Recycled Planing on A30
Region: South | Project: Recycled planings on the A30 | Client: Hanson | Duration: Seven weeks
Region: South
Project: Recycled planings on the A30
Client: Hanson
Duration: Seven weeks


Jet Plant’s planing services ensured 4,000 tonnes of recycled planings could be reused on the A30 to keep Cornwall connected.

The Project

The A30 is one of the South East’s busiest major roads, providing a route from Exeter to Penzance, through the county of Cornwall. On a typical day it carries around 26,500 vehicles, although that number rises significantly in the summer and on Bank Holidays, when tourist numbers increase.

With such volumes of traffic, a southbound stretch of the A30 between Alphington and Cutteridge, Exeter was in need of maintenance. Highways contractor Hanson sought a planing services partner that could plane out both the wearing and the binder course, whilst enabling the use of recycled planings in the mix to ensure a cost-efficient, sustainable project. It turned to Jet Plant, combining regional expertise with a nationwide network of specialists.

The Approach

Building on a strong existing relationship, Hanson and Jet Plant’s team in the South West worked together to plan the project with minimum disruption and maximum efficiency.

In total, Jet Plant planed up to 100mm depth of surface over the stretch of the southbound carriageway closure. The aim of the project was to create the best quality planings that could be placed straight back into the mix and recycled on the road with minimal screening needed – but this would only be possible if the planings were a certain size and shape.

Jet Plant undertook significant testing to optimise the milling parameters of their 2.2m planer. The forward planer speed and the speed at which the milling drum rotates, were continually adjusted by the operator in order to produce the best planings for recycling. This testing was completed over a number of nights in collaboration with Hanson on another project on the M4 motorway, before the project team settled on certain parameters to produce the size and shape of materials needed for recycling.

Recycled planings

The Results

Using 2m planers working to the parameters established in testing, Jet Plant completed planing on the A30 in just six weeks – around 25% quicker than originally planned. In total, 4,000 tonnes of planings were taken to a local plant to be recycled and reused back in the mix to resurface the road.


One planer was used during night works when the road remained open to traffic, and two planers during a 24-hour full closure – each with three operators and one banksman. Jet Plant’s fleet was used to initially strip 45mm of wearing material which was sent to Hanson’s quarry for recycling. A second planer would then go deeper to remove the binder surface, which is more coarse and so not suitable for recycling – always working in line with haulage availability to ensure no material was wasted.


This careful method of planing to gather the correct size and shape of material needed for recycling involves slowing the planer down, which was not possible during night closures because it would not allow enough time for resurfacing in time to get the road open again for commuters.


Due the amount of traffic the road sees in the summer months, it was also important that work was completed outside of peak times. Recognising local restrictions, Jet Plant’s South West team worked from October to November, outside of embargos which are in place across the region to minimise disruption for travellers.


We’ve used their smallest planers right up to their largest planers, depending on the nature of the project and every time have been delighted with the results of the works. They’re a fantastic company to work with.

Area Manager

It can sometimes be the case that we approach them with a project and ask for their opinion on what planing and sweeping equipment we need and they always come up with a solution that delivers.

Contracts Manager

I have used Jet Plant for 21 years now since my very first day – all these years later and I have no intention of going elsewhere. Time after time they deliver, all while providing outstanding customer service.

Contracts Manager

As our projects are so varied so are our requirements, yet every single time Jet Plant Hire come through, even with minimal notice, providing an excellent service.

Contracts Director

We find that they are always happy to accommodate whatever our requirements may be, while making the whole process seamless from start to finish.

Commercial Manager

When it comes to Jet Plant Hire, nothing is too much. I have worked with them for over 16 years now and their reputation remains the same; hands on, available and reliable. 

Area Manager

Jet Plant Hire has been one of our core planing equipment providers for over a decade now and, no matter the size and scale of the project, they deliver every single time.

Contracts Manager

I cannot fault Jet Plant Hire, they are excellent and an invaluable partner to us and we’re very grateful for their continued efforts.

Contracts Manager

Excellent service, highly efficient and the highest of quality – all words I associate with Jet Plant Hire. Our experience from day one, back in 2012, has been nothing but fantastic.

Contracts Director

Jet Plant are fantastic – a reliable, easy to deal with, friendly partner that consistently provides us with outstanding customer service. They are without doubt our supplier of choice for planing equipment.

Commercial Manager

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