Co-owners Bill Daley (L) and Steve Reppucci.
Imagine the condition of underground pipes buried more than 100 years ago. Now imagine if those pipes were your city's primary drinking water source. You may be concerned. So too were the folks in the town of Scituate, Mass.
Residents in the town of Scituate voted in favor of a $22 million project in November 2013 to replace a 24-mi. portion of the aged pipe system. One of the contractors working on a $3 million portion of the water main replacement project in 2015 was R&D Site Development, a construction company based in Groveland, Mass., with extensive experience working in underground construction projects.
While a relatively young company, co-owners Bill Daley and Steve Reppucci have built a solid reputation for themselves in Massachusetts.
“We started our business by doing small construction sites and small utility projects,” Daley said. “That got bigger and bigger over the years. Now we do tens of thousands of feet a year with water and soil projects.”
According to Daley, the R&D Site Development portion of the 2015 water main project included 30,000 ft. (9,144 m) of water mains, hydrants and services. Work began in May and took approximately 18 weeks to complete, as crews left existing water mains in the ground and R&D Site Development crews laid a new corridor of pipe below the streets.
Limited Room to Work
Like a lot of other cities in the northeast, Scituate's streets are narrow and do not provide much room for two-way traffic and parking, let alone construction projects. The town rerouted traffic while Daley, Reppucci and their crew performed the underground construction tasks. Daley said they started with a 4-ft. (1.2 m) wide trench cut through the asphalt road. A Doosan DX235LCR reduced-tail-swing excavator, bought earlier in 2015 — the first Doosan purchase for the company — was instrumental in efficiently excavating dirt from the trench.
With Reppucci seated inside the excavator cab at the controls, soil was removed from the trench and left next to the spoil pile.
“Steve likes the controls on the Doosan machine, its stability and the Doosan buckets that came with it,” Daley said. “We didn't have to beef them up or anything. They were ready to dig.”
Another area along First Parish Road and Maple Street had mature trees lining both sides of the road. Daley said his crew installed 12-in. (30.5 cm) pipe in the trench with the help of the DX235LCR excavator and various buckets.
The reduced-tail-swing excavator was the ideal machine for the underground project. Daley said his company purchased the excavator because of its size and agility. It is 10 ft. 5 in. (3.2 m) wide, and has a tail overhang of just 3 in. (7.6 cm) over the side.
“Most of our work is in the inner city of Boston and the surrounding areas, so we really need a reduced-tail-swing excavator,” he said. “It is easier for the operator to maneuver and it keeps the machine looking better over time, too.”
Dependability is critical to Daley because he cannot afford downtime in his busy construction schedules.
“We need machines that can dig every day, not break down and not be in the shop for repairs,” he said. “Plus, the finance programs that Doosan offered fit perfectly for what we needed. The machine can dig every day and it's the perfect size for this job.”
Versatility plays a part in the company's purchasing decisions, too. The ability to switch between buckets is important for Daley and Reppucci to best match the digging requirements and not over-dig.
“The less digging, the better for us,” Daley said.
“Earlier in the project, we had two pipe sizes going in the same trench,” Daley said. “We connected the 36-inch trenching bucket to the Doosan excavator and we were able to put in two pipes. Then, we went back to one pipe and we switched to the 24-inch trenching bucket, eventually converting to the 18-inch trenching bucket when we were installing smaller pipe.”
The Doosan hydraulic quick coupler installed on the DX235LCR crawler excavator made it easy for them to switch back and forth between different trenching buckets. Reppucci can quickly change his Doosan buckets without leaving his seat. A quick coupler control box in the excavator's cab makes it simple to activate the quick coupler to lock or unlock the attachment connection mechanism.
Once Reppucci removed the soil from the trench, a worker used an upright compactor to compact the soil. Meanwhile, Reppucci rotated the excavator's house to access and lift a pipe, turned the house back to the trench and placed the 1,000-lb. (453.6 kg) pipe in the open trench. A Bobcat S650 skid-steer loader with a bucket backfilled the trench with the spoil after the pipe was put in place — a perfect complement to the excavator for working in a confined area.
“Every year we make changes to become more productive in our pipeline,” Daley said.
Purchasing a Doosan excavator was another step in the right direction for the company's continued success.
Visit www.DoosanEquipment.com and click on the Crawler Excavators link on the Products tab to learn more about Doosan crawler excavators.