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Blue Diamond Skid Steer Cold Planer Review

If you are looking for a Blue Diamond brand skid steer cold planer attachment, you've come to the right place. In this article, we are going to review how Blue Diamond's cold planers work and look at some of the features and benefits of different models.

A skid steer cold planer is among the most expensive attachments on the market, making it extra important to ensure you have done your research. After reading this article you will better understand Blue Diamond's Cold Planer Attachments.

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What Is a Cold Planer, And Why Would You Need One?

Starting with the basics, a skid steer cold planer is an attachment used by road construction crews to remove concrete and asphalt.

Concrete and asphalt may need to be removed in order to repair potholes, recycle pavement, mill asphalt surfaces prior to overlay, cut utility trenches and widen shoulders.

A skid steer cold planer accomplishes this by using hydraulic power to turn a drum that holds up to 90 high strength carbide cutting teeth. The cutting teeth contact the concrete or asphalt and perform the cutting.

blue diamond cold planer on caterpillar skid steer

How Do Blue Diamond's Skid Steer Cold Planers Work?

Blue Diamond attachments has several models of cold planer available for skid steers. Although there are several different sizes of each model, we will only break them down into Standard Duty and Severe Duty.

The Severe Duty Cold Planers only come in high flow models, while the standard duty model comes in both high flow and low flow models.

Piston Motors and Planetary Gear Boxes.

Standard Duty High Flow and Severe Duty Models

Blue Diamond's high flow cold planers are designed to provide peak torque and efficiency by using the best components in the industry. It does this with a combination of a Sauer piston motor and a Fairfield planetary hub.

If you've read our brush cutter article, you are already familiar with the benefits of a hydraulic piston motor. But to summarize again, a hydraulic piston motor provides higher torque and hydraulic efficiency than other styles of hydraulic motors. It is referred to as a "Low Speed, High Torque" motor, which is exactly what is needed for milling concrete.

But the torque doesn't end at the piston motor's shaft. To further increase the torque of the cold planers drum, Blue Diamond's cold planers have their piston motors drive a planetary gear box that is bolted to the inside of the drum.

Much like the manual transmission in your car, the planetary gear box keeps the rotational force of the drum in a range that produces the highest torque for the most efficient concrete milling.

Standard Duty Low Flow

Blue Diamond standard duty Low Flow Cold Planer does not use a planetary gearbox, instead the piston motor directly drives the cutting drum. This creates a direct drive system that some customers may prefer.

Low flow skid steer cold planer by Blue Diamond

Cold Planer Drum

The drum on the cold planer is the crucial connection between the hydraulic motor and the cutting teeth.

Both the high flow and low flow standard duty model cold planers have a 5/8" thick drum, while the severe duty cold planer has an impressive 1 1/2" thick drum. The thicker and heavier drum on the severe duty model has less vibration keeping the skid steer operator happier and less fatigued.

To steady the drum within the housing of the cold planer a dead shaft is installed in the back end of the drum which is supported by a bearing assembly.

Cold planer drum lid open showing carbide teeth

Cold Planer Cutting Teeth

All models of the Blue Diamond Cold Planer come standard with carbide teeth. These are considered general purpose teeth and are perfect for milling concrete or asphalt.

The number of teeth on the drum is dependent on the model of cold planer, but range from about 35 to 90.

The teeth on the drum serve multiple functions. First and foremost, they are a consumable tool used for milling, but it's important to note they they also protect the drum and tooth holders from damage while milling.

For this reason, Blue Diamond recommends checking the cutting teeth before each use, and every thirty minutes during operation. The teeth must be checked to ensure they are able to rotate freely within their holders.

To promote free rotation the teeth should be periodically sprayed with a water based asphalt emulsifier to break down asphalt emulsion.

Typically, teeth on the outside of the drum wear out before inner teeth. If a tooth holder is damaged, typically it must be removed from the drum, and a new holder has to be welded on.

removing carbide teeth from cold planer

Side Shift, Depth and Tilt Control

Standard Duty Low Flow Side Shift

Each model of Blue Diamond Cold Planer has a built in system to side shift the planer along its mounting frame. The standard duty low flow model has a few unique differences to the high flow model in how it accomplishes this.

On the low flow models, the side shift feature is hydraulically actuated outside of the skid steer with a diverter valve. Although this system works very well, it does require assistance from outside of the skid steer.

The hydraulic valve sits on the left side of the attachment when viewed from the skid steers operator seat. When hooked up to the skid steer, the hydraulic lines leave the skid steer and enters the diverter valve assembly where the side shift is controlled, before being plumbed back out to the hydraulic motor.

