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Road Management Journal
September 2, 1997
TranSafety, Inc.
(360) 683-6276
Fax: (360) 335-6402

Florida survey helps in selecting sign wording international tourists will understand
Understanding the Reasons for Needing to Improve Drainage
Study Shows That Motorists Drive at Reasonable Speeds
Tractor-Mounted Shoulder Reclaimer Works Well and Saves Money

Highway Safety Publications Catalog. Articles on Road Engineering, Road Maintenance & Management, and Injury Litigation. Information and consulting for the Automobile and Road User, as well as for law professionals in accident investigations.
TranSafety's free consumer journal for automobile and road users, three subscription journals on road maintenance, engineering, and injury litigation, and highway safety publications catalog. See our free consumer journal for automobile and road users, three subscription journals on road maintenance, engineering, and injury litigation, and a highway safety publications catalog.

Tractor-Mounted Shoulder Reclaimer Works Well and Saves Money

This article, entitled "Shoulder Reclaimer Saves Time, Money," appeared in the "Vermont Local Roads News" for June, 1996. The photographs that accompany the article came from Doyle, Inc. of Burnsville, Minnesota.

While this report discusses Minnesota's use of the shoulder reclaimer, Vermont road crews are also using the tractor-mounted reclaimer described. Bob Niles of The Vermont Local Roads Program said local crews have found the reclaimer effective. Vermont counties are talking about buying a reclaimer together and sharing its use.

Gravel shoulders develop ridges and ruts that need to be removed and the gravel tends to get clogged with weeds and sod, and slide down slope, leaving a dangerous dropoff at the pavement edge. Repairing them can take lots of equipment and sometimes tons of new aggregate.

Doyle, Inc. of Minnesota can make the process easier and cheaper. Its tractor- mounted reclaimer is similar to an agricultural harrow disc. Pulled behind a standard mower tractor, the reclaimer cuts through sod, mixes the gravel with the fines below it, and throws the gravel one to two feet toward the pavement edge to fill the void there. A roller, or grader with roller, follows behind to pack the gravel into a smooth, tight surface.

"Fall is a good time to reclaim shoulders," says Bill Doyle of Doyle, Inc., Burnsville, Minn., who created the product. "You need moisture so the gravel packs properly." Spring is another good time for shoulder improvements. Mower tractors are available, there's moisture in the gravel, and the weeds have died off.

Shoulder Reclaimer

Using the reclaimer, crews in Minnesota were able to reclaim 48 miles of shoulder a day, the amount they did in three days using previous methods. According to Thomas Zimmerman of the Mn/DOT's Windom district, "In one operation the reclaimer saved Mn/DOT $2400 per mile compared to the previous method. We use it just about every time we go out and maintain shoulders."

The tractor mount reclaimer, called "The All American Disk," costs $4900 from Doyle, Inc. including installation and instruction in how to use it. There is also a similar product from a Canadian company which mounts on a motor grader ahead of the moldboard.

Contact Doyle, Inc. at 612-890-3326 or 800-658-5491.

(Reproduced with permission from "Vermont Local Roads News," as published in the June, 1996 issue by The Vermont Local Roads Program at Saint Michael's College in Colchester, Vermont.)

TranSafety Editor's Note: Doyle, Inc. also manufactures and sells the All American Quick-Tach Roller pictured below. The eleven-wheeled roller has a 75-inch compaction width and adjustable down pressure with ripper hydraulics. The manufacturer recommends it for effectively working road shoulders using fewer people than conventional methods.

Request for Input

Do you have an unsual or innovative method of maintaining roadway shoulders you would be willing to share with USroads' readers?

Please e-mail us ( a description of the process--and include color photographs or diagrams, if you have them. Also, be sure to let us know who you are and where the method is being used.

If you prefer, just give us a brief idea what you are doing and send us a name, address, and contact person. Then we can contact you for more information.

Thank you.

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