(L-R): Jamie Lee and David Spence of Southern Pipeline Construction Co., with Glen Gish of Bale Equipment Solutions.
Founded by husband and wife team Eddie and Joyce Blair 40 years ago, Southern Pipeline Construction has built its business on serving water and electric utilities in Louisville, Ky., and the surrounding area.
Over the past 40 years, the company has become a loyal Case Construction Equipment customer; the company’s Case machines range from backhoes, track loaders, and compact excavators, to wheel loaders and large excavators. As a result, Southern Pipeline Construction Company CEO David Spence has developed a strong working relationship with Glen Gish, who has represented the Case line at Louisville’s previous dealer and now works for Bale Equipment Solutions, an authorized Case dealer.
When the company was awarded a job for Louisville Gas & Electric, placing a 20 in. (50.8 cm) steel gas pipe in some of the most difficult terrain it has encountered, it turned to Gish for its equipment needs.
Roughly half of the 2.5 mi. (4 km) stretch they were working was rock that in areas ran 400 ft. (122 m) at depths reaching 6 ft. (1.8 m). Adding to the difficulty of the job was the fact that on one .25 mi. (.40 km) stretch, the pipeline project ran through the rock over a mountainside at a nearly 60 degree grade.
The hillside was so steep workers couldn’t stand on it, according to Spence. Company employees were required to have special clearance to work on the site, which was located approximately 20 mi. (32 km) south of Louisville and ran through potions of Fort Knox, about 5 mi. (8 km) from the gold vault.
To tackle the project, the company harnessed a Case CX225 excavator to a dozer equipped with a winch to lower the excavator as it worked on the pipeline. Under such difficult working conditions the company wanted to be sure that the hydraulic hammer it’d be using would stand up to the task while performing at peak efficiently.
Southern Pipeline Construction already owned a hammer but it would need to be rebuilt to do the job, which would take up valuable time. After discussing the options with Gish, it was decided that it would be quicker to replace the old hammer with a new Gorilla hammer for the price of rebuilding the hammer the company already owned.
Bale Equipment Solutions had recently taken on the Gorilla Hydraulic Hammers line and called in Gorilla Hydraulic Hammers President Bobby Tedesco to analyze the job and make a recommendation. Tedesco quickly arranged to meet with Spence to discuss job requirements. Spence was impressed with the level of service and knowledge provided by Gorilla Hydraulic Hammers and that Tedesco was interested in meeting with him, he said.
The company ended up purchasing a GHB 150 hydraulic hammer for the job. Features of the GHB 150 that appealed to Spence include the unit’s extended piston stroke, which resulted in smoother operation with minimal repercussion on carrier, and the Accumulator, which is designed to reduce irregular pulse pressure on the hydraulic circuit while providing improved striking power.
Spence was impressed with the hammer, saying the GHB 150 hydraulic hammer is very reliable and hard-hitting unit that both the company’s foremen and machine operators agreed is incredibly strong. The hammer held up for the duration of the job, ultimately processing 660 cu. yds. (604 cu m) of rock in a two month period. Spence added that the hammer more than paid for itself on that one job and that Southern Pipeline finished the job on time due to Gorilla Hammers.
Bale Equipment Solutions is a family-owned full line construction equipment dealer. Founded in 2004, the company provides equipment sales, rentals and service with locations in Elizabethtown and Louisville, Ken. In 2011, Bale Equipment Solutions became the exclusive full-line Case Dealer for new construction and heavy equipment sales, rentals, parts, and service in central Kentucky and southern Indiana. The company also is the authorized Gorilla Hydraulic Hammers dealer within its market area, providing sales, service and repairs on Gorilla hammers as well as offering full repair services for other hammer lines.