A Bobcat T650 compact track loader helps Thompson Construction to backfill materials on construction sites.
When soil conservation funding dried up in