Are you working on a street, highway, bridge, or parking lot project? Choose the preferred choice by contractors and municipalities to seal cracks — the Cimline M-Series. These machines optimize operator safety, maximize fuel economy, minimize emissions, and are significantly quieter, which all make for a better work environment. Within the M-Series, there are three units available: M1 – 150 Gallons of Material Capacity, M2 – 230 Gallons of Material Capacity, and M4 – 410 Gallons of Material Capacity. In this blog, we’ll discuss the start-up and operations of the M-Series machines. 

For visual reference, follow along with Cimline’s M-Series Start-Up and Operations video.


Step 1: Key Switch and Engine Start-Up

All Cimline M-Series Crack Sealing Machines have a digital engine management system with shutdown protection in the case of an alternator, oil pressure, or coolant temperature fault. 

The diesel engine relies on a glow plug in the cylinders to start up when cold. When the key is turned to the first position, the top green light flashes for several seconds and continues to flash as the cylinder glow plugs heat up to operational temperature. When the light turns solid green, the engine can now be started by turning the key to the position momentarily. 

There is also a red auxiliary fault light that is used in the case the material tank burner malfunctions. If this light illuminates, then the tank burner systems need to be checked. 

These lights should remain off during normal operations. If the engine shuts down unexpectedly, this is the first place to check to find out where the fault may have occurred. 


Step 2: Control Panel and Automated Operation

Cimline M-Series Crack Sealing Machines are all about innovation. Ease-of-use has been one of the foundations of innovation. 

To start the engine, turn the automated controller to the run position, wait for the three green indicator lights to illuminate, and then you should be ready to begin the application.

The front control panel is where the automatic machine functions are controlled when running the unit in automatic mode. Before powering the unit up, first, confirm that all sub-control panel switches are in their leftmost position inside the control box. 

The front control panel switch has an off position, a run position that controls the unit automatically, a cleanout position to suck back or evacuate as much of the sealant material from the wand, hose, pump, and internal plumbing of the unit.

After you’ve finished the application at the job site, use the cool-down position that shuts down all systems except the tank agitation. The unit should run in cooldown mode after several minutes allowing the sealant material to agitate inside the tank as the heat transfer oil cools down and more closely matches the application temperature of the sealant material.


Step 3: Manual Sub Control Panel Operation

Controlling a Cimline M-Series Crack Sealing Machine can be done in a fully automated or manually controlled system. 

The digital electronic controllers utilize both internal and external thermocouples to measure sealing material temperature and provide the most consistent control from the tank to the asphalt. 

Should any of these thermocouples fail to report back to the controller, the system will shut down for safety to avoid any damage to the equipment or the material.

When the unit is in manual mode, you now have individual control over all systems on the machine, including, the three electronic temperature controllers, the ability to run the pump in forward, reverse, or turn it off, the ability to control the agitator and run it counterclockwise, clockwise, or turn it off, and also the ability to manage the low flow control when you need more precise control over the material flow (selecting this function starts and stops the material pump and the material flow as you press and release the trigger on the wand).

The top controller is a sealant material temperature controller. The second controller is the heat transfer oil temperature controller. The bottom controller is the heater hose temperature controller. The sealant material controller’s max temperature is 425 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat transfer oil controller’s max temperature is 550 degrees Fahrenheit. The heated hose controller’s max temperature is 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Just below the three electronic control units is an amber light with a “G” symbol above it. When this light is illuminated it indicates that the control unit is telling the generator on the engine to energize and provide power to the heated hose circuit. 

The fuse next to the generator light is a 250 volt, 18 amp, slow blow ceramic bus fuse that protects the heated hose circuit. 

There is also an amber light with an image of the material tank burner above it. When this light is illuminated, it indicates that the control unit is telling the material tank burner to energize and provide heat to the bottom of the material tank and is heating the sealant material.

The fuse box contains 10 and 28 blade fuses to protect the circuitry of the various systems inside the control panel. 

The three green lights illuminate brightly as each of the control systems on the unit become active. The top light indicates that the pump is being told to activate and should be turning. This light activates when the material controller reaches 135 degrees Fahrenheit. The second light indicates that the agitator is being told to activate and should be turning. This light activates when the heat transfer oil controller reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The bottom light indicates that the heated hose is up to operating temperature. This light activates when the heated hose controller reaches 325 degrees Fahrenheit. When these three lights are illuminated, you should prepare the hose and wand for sealant application.  


