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Bomag Stabilizers Pass Test at High School Job Site in Texas

Sat November 04, 2000 - West Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Although S & S Utilities and Excavation, located in Grand Prairie, TX, has been in operation for more than 50 years, it’s relatively new to the excavation business.

Two years ago, S & S created an excavation division and hired Shawn Smithey as vice president. As the division grows, an important part of Smithey’s job will be to add new equipment, such as stabilizers, to the S & S fleet.

“We don’t own any stabilizers right now,” Smithey said. “I’d like to own two of them. Currently, we have to rent them with each project, and it’s hard for us to be as competitive as we’d like on large projects since we don’t own them.”

Recently, Smithey has been renting a number of manufacturers’ stabilizer models to get a feel for what they each have to offer before making a purchase decision. “I am attempting to try them all out before I buy,” he said.

On a project that began in mid-March, Smithey rented two Bomag MPH100 stabilizers from Progressive Tractor Corporation in Dallas. “We were working on the new Irving High School Academy site in Irving, Texas.”

North Texas Contracting, located in Keller, TX, was the project’s general contractor.

“During phase one of the project, which is what we were the general contractor for, 160,000 cubic yards of earth was moved,” explained Robert Farrow, North Texas Contracting’s project manager. “We also did infrastructure work- utilities, water, storm, sanitary sewer, telecommunications conduit and site paving. We performed all the work except for the excavation and lime stabilization.

“Our part of the job covered 36,000 square yards. That’s a good size job for us,” Smithey said. “We had to stabilize the existing soil, get the material back on grade and get it ready for graders. We also were responsible for making sure all the density and moisture tests and requirements were taken care of.

“Basically, we cut, filled and rough-graded the site to plus and minus 10. The lime was put out in slurry on site from a batch plant. Then, with the MPH100s, we processed and manipulated the lime into the existing sandy, clay-like material to make it a more suitable sub-grade for paving,” Smithey continued. “We were putting in eight percent lime at a depth of six inches.”

The output the MPH100s were able to produce was impressive to Smithey. “We did 660 tons of lime in three, 10-hour days with two machines,” Smithey said. “Typically, you can expect to put out around 100 to 125 tons of lime per day with two machines, and we did 220 to 250 tons a day. That’s really working. We only had to make two passes — one in some areas — with the MPH100s. In most cases with other stabilizers, we have to make two to three passes. That alone sells the machine.”

Farrow and North Texas Contracting were pleased with the S & S crew’s production. “The timeline was great. He hit it faster than I thought he could,” Farrow said. “The whole stabilization process went very well.”

Smithey also was impressed with the overall design of the MPH100. “It’s very user-friendly. I think the controls are well designed and laid out — better than competitive models,” he said. “Visibility for the operator is superior as well. It’s very important to be able to see where the edge of the mixing teeth are to make sure you’re overlapping.”

The MPH100 features a unique, rear-slung rotor design. Smithey and his crew found this design to be beneficial. “I like the way it’s set up, with the wheels in front and the rotor in the back. I think the maneuverability is better with that design,” Smithey explained.

Of course, cost also was a factor. “Basically, I think you get a lot of machine for the money,” Smithey said. “I used a BOMAG machine at another company I worked for, and I was happy with it. This was the only job we’ve used it on at S & S so far, but it was a large job and we didn’t have any problems.”

“I was very impressed with them,” Smithey concluded. “Anytime you can put out 650 to 700 tons of lime in three days, you’ve got a good machine. Period. It’s a considerable savings over putting out 150 tons a day with two competitive machines. I’ve got another job in about three weeks, and I’m renting the Bomags again.” CEG

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