Twenty-five years ago, Terry Gandee started working as a laborer in the pipeline industry. Through the years, he worked his way up to head superintendent in charge of major construction projects, some of which covered more than 60 miles from set-up to completion at costs up to $69 million.
When his former employer decided to sell the business, Gandee was in a strong position to strike out on his own. The Appalachian basin is one of the richest energy sources in the United States and many of the existing transmission lines need to be updated to be in compliance with the most recent federal regulations. New lines also are required to provide increased capacity for supply stations and storage fields. Combining the potential of the region with his years of experience led Gandee to form Elk River Pipeline LLC, Clendenin, W.Va., in February 2008.
The start-up company employs a number of people who came with Gandee when the company they all worked for was sold. Employees are currently working on 46,000 ft. (14,020 m) of 12-in. (30.4 cm) service gas pipeline in Logan County, W.Va. The project began in August and was to be completed by Oct. 31.
This job, the first major project taken on by the fledgling company, requires working on steep, mountainous terrain. The ground also is very rocky, which has meant the crew has had to do a great deal of winching and chipping of rock. At certain points in the process as many as 45 people were needed on site.
To meet the challenges of the job, Gandee turned to MH Equipment Company, which serves 10 states in the Midwest and northeast regions of the country. On MH Equipment’s recommendation, Gandee leased JCB construction equipment including a Loadall, four JS220 excavators, one JS290 excavator and hydraulic hammers (models HM1760Q).
“The service has been great compared to our previous vendor,” Gandee said. “They are keeping the equipment going. The equipment is extremely durable. I’ve been in the business for 25 years and I’m amazed that there have been no major breakdowns with any of the six pieces of equipment we got from MH Equipment.”
Jeff Gandee, business manager for Elk River Pipeline, agrees. “Elk River Pipeline has been very impressed with the overall quality and performance of the JCB excavator hoes. We have experienced very little downtime on the JCB equipment. MH Equipment has been excellent in providing service when needed to reduce downtime hours. The staff has been very good to work with, especially with our company being a new start-up.”
As the end of the project nears, Jeff Gandee feels good about how it has gone and about the future of Elk River Pipeline. “This job has been a very good challenge for Elk River Pipeline to take on from the start. We look forward to finishing up soon and completing our first project.”