NRP high performance planer drives productivity on the M54

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M6 junction 10 westbound to Junction 2, M54



The challenge

The programme of works on the M54 required operations to be completed in very tight working windows.  Collaboration between Kier, NRP and Highways England was focused on project efficiency. This would require all disciplines to work together, to identify where time could be saved embracing the latest lean best practice. 

Our solution

National Road Planing (NRP), Tarmac’s industry-leading road planing contractor, debuted a new high-performance planer as part of a drive to boost output and lean efficiency.     

One of only eight machines in Europe, a 3.8m drum fitted to a Wirtgen cold milling machine W 250i was used for the first time on the UK strategic road network. The unique machine, which has the capability to remove around 600 tonnes of asphalt per hour – the equivalent of 30 trucks – and plane one full lane width up to 3.8m wide in a single pass, improves the surfacing process and ultimately the rideability of the newly laid asphalt surface for the road user. 

Results and benefits

Jamie Town, general manager, NRP, said: "The high performance of this machine meant that we had the capacity to plane the existing surface quicker, which ensured that our Contracting teams could start laying new asphalt sooner to ultimately reduce disruption for road users and drive efficiency for customers."

Mike Holmes, asset delivery manager for Kier Highways, said: “The benefits of the increased productivity of this machine extended beyond efficiency and output. It facilitated a reduction in time taken to resurface the carriageway, which reduced the number of closures benefitting the travelling public as well as improving road worker safety.” 

Additional info

NRP and Tarmac are actively working with partners and the supply chain to consider how people, plant and resources can be safely and efficiently deployed on projects to drive innovation and boost productivity within working windows. 

In addition to its efficiency benefits the new planer supports NRP and Tarmac’s commitment to safety with fifty per cent of reversing eliminated and fewer passes reducing potential interactions between people and plant.  It’s also fitted with NRP’s innovative high-intensity lights which help teams visualise the  ‘5+2 protection zone’ - a five-metre exclusion area in the direction of travel and a two-metre exclusion zone to the side of all plant.