If you know me, you know I’ll take any opportunity to work a Bruce lyric into a post. But, unlike the song, a Cadillac isn’t tearing up the highway. The machine used is called a rotomill. In the photograph, it is working overnight to remove a portion of a parking lot asphalt concrete layer. A spinning drum with cutting teeth chips (the lighted area at the center of the machine and see below) away at the pavement to a predetermined depth. Pieces of pavement are carried on a conveyor belt to a waiting truck where it will then be taken back to an asphalt plant for future recycling into HMAC.
The process is also called surface milling. A rotomill or milling machine can cut just enough to scarify the surface or down 17 – 18 inches of pavement and aggregate.
Bruce Springsteen, Cadillac Ranch, 1981
Top photograph from Zimmer Consultants
Bottom photograph from Wirtgen Group