Step 4: Preparing the Hose and Wand for Application

All Cimline M-Series Crack Sealing Machines use a three-quarter inch inside diameter application hose. The hose can be electrically heated using a floating ground or AC (not DC) electric circuit. The hoses are designed with a minimum reach of 20 feet. 

The standard application wand is made of lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum and is ergonomically designed for operator comfort on long days. 

The standard application tip is a two-and-a-half-inch swivel disc — although there is a variety of application tip options available for order. 

When the control panel is indicating three green lights, the pump and agitator should be visibly operating and hot sealant material will be flowing through the system. 

Cimline M-Series Melter Applicators are built with continuous internal recirculation that runs independently of the application of those. To eliminate temperature variations inside the material tank, normal recirculation flows back into the top of the tank and can be seen when one of the loading doors is open. 

Before moving the application wand into the recirculation port, always check that the digital flow control setting is turned down to zero, the wand trigger is unpinned and off, and that the wand valve is closed to avoid material being released unexpectedly. At this time, it’s okay to unpin and free the hose boom. Then release the wand from any devices securing the hose and wand from their transport position, and move the wand into the recirculation port to heat the tip and the valve at the end of the wand. Caution: Moving the hose before sealant material or the hose is up to temperature could cause internal damage to the hose. It’s best to always wait until you have three green indicator lights before manipulating the hose and the wand — this is especially true in colder weather.

Carefully lift and place the wand securely in the recirculation port. Be mindful of possible hot sealant dripping from the wand tip. Once the wand is secure, pin the trigger on and then reset the digital flow control to nine for maximum flow through the hose and the wand. It will take several minutes for the wand and the valve near the tip of the wand to heat up to operable temperature. If the wand is in the recirculation port, the wand trigger has been properly pinned, and the value on the wand is open, you should be able to visually see material flowing through the wand tip and recirculating back into the material tank. 

When looking into the material tank through an open door, never stand in front of the doors and always stand to the side or to the rear of the loading doors. 

You may also hear some loud popping sounds or sounds of sealant gurgling from the end of the hose and the recirculation port as air is purged from the hose and the wand.


Step 5: Loading Sealant Material 

The Cimline M-Series Crack Sealing Machine has a very safe and easy-to-use 50-inch loading height for proper ergonomics and operator comfort on long days at the worksite. 

The insulated loading door is wide and easy to open from ground level providing a safe and splash-free loading design. The powerful agitation system is reversible, has a full sweep across the bottom of the tank, and an auger on the center shaft to maximize material turnover inside the tank.

When operating a Cimline Crack Sealing Machine, you’re working around hot rubberized asphalt that has been melted to a temperature near 400 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is imperative that all workers wear the proper safety gear when near these types of machines. It all starts with wearing the right clothing for the job — long sleeves and long pants with good sturdy footwear. A good pair of leather gloves with wristlets that go partly up your arms, safety glasses, a hat to protect the top of your head, and a face shield to protect your face and neck. Having this gear on is important during normal operations, but it is critical when loading sealant material into the machine. 

Workers should never load material from the ground level and never climb onto the fenders or on top of the machine when loading sealant material. If the unit you are loading has more than one door, make sure that the operators loading material, alternate opening the doors, have good communication with each other, and never have both doors open when the sealant blocks are falling into the sealant material tank.

When working at the job site, crew members are usually moving quickly and are loading heavy sealant blocks from ground level. It is easy to accidentally drop a block on the ground and get dirt and gravel stuck to the block. Care should be taken to keep foreign debris from entering the tank and potentially clogging the plumbing or damaging the material pump. This debris must be removed before the block gets dropped into the material tank. Sometimes cardboard becomes stuck to the plastic or the block itself, this too should be removed or cut away before the block goes into the tank. The plastic wrapping around the block is normal and can go into the tank. It is part of the mix design from the sealant manufacture that does not need to be removed. 

It is good practice to be continuously loading material while sealant application is going on. A steady process of loading a couple of blocks every few minutes into the pool of molten sealant will ensure that the unit will not run low on material and cause the application process to halt while sealant is melted. If the material tank gets too low, then common sense says, it will take much longer to melt a large batch of cold sealant blocks.


