As mentioned in a previous posting, a road miller is the world’s most unloved—and ugliest—machine. It is ugly, it is loud, it is dirty. No little boy asks Santa for a toy road miller in his stocking. Any adult who drives past highway construction has seen them many times, but have mentally blocked them out and think they are seeing one for the first time. Yet they are crucial to our way of life. You can’t keep maintaining roads with new layers of asphalt without taking some off. A miller shaves off the old layer of asphalt to make room for the new layer.
For a while we have one parked nearby while they repave Concord Pike. The crew tells me they simply call it “the Wirtgen” after the German company who made this one. A German manufacturer seems appropriate. They probably make it in the Ruhr Valley, which we learned in grade school is filled with black smoke, steel mills, and coal mines (where the sun never shines). And old Wirtgens.
So, here are several photos, close-up. (Click on a photo to enlarge it.) I am developing some affection for them, as one does for the ugliest puppy in a litter, blind in one eye, yapping, and hobbling around on three legs.