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IR Equipment Makes Reliable Contracting’s Projects Easier

Tue January 10, 2006 - Northeast Edition
Gini and Dan McKain



The Reliable Contracting Co. crew had their hands full on a typical small “mill-and-fill” county road resurfacing project.

The job initially specified a 1,600-ton street patching including a slight mill and resurface. During the preliminary milling, however, it was discovered that the roadway was significantly more deteriorated than had been anticipated.

After several conferences with the county’s Transportation Department, Century Engineering Inc. and Reliable Contracting’s management, it was determined that a 4 in. depth milling-and filling job was now required, due to the extensive subbase deterioration. Instead of a one-and-a-half in. resurface, Ullman Road, extending approximately two-thirds of a mile from MD Route 648 to Magothy Bridge Road, would now get a total makeover.

This required milling the old asphalt down to a concrete subbase that had formerly served as the primary road surface. The resurfacing entails a 2.5-in. course of base asphalt followed by a surface mix, with a 2 percent crown to allow for proper drainage.

“The full depth resurfacing consists of a course of 19 mm base of HMA followed by a one-and-a-half inch course of 9.5 mm mix. We feel that the life expectancy of asphalt should be between 15 and 18 years. Weather is another adverse roadway impact factor. In Maryland, summertime temperatures can reach and even exceed [temperatures of] 100-degrees Fahrenheit and fall below zero-degrees Fahrenheit in midwinter,” said Wayne Menchey of Century Engineering.

Century had been contracted by Anne Arundel County, MD, to oversee the county’s street resurfacing and reconstruction program.

Century developed and implemented a program to evaluate all the streets in the county’s three districts. This program establishes the priority of resurfacing and/or rebuilding each street. Once the priority is determined, private contractors have an opportunity to bid on the work.

The Reliable Contracting crew began the process of rebuilding the heavily-traveled 38-ft. wide residential street. The crew, using the highly-maneuverable Ingersoll-Rand Blaw-Knox PF-4410 paver, successfully and efficiently navigated around several architectural concrete traffic speed control devices within the project.

An additional challenge was maintaining one lane of traffic through the neighborhood at all times.

Some contractors would have thought the logistics of the project to be too complicated. Reliable Contracting, however, utilized the equipment in a most efficient manner. The huge milling machine and tri-axle dump trucks worked in tandem several hundred yards in front of the asphalt paver. The dump trucks performed double duty: They hauled the millings back to a stockpile in the contractor’s yard, then picked up and delivered a load of new HMA to the paver.

In addition to the new Ingersoll-Rand PF-4410 paver, the equipment spread encompassed several Ingersoll-Rand asphalt compactors including a pair of DD-70HF compactors, a Bobcat skid steer loader, a milling machine followed by a power sweeper, and a small fleet of tri-axle dump trucks.

The new Ingersoll-Rand PF-4410, fitted with its 8 ft. to 13 ft. 2 in. paving width OmniScreed 1A screed, is a track-mounted, midsized paver. It has a 32,850-lb. operating weight and an 8.5-ton (155 cu ft) hopper capacity. The Cummins QSB 5.9-30T, 158-hp Tier 2 engine provides the machine with a 242-fpm paving speed and a travel speed of 8.5 mph.

“We also try to select the right compaction equipment to match the paving issues that our crews face. The state of Maryland has gone to the density specification and we have found it to be in our interest to get the newer, larger, more modern machines to do the work.

“The Ingersoll-Rand rollers, with the high-frequency vibration, are the best to meet our needs. It was for this reason that we chose to use a pair of DD-70HF machines on the Ullman Road job,” said Rob Scrivener, general manager, Asphalt Division, Reliable Contracting Co.

“We evaluated a number of different brands of rollers because almost all asphalt compactor manufacturers today make a version of the high frequency vibratory roller. Since we were already familiar with the reliability, dependability, and compaction capability of Ingersoll-Rand equipment, we chose to stick with them. We especially like their larger wide drum rollers like the DD-110 because they can often help eliminate having to make another pass. That saves time, and in this business, time is money.

“Our maintenance people are also pleased with the commonality of parts when it comes time to overhaul the machines. The rollers have been a very good machine investment for us. They help us achieve density and smoothness, which are pay factors, and they have had a good availability and low downtime record. So far we have seen no reason to change brands,” said Scrivener.

Reliable Contracting Co. is an old line, family-founded, owned, and operated company with headquarters in Millersville, MD. It was established in 1928 by two brothers, Bill and Frank Baldwin, with the purchase of a $200 pre-owned dump truck. With the addition of a few more dump trucks, a bulldozer, and a handful of employees, the company was incorporated in 1942. It is now a full-service heavy contractor with several divisions specializing in turnkey operations.

One of these, the Asphalt Division, is under the leadership and management of Robert K. Scrivener, following in the footsteps of his father, Frank Scrivener. For Reliable Contracting Co., this is not unusual. Today, more than 30 percent of the company’s employees have been with the company for more than 15 years.

“To survive and prosper in this industry, you must be prepared for any eventuality. You must have highly experienced management, skilled manpower, and quality equipment that can cope with the ever-changing on-site job conditions. And that’s a tall order in light of today’s economic conditions,” said Scrivener.

He pointed to the company’s mission statement as being a critical factor in its success. It reads, in part, “To have a positive and significant impact on the construction industry by setting the standards for excellence…”

The fact that Reliable Contracting Co. is fast approaching its 77th year is a good indication that it believes in and practices its mission statement in its everyday operations. A prime example of this ability to cope with ever-changing conditions was shown on the Anne Arundel, MD, street maintenance project where the new Ingersoll-Rand PF-4410 paver was utilized.

The new mid-sized paver is not the first of its genre for Reliable Contracting Co. Currently they own, operate, and maintain more than a dozen Ingersoll-Rand pavers and have owned others through the years.

Equipment Manager Russell Hatfield is Reliable Contracting’s point man when it comes to maintaining the company’s 14 Ingersoll-Rand asphalt pavers, Ingersoll-Rand asphalt and soil compactors, plus approximately 300 other pieces of heavy-construction machinery.

Hatfield said the paver and compactor operators routinely call in any service requirement as noticed. An active file of needed spare parts also is maintained and consolidated into a replacement parts list, which is then ordered prior to the end of the paving season.

During the winter shutdown season, all asphalt pavers are brought in for a complete teardown and overhaul. The asphalt compactors also are completely inspected and overhauled as needed. The pavers and compactors have priority status in this process with other miscellaneous equipment worked in as can be accommodated.

This generally assures maximum availability of the rolling stock during the working season.

“We have our own maintenance facilities and mechanics to sustain, service, and overhaul all our equipment. We heavily depend on our Ingersoll-Rand dealer for its technical expertise. And I can assure you there isn’t a finer, more dependable person than Mike Moses with George Associates. I’m not sure we could do it without him. He has always been there for us when we needed him,” said Scrivener.

(This story appears courtesy of Ingersoll-Rand’s “Operating Strategy Report.”)