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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Great Planer Piece-The Open and Closed Debate

I found the article on cold planer attachments quite interesting [Dec. 2007, “Nothing Plane About Them,” page 36]. The difference between the open vs. closed drum performance was illustrated several years ago in a demonstration I made.

The City of Columbus, Ohio, Department of Street Maintenance planned to purchase a skid steer with a 24-in. planer attachment. It set up a demonstration for the local vendors to show their loaders and planers in a paved parking area with about 4 in. of asphalt over a gravel base to plane a 10-ft length.

The fi rst demo was a Bobcat with a closed drum. The depth was set for 3 in. to allow grindings to pass. Within a few feet the grindings were building up in front of the drum with nowhere to go. At the end of the pass, there were grindings in the planed path, along side the path and in front of the planer drum. The result was “passable” performance down to 3 in.

I had arranged with Universal (before Coneqtec acquired them) to mount its open drum planer on a Komatsu model SK815-5 skid steer for the demo. As the second vendor to demo, an identical course was beside the fi rst one. When the open drum was lowered into the asphalt, it proceeded to mill through the
full 4 in. of asphalt and base to a 6-in. depth, leaving behind a smooth layer of grindings. There were no side windrows or front pile at the end of the strip.

After viewing the two demos, the other vendors declined to plane and all further time was devoted to the loader features. In the end, the city bid a skid steer with the Universal planer attachment. The unfortunate part was they purchased a low priced loader with inadequate hydraulic horsepower to get the performance benefi t the planer could deliver.

Compact Equipment magazine is excellent and I look forward to many new items you feature.

Eric Tubbs | Contract Consultant | Columbus, Ohio

  NOTE FROM WRITER PAM STASK: Eric, thank you for your insight on the planer feature. You nicely demonstrate the importance of conducting test runs on different planer attachments before making a purchase, as well as
the quality an open drum possesses. Not only does this allow an operator to test out the new equipment, but it ensures they are buying something that will provide years of productivity. The example you have shared stresses the
importance of testing out equipment and reiterates the point we hoped to get across. Thanks again for your letter and continued readership.
Construction Expo — Hartford Style
Hey, Keith. I want to thank you for including the 2008 Compact Equipment calendar with the December issue. I like it, but there is one thing missing in it. The calendar does not have the dates for Construction Expo in Hartford,
Conn. Can you fi nd out when they’re having it this year? Thank you. And I like the magazine. Keep up the good work.

Ronald Bangs | Ron’s Tight Fit Excavating | Deep River, Conn.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Hey, Ron. Thanks for the letter on the calendar. We appreciate it. Right now, as far as we can tell, Construction Expo only has four cities booked through April, including Dallas, Chicago, Phoenix and St. Louis. I would check their Web site throughout the year — http://constructionexpo.com.
When the Universal open drum was lowered into the asphalt, it proceeded to mill through the full 4 in. of asphalt and base to a 6-in. depth, leaving behind a smooth layer of grindings. After viewing the Universal demo, the other vendors declined to plane.

Compact Equipment