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Contractor Drives Faster With Link-Belt LS-138H

Wed November 01, 2000 - Southeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Alabama Bridge Builders Inc., worked hard to drive approximately 3,200 piles before its deadline, at the new Honda Manufacturing of Alabama vehicle and engine plant in Lincoln, AL, 40 miles east of Birmingham.

Alabama Bridge Builders used a pair of new Link-Belt LS-138H II cranes equipped with Delmag diesel pile hammers to drive the pile to bedrock. A 30-ton (27 t) capacity RTC-8030 Series II rough terrain crane is also on site serving a multitude of support functions, including positioning 60-ft. (18.3 m) “H”-beam piles in place for splicing into already driven piling in order to continue to drive pile to solid bedrock.

“We drove piling six days a week from six in the morning to seven at night. We always had three or four rigs driving ’H’-Beam pile,” said Keith Mims, president, Alabama Bridge Builders Inc. “About the only time they stopped was to allow the welders to splice in another section or to let them make cutoffs.”

After approximately three weeks on the job, Alabama Bridge Builders had driven about 850 pilings, plus a few test piles, “to make sure everything was working as it should,” said a civil engineer for the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT). “One of the reasons for using the new machines to drive piling is that times have changed. In the past when we were using fixed leads, the vibrations from the pile hammer were transmitted through the leads and boom to the crane. Now, using swinging leads, we have reduced that to where we don’t destroy the crane. The longer our cranes last, the more money we can make from them, and that’s why we depend on Link-Belt,” concluded Mims.

The ALDOT is overseeing the preparation of a very large industrial development site. Several inspectors are on the job to monitor and supervise both the pile driving and earth-moving work. The work is being done by EPM Constructors, a joint venture comprised of Alabama Bridge Builders Inc., John Plott Co. Inc., of Tuscaloosa, AL, and Ellard Construction Inc., of Birmingham, AL. Honda is investing $440 million in the facility, which is being designed by BE&K Engineering Co. and Toronto’s Giffels Associates Limited. The construction manager is HHG, a joint venture based in Birmingham of Bill Harbert International Construction Inc., Atlanta-based Hanscomb Inc., and Greenville, SC-based Global Performance, LLC.

Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC will be a 1.7-million sq. ft. facility and is scheduled to begin production in late 2001 with a workforce of about 1,500 workers when the plant reaches maximum capacity of 120,000 engines and 120,000 vehicles a year.

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