On Tuesday October 29, FAE and Monroe Tractor joined forces to tackle the seasonal roads of the Adirondack Park and an asphalt covered road for two separate NYS DEC sites.
The first site was in the Adirondack Park on a seasonal road/trail. The road/trail is used by hunters, hikers, bikers, and winter enthusiasts. The trail head starts at the base of the mountain and steeply climbs to an elevation of 500+ feet overlooking the rushing upper Hudson River. The road/trail has gotten very little maintenance over the years and in spots is unpassable. Numerous reasons have been sighted for the lack of maintenance but they all point to the reason why NYS DEC contacted FAE about the MTH-225. The MTH-225 is the largest of ground engaging stabilization attachment offered by FAE and it has the capabilities to crush 24” stones into 2” minus material to make compactable material. NYS DEC was looking for options to remove the protruding rocks that riddle the trail and offer a smoother ride/walk to the users of the trail. DEC officials and Jim Thompson of FAE discussed the attachments and capabilities. After site reviews and countless meetings and correspondence FAE agreed to demo the unit at the site in correlation with CLAAS Xerion 4000 tractor offered by Monroe Tractor. The CLAAS tractors are relatively new in the US but offer top of the line features and benefits which includes a CVT transmission. The CVT Transmission is necessary to run the FAE attachments. The transmission in the tractor has the capabilities to creep along as slow as 1/10 of a mile of an hour. This speed is necessary to process the 24” stone into 2” material.
The tractor and attachment made the climb to the demonstration area that was the largest problem spot. After spinning the cab around on the Xerion to straddle the 3 point hitch the MT-225 engaged the ground and slowly mounted its decent into the soil encountering countless boulders and rocks, until it reached its depth of 16”. The MT-225 started to unearth larger than 24” stones but began to break them into smaller pieces as it crawled at 30 feet/minute to create the optimal base of material for proper compaction and stabilization of the path. After three passes (the width of the path) the MT225 had created the exact vision DEC was looking for in the pathway. No protruding boulders, compactable material, and a smooth surface. The attendees gathered around the MT-225 after the demo was completed. The FAE personnel did a thorough walk around and answered questions on wear items, specific applications, water injection, polymer injection, etc. After the questions came to a close the tractor and attachment traveled to the next site in Chestertown, NY.
The second site was an old blacktop road that hadn’t seen new pavement since the late 80s. Needless to say the road had plenty of cracks, humps, potholes etc… The site was chosen by DEC to show the machines capabilities in breaking thru the blacktop surface and grinding the blacktop into smaller pieces while combing these “millings”, fines and cracking larger aggregate below the pavement. Combining all these types of materials leads to a more compactable and useful road base. The tractor operator lowered the 3 point hitch slowly engaging the black top and finally breaking thru after 30 seconds. The tractor pulled the attachment down the 200’ road section while pulverizing the asphalt and rock beneath to combine the materials into an item 4. After three passes, the material was regrades and compacted to make a new smooth road surface. NYS DEC was pleased with the results as they are looking to move away from asphalt roads as it is becoming too hard and expensive to maintain.
The demonstration was a success and many of the attendees left impressed with the performance but especially the material it made.