Ferry Point Park Project Gets Big Assist From 'I' in the Sky
Thu May 07, 2020 - Northeast Edition #10 CEG
Ferry Point Park, located in the Bronx, is in the midst of an $11 million, 18-month project to transform an old landfill into a pedestrian walkway, which is also inclusive of a salt-water marsh and parking lot.
Key to the transformation is the collaboration of Pioneer Landscaping & Asphalt Paving Inc., a Long Island, N.Y., paving company, and Komatsu's "i" technology. The technology, which is known as Intelligent Machine Technology has 3D GPS systems integrated into the machines, giving the operator automated dozing from first to last pass and excavators straight to grade digging.
According to Pioneer's Vice President, Kevin Cox, the project is on pace to finish approximately 6 months early.
"A big portion of the progress here is the equipment and the technology that Komatsu has offered us," he said. "The equipment is over-producing what we had expected, and we had high expectations for it. So, we are very happy with what we've seen so far.
"The technology is quite amazing. Moving forward, I think that any new equipment that we purchase is going to have the ‘i' incorporated in it. Whether that be smaller dozers, smaller excavators, or ones similar than what we have here today, because the operators are able to get so much more production with this type of technology. Within forty-five minutes of being in the machine, [operators] became comfortable using the Intelligent Machine Control."
Part of the project includes digging into water to create a salt-water marsh. With Intelligent Machine Control, Pioneer's crews have been able to dig at grade, 6 or 7 feet down into the water.
"We are able to hit the perfect grades, almost in the dark, which is very interesting," Kevin said. "And it saved us money on dewatering as well."
With the technology, comes added peace of mind for Pioneer.
"I know that every day the guys are hitting the right grades and I don't have to worry about getting a surveyor here to survey the property," he said.
Operators will be more comfortable with moving the material, because they are not second-guessing themselves or the stakes on the ground. If you hit a stake you would have to get the surveyor back out, we are able to have trust in the technology here and continue to move quickly and efficiently."
With a large portion of the heavier earthmoving completed, Pioneer will be turning to smaller dozers, with the same "i" technology, to shape some of the hills that are on the site.
"We are looking forward to getting in some smaller machines with the same technology. We have a D51PXi coming in that we are going to do a rental on and hopefully purchase at the end of the rental. Because, like I said, the machinery is just amazing. And, I think moving forward, this is the way of the future."
Fixing Flats on the Path to Progress
According to Kevin Cox, the biggest hurdle Pioneer has faced so far in clearing this historic landfill has been a larger than usual volume of flat tires.
"It seems as though we are replacing a $4,000 tire every other week, but other than that, things have been good."
Beyond the tires, Pioneer has yet to come across anything else unexpected.
"Having the Komatsu PC490LCi-11 on site which is a 110,000-lb. machine has been great and it's no hurdle for anything we encounter on the job.
"They are going to make good use out of an old landfill that has been an eyesore for the community. And, for commuters over these two great bridges each and every day, it's going to be a beautiful site when we are all said and done."
Pioneer Asphalt and Komatsu
Pioneer Landscaping & Asphalt Paving Inc. has been in business for 38 years. While predominantly an asphalt paving contractor, the company has developed into all different aspects of site work and general contracting. The company's founder Kevin's father, Michael Cox, is still heavily involved with the day-to-day operations.
Pioneer has been working with its Komatsu dealer, Ehrbar (now rebranded "Komatsu") for several decades.
"My Dad has had a relationship with Jim Hogan [Komatsu sales representative] for almost 30 years and he's been really great to us. Ehrbar did a great job for us and when Komatsu bought them out it seems like nothing has changed. It's still great. Great relationships, great products, wonderful service," Kevin said.
"Ed DeLaurentis, Komatsu Technical Support Specialist, works with the Intelligent Technology, the Base and Rover. And, he's been onsite helping my guys along the way and getting them started and checking in. He is available by phone if they have any questions. And, he has really done a great job. Everyone likes him and they have been getting along great."
For more information on Pioneer Asphalt, call 631/486-6950 or visit www.pioneerasphalt.com. For more information on Komatsu Intelligent Machine Control, call Ed DeLaurentis, Komatsu Technology Solutions Expert at 845/519-0907 or e-mail: Edmond.Delaurentis@komatsune.com. CEG
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