooth operations while reducing demand on the engine. The rotor’s automatic load-sensing also adjusts milling speeds to stop stalls, increasing production rates.

The tracked undercarriage – placing a track at each corner of the machine – uses proven Caterpillar technology including advanced steering and traction control, as well as an automatic tensioning system for consistent performance and longer track life. The PM620 has a broad operations deck with height adjustable consoles and ergonomic controls complete with
the Cat GRADE and slope system, which gives automatic, repeatable and accurate cuts. The deck extends outwards on either side so operators can move ‘outboard’ for a more detailed look at the worksite in real time.

The machine also has an obstacle jump feature – an automatic lift and lower system used for pre-programmed sections of the road surface, such as crossing access covers set into the road. It is fast, too, with a maximum travel speed of just under six kilometres per hour and a maximum milling speed of 100 metres per minute – equivalent to a very brisk walking pace. Speed, ergonomics and economical operation are not restricted to work effectiveness either, with the PM620’s design reducing maintenance times courtesy of walk-in access to critical components, long service intervals and, of course, easy parts availability and machine support through the William Adams and Cat dealer network.

PM620 uses Caterpillar’s ‘K rotor’ system for perfect cuts. Its efficient design means an excellent cutting pattern over a variety of applications and optimal material flow to the conveyor. Making life even easier, the rotor’s drive unit has a heavy duty dry clutch and two high-tensile drive belts with automatic tensioning. And at the end of the day? There is even a 3800-litre onboard water tank for easy wash downs! Toby Kay believes May Asphalt Group will see a jump in productivity thanks to its new machine.

“It will certainly increase their productivity by cutting work time,” he says. “Rather than doing two cuts, as is usually the case with existing machinery, they will do it in one, so they’ll basically be halving work time.”