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Improved Rumble Strip Cutter Cuts Deep

Wed June 15, 2011 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Wirtgen America’s new high-performance rumble strip cutter — the W 50 DC Rumbler is a standard W 50 DC cold milling machine with an optional Rumbler attachment installed, providing cutting of milled rumble strips in the standard, preferred 16-in. width at speeds of up to 180 fpm (55 m).

Without the Rumbler installed, the deep-cutting W 50 DC cuts 8 in. (20 cm) deep and a variety of widths up to 20 in. (50.8 cm). It has a Deutz 123 hp (91 kW) diesel engine, combined with a more robust 17,000-lb. (7,711 kg) design, 7-in. (17.7 cm) turning radius and standard rear loading conveyor.

Addition of the Wirtgen Rumble Strip Milling attachment results in a durable, reliable cold mill for general milling use, combined with a milling technology for cutting milled rumble strips in shoulders, or down centerlines of two-way pavements, according to the manufacturer.

The W 50 DC Rumbler features a six-sided rumble wheel with urethane pads, powered by a hydraulic rumble wheel drive. The Rumbler drum and wheel can be mounted on either the left- or right-hand side of the W 50 DC, with easy cutter access.

The W 50 DC Rumbler cutter drive is an extension of the W 50 DC’s standard drum drive system, using a mechanical belt drive.

A simple wheel/pad assembly rolls along the pavement surface to actuate the Rumbler sub-frame in and out of the cut. Custom drum widths and pad sets are available. Special patterns can be achieved with special rumble wheel pads; intermittent patterns can be achieved with the available skip line kit. For optimal cutting, W1-10/S-R Rhino bits can be used.

A standard, long front pointer is designed for stable, accurate correction when on the job, essential for tracking intermittent references like the pavement “drip” line or a centerline. A short pointer also is installed as a standard. Both provide a dual reference, which can give the operator a better sense of the W 50 DC Rumbler’s position.

Why Milled Rumble Strips?

The Federal Highway Administration’s Technical Advisory (T 5040.35) endorses shoulder rumble strips for driver safety from run-off-road events, and maintains that milled-in strips are the best option. FHWA said milled rumble strips are superior because they have little or no effect on the integrity of the pavement structure, and produce greater noise and vibration than rolled or formed rumble strips

While rumble strips can be rolled-in for freshly placed asphalt shoulders, research by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission found strips milled into existing shoulders to be superior to rolled-in rumble strips.

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