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A & B Dirt Movers Is Moving the Earth for Interstate 40 With Help from KOBELCO SK260LC

When A&B was awarded the site preparation work for a four-mile stretch of the highway expansion in 2013, it knew exactly what had to be done.

Tue March 25, 2014 - Southeast Edition
CEG


Scott Equipment’s Jones said he had worked extensively with Nabholz’s company during his career, and knew the KOBELCO machine would be ideal for the highway grading work.
Scott Equipment’s Jones said he had worked extensively with Nabholz’s company during his career, and knew the KOBELCO machine would be ideal for the highway grading work.

As the project to expand Interstate 40 in central Arkansas was announced, it was a pretty good bet that some of the grading work for the highway would be handled by A&B Dirt Movers Inc. After all, since 1954, the company had done site preparation, grading and storm drainage work on hundreds of projects throughout the Conway region. This included roads and highways, colleges and universities, airports, retail centers, office complexes and more.

Not coincidentally, in the 60 years since the company was formed, Conway itself grew from roughly 6,000 people to more than 60,000 residents today. This massive growth helped fuel the need to expand the highway between Conway and Little Rock from four to six lanes.

When A&B was awarded the site preparation work for a four-mile stretch of the highway expansion in 2013, Owner Jerry Nabholz knew he was going to need the right hydraulic excavator to get the job done on time and on budget.

Working with Damon Jones, the branch manager for Scott Equipment, A&B acquired a KOBELCO SK260LC, a nearly 30-ton excavator with a 176-horsepower engine (2,100 rpm) and a bucket capacity of up to 1.83 cubic yards.

“I needed this excavator to move the dirt efficiently. This machine has a lot of power – but also great fuel savings, which is important,” Nabholz said. “It’s been getting the job done for us and we plan to use it at some other sites as well.”

A&B Dirt has spent most of the fall of 2013 and early 2014 on site preparation for the Interstate, including grading, storm drainage work and preparing the base. “Basically everything but the asphalt and the pouring of concrete,” Nabholz said.

Scott Equipment’s Jones said he had worked extensively with Nabholz’s company during his career, and knew the KOBELCO machine would be ideal for the highway grading work. “I was glad to recommend the SK260LC to A&B,” Jones said. “There’s so much about this excavator to talk about, and it seems like Jerry’s been really pleased with how it’s performed.”

Jones listed the excavator’s greater performing capacity and its overall cost efficiency as two of the primary drivers of the SK260LC’s appeal. The machine’s HINO engine provides strong fuel efficiency and reduced emissions with no loss of digging proficiency. The SK260LC has a maximum bucket digging force of 38,464 pounds and a maximum arm crowding force of 28,600 pounds.

“KOBELCO is big on selling the three E’s: Enhancement, Economy and Environment – and those all really come through with this machine,” Jones said. “For example, Jerry can save up to two and a half tanks of fuel a week, and depending on the price, that can mean saving $750 dollars a week.”

Nabholz says getting up to $3,000 in monthly fuel savings makes a huge financial impact when bidding on jobs. “It can mean the difference between getting a job and not getting it,” he said. “It also means you might make some money on the job.”

Another benefit Jones discussed was the KOMEX system that allows Nabholz to use the Internet to manage information about the excavator at all times, no matter where the machine is located. “There’s a GPS in the machine that uploads information about the unit online which you can access from your computer. It tells you if anything is wrong with how it’s operating – like if it’s operating hot,” Jones said. “It also helps with security, because it will alarm you if it’s operated or moved where it shouldn’t be.”

Jones also said the excavator has a bigger cab with wide windows and a rear-view camera for safety. “The nine-position seat can really cut down on operator fatigue,” he said.

At the job site, Nabholz said the excavator is on the job from 6:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. “I’ve really liked working with this excavator. It performs well and is really comfortable,” said Nabholz’s son Jesse, who is the primary operator of the company’s SK260LC.

A&B Dirt Movers Inc. was founded in 1954 by Jerry’s father, Alfred Nabholz. Today, the company employs 22 people and owns more than 40 machines while serving the Conway area.

As the family business continues to flourish, Jerry is joined by his three sons Jesse, Zach and Tony. Nabholz says that 90 percent of the company’s projects are within 20 miles of Conway. In addition to the I-40 highway expansion, A&B Dirt is also working on grading and site preparation work at Conway Municipal Airport and the University of Central Arkansas, Hendrix College and Central Baptist College. “We’re looking at a good 2014 and we’re going to put all our KOBELCO excavators to use this year,” Nabholz said. The company also operates the SK210LC and the SK350LC models.

Scott Equipment Company is headquartered in Monroe, Louisiana, and began in 1939 as an agricultural store using mules as trade for farm equipment. From its humble beginnings with one store and 10 employees, the company today has 25 locations in five states.

KOBELCO Construction Machinery USA is dedicated to producing a full range of crawler excavators in the 3,000 lb. to 184,000 lb. classes for the rental, landscape, construction, aggregate, roadbuilding, material handling, site preparation, recycling and ancillary markets, including zero tail swing, standard, long-reach and compact models. KOBELCO is well-known worldwide as excavator perfectionists for its steadfast focus on improving and enhancing its singular line of products. KOBELCO machines are well-regarded for their advanced technologies, including an innovative noise- and dust-reduction system, advanced hydraulic circuitry for reduction of pressure loss and superior fuel efficiency.

For more information on KOBELCO Construction Machinery USA, please visit www.KOBELCO-USA.com.