Blue Diamond's low flow cold planer models have a side shift travel of 26".

cold planer side shift demonstration

Standard Duty Low Flow Depth and Tilt Control

The depth and tilt control on the standard duty low flow Blue Diamond Cold Planer is mechanically controlled from outside the skid steer with two different screw jacks. Both the depth and tilt can be measured with decals and indicators installed on the outside of the planer.

Because this is accomplished manually and mechanically, it requires assistance from outside the skid steer, but offers less expensive moving parts.

The total cutting depth available on Blue Diamond's low flow cold planers is up to 5", while it can tilt up to 15 degrees in either direction.

Standard Duty High Flow and Severe Duty Models Side Shift, Depth and Tilt

On Blue Diamond Attachment's standard duty high flow and severe duty cold planers the side shift, depth and tilt is electrically activated and hydraulically operated. This means that the side shift, depth and tilt is controlled by the skid steer operator rather than an outside assistant.

It's important to note that on a 3 hydraulic line cold planer side shift, depth and tilt must be actuated with the high flow circuit engaged, while on a 5 hydraulic line cold planer, side shift, depth and tilt must be actuated with the low flow circuit engaged.

High flow cold planer on a Takeuchi

Blue Diamond Cold Planer Maintenance

Ease of maintenance is an important consideration when choosing a skid steer cold planer. Cutting teeth need to be inspected regularly, as their function is important to ensuring the drum and teeth holders remain undamaged.

Because of this, Blue Diamond has created a system that ensures easy access for tooth replacement. All Blue Diamond Cold Planers come with a hatch on top of the drum that swings open to gain access to the cutting teeth. This eliminates the need to access the cold planer from underneath the attachment.

Blue Diamond sends all of its cold planers with a fork tool to remove and install cutting teeth as necessary, further simplifying maintenance.

Always refer directly to the manufacturers recommendations for how and when to complete maintenance on a skid steer cold planer. However, to summarize a few regular maintenance notes for Blue Diamond's cold planers:

  • Inspect the cutting drum every 30 minutes of operation. Never operate with damaged cutting teeth.

  • Spray the cutting teeth daily with a water based asphalt emulsifier to promote free rotation.

  • Spray side shift bars with a graphite lube every week. Do not apply grease to side shift bars as it will collect milling dust.

  • Spray the left and right depth skids with graphite lube where they are retained once per week.

  • Grease the dead shaft bearing grease zerk daily or every 8 hours of operation.

  • Depth cylinders have grease zerks on each end, grease them every 40 hours of operation.

  • Planetary gearbox oil should be changed at 100 hours, and then every 250 hours after the initial change.

Customer Video Of A Blue Diamond High Flow Cold Planer

Quick Summary Of Blue Diamond Cold Planers

Standard Duty Low Flow Cold Planer

Standard Duty Low Flow Cold Planer by Blue Diamond

Blue Diamond opened up the cold planer market to countless more customers when they developed a cold planer that would work with low flow skid steers. The features of the low flow models include:

  • Hydraulic side shift, operated from outside the skid steer.

  • Manual tilt and depth control operated mechanically from outside the skid steer.

  • Up to 5" cutting depth.

  • 12" or 16" wide cutting width with up to 38 cutting teeth.

  • +/- 15 degrees of tilt with 26" of side shift travel.

  • 5/8" Thick drum tube

  • Direct drive Sauer hydraulic piston motor.

Standard Duty High Flow Cold Planer

Standard Duty High Flow Cold Planer by Blue Diamond

Standard Duty High Flow Cold Planer

  • Electronically operated side shift, controlled from inside the skid steer.

  • Electronically operated depth and tilt controls, operated from inside the skid steer.

  • Up to 6" cutting depth.

  • 16" to 48" wide cutting width with up to 90 cutting teeth.

  • 5/8" thick drum tube.

  • Hydraulic Sauer piston motor and Fairfield planetary hub.

Severe Duty High Flow Cold Planer

Severe Duty High Flow Cold Planer by Blue Diamond

Severe Duty High Flow Cold Planer

  • Electronically operated side shift control, controlled from inside the skid steer.

  • Electronically operated depth and tilt controls operated from inside the skid steer.

  • Up to 8" cutting depth

  • 18" to 48" wide cutting width

  • 1 1/2" thick drum has less vibration.

  • Hydraulic Sauer piston motor and Fairfield planetary hub.

Written by Cohen Meyer
Cohen Meyer is a product researcher and content contributor for Skid Steers Direct. Cohen has spent over 12,000 hours operating skid steers, telehandlers, excavators and tractors. He is a former business owner, certified welder and a self proclaimed tech geek.

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