Wirtgen reinvents its flagship large milling machines


Wirtgen’s new F Series large milling machines include hundreds of new innovations garnered from the field. 

The new Wirtgen W 220 Fi and W 250 Fi large milling machines serve a wide range of applications — at a maximum milling depth of 35 cm — from surface course rehabilitation and fine milling work to complete removal of the surface. 

With the launch of its new generation F Series large milling machines, Wirtgen has made lasting improvements to the process of milling in terms of performance and efficiency.  

The two new F Series machines made their world premiere at ConExpo in March. 

“There’s over 400 innovations on these new F Series,” said Tom Chastain, milling product manager for Wirtgen America.

“What makes the F Series so unique is for years we grabbed information from contractors around the world. We asked what they like about machines, what they didn’t like, and what would they like to see on machines.

“We took that information and we narrowed it down, and we built our F Series machines.”

Various drive concepts are available for the milling machines to ensure optimal milling performance. For example, the W 220 Fi is equipped with a two-speed dual shift powershift transmission, while the W 250 Fi has an Active Dual Power dual engine drive. 

With engine power of 801 hp for the W 220 Fi and 1,010 hp  for the W 250 Fi respectively, the two flagship models are exceptionally powerful. 

Mill Assist is standard

Like Wirtgen’s F Series W 200 Fi, W 207 Fi and W 210 Fi, the new large milling machines are setting new standards in terms of milling performance and efficiency. 

In the automatic mode, the Mill Assist standard assistance system provides the optimal balance between performance and operating costs. The system improves milling performance, while reducing diesel, water and pick consumption, as well as emissions.

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“One of the biggest features is what we call Mill Assist,” Chastain said. “It allows us the opportunity to tell the machine what cutting tools we have, even if we’re utilizing used teeth. And we can tell it what cutting drum we have in the machine.”

The machine operator can also select a working strategy from cost-optimized, performance-optimized or milling texture quality. For example, it is possible to define the required milling texture quality on a scale of 1 (coarse) to 10 (very fine) in advance at the touch of a button. 

“We can tell the machine in the milling index what quality of pattern we actually want to achieve,” Chastain said.  

Automatic engine drive control

Mill Assist also automatically controls the two-speed dual shift powershift transmission. Together with the diesel engine, the intelligent control of the two-speed powershift transmission extends both the upper and lower range of possible milling drum speeds.  At lower speeds, fuel and pick wear can be significantly reduced. At higher speeds, high milling pattern quality is ensured even in the case of high area performances.

“As we start to mill the machine sees all this information, and it can speed up or slow down the drum to maintain that quality of pattern,” Chastain said. “Curb-to-curb, we can maintain the same quality of pattern all the way across.” 

With the Active Dual Power dual engine drive of the W 250 Fi, depending on the project situation and the pre-selected working strategy, Mill Assist then automatically controls just one or both motors. In addition, the engines operate efficiently at optimally adapted speeds. This significantly reduces costs for diesel and cutting tools.

Chastain added Mill Assist will alert the operator when performance could be improved. 

“A box may pop up saying ‘hey if you went 5 per cent faster, you’d be 43 per cent more productive.’ Or maybe we’re going a little too fast and it tells you to slow down,” he said. “It gives you tips and information. If we mill properly, the paving crew should be able to achieve higher quality, which is what it’s really all about.” 

Wirtgen Performance Tracker

The Wirtgen Performance Tracker (WPT) calculates the precise surface milling performance, milling volume and consumption values for the machine. All-important performance and consumption data are displayed on the operator’s platform in real time for the milling machine operator and are also sent to the machine operator by e-mail in an automatically generated report immediately after completion of the milling work. 

The new F Series machines also include a four-section spray board to reduce the need to wait if too much water is sprayed on the ground. 

“Now we can cut off sections of the spray bar and that we only use the water we need to cut,” Chastain said. “We’re not using as much water, and we can keep the paving train moving.” 

Multiple Cutting System

With the optional Multiple Cutting System (MCS), milling drums of the same milling width, but with different tool spacing, may now be quickly changed without using any additional tools – an innovative and unique feature in the industry.

“This allows us to change drums in under 8 minutes,” Chastain said. 

For MCS, the side door first opens hydraulically. 

The milling drum is connected by a main bolt. A loosening tool provided by Wirtgen is positioned on the bolt to loosen it at the push of a button by the milling drum rotation device. Then, the operator removes the bolt and pulls out the milling drum.

The ease with which milling drums with different tool spacings can be changed to suit specific applications offers numerous advantages. 

This allows MCS to increase machine productivity, as well as significantly reduce the costs associated with wear. 

In addition, Wirtgen customers can respond quickly and flexibly to the changing requirements encountered in day-to-day job-site operations.

“We’re trying to make the machines more of a Swiss Army knife,” Chastain said.