Step 6: The Sealant Application Process

With all systems running properly and your Cimline unit in position, it is time to begin the application of crack sealant onto the asphalt surface. Be sure you have a solid plan to be working in a safe environment and with proper traffic control in place to minimize risk to your work crew and any other people who may come close to the active job site.

For the sealant application process, start by turning the flow control down to zero before moving the wand and hose into or out of the recirculation port. Unpin the wand trigger, make sure the wand trigger is off, and the wand valve is closed to avoid material being released. 

Carefully remove the wand from the recirculation and adjust the digital flow control to the desired flow setting. It is a good practice to begin an application with the flow set between three and five until you have a feel for how much sealant you need on the asphalt’s surface. Walk the hose out to your starting point and set the tip onto the asphalt over the repair area. Open the wand valve and squeeze the trigger to begin the sealant flow through the wand tip. Be careful when beginning application as there may still be some air pockets in the hose that can splatter material at the hose tip. Let the tip rest flat against the asphalt surface and the tip will glide across the asphalt on a cushion of flowing sealant. Follow the crack at a pace that allows the crack to be filled and sealed to level with the road surface. When you’re at the end of the repair area, lift up the trigger, close the valve to reduce dripping sealant outside the repair area, and then move on to the next repair site. 

Avoid walking under the boom too many times and twisting up the hose. A significant kink or too many twisting rotations could cause damage to the hose. 

When you’re done sealing and need to move on further down the road, pause an application to load more material into the tank, or take a break from sealing application, it’s important that you place the wand back into the recirculation port properly and set the sealant flow control to its maximum flow rate. This will allow you to keep hot material circulating through the hose and wand keeping the system up to temperature and be ready for the next application.


Step 7: System Cleanout

Now that you’ve completed the necessary sealant applications and are ready to begin the shutdown process, place the wand back in the recirculation port. Making sure to pin the wand trigger on — failing to do this will not properly suck back material from the inside the hose and wand, so pinning the trigger is important. Set the sealant flow control to its maximum flow rate at nine. This will allow the pump to evacuate material with as little restriction as possible. Turn the switch on the front of the control panel to clean out, and you should observe that the three temperature controllers are now off and the tank burner and hose heater are no longer on. 

A quick look at the pump and you can see that it is running in reverse direction sucking back material through the plumbing and back into the bottom of the tank. You should allow the cleanup process to run for five to ten minutes to properly clear the hose and the plumbing system from as much sealant as possible.

You can now stow the hose and wand back into their transport positions. Again, you should set the flow control to zero. Unpin the wand but leave the wand valve in the open positions when storing the unit. This will make starting up the next job easier. Take care of removing the hose and wand from the recirculation port. Nearly all of the sealants should be evacuated from the system, but you still need to be wary of unexpected hot sealants dripping from the wand tip.

Place the wand in its transport tray, then capture the hose in its transport holder and pin it in place. Secure it with a bungee cord and then you can move to the center of the hose boom across the trailer and drop the boom locking pin down to secure the hose boom for transport. Make sure that the trigger pin is secured and close the recirculation port and you’re ready to go. 


Step 8: Unit Cool Down

The cool down process shuts down all systems except the tank agitation. The unit should run in cool down mode for several minutes allowing the sealant material to agitate inside the tank as the heat transfer oil cools down and more closely matches the application temperature of the sealant material.

Take a look at the large analog temperature gauge on the top of the material tank. This gauge shows the actual temperature of the heat transfer oil. If this gauge reads higher than the normal application, then the system will need to agitate the material until the heat transfer oil temperature comes down significantly. Agitating the material will keep the sealant material closest to the bottom of the tank from overheating and breaking down. Taking the time to properly cool the sealant material in your tank will give that material longer life and better performance at the next job site. 

This is also a good time to reload material into the tank if needed. Taking advantage of the free heat left in the tank and potentially saving some startup the next time you plan on going out. 


Closing Thoughts

There you have it! For more questions about the start-up and operations of the Cimline M-Series Crack Sealing Machines, please reach out to us at Rose Equipment in Lincoln, NE. We are happy to answer any questions and troubleshoot problems with your equipment. Call us at 402-467-5988!


Reference: Cimline, Inc., Cimline M-Series Start-Up and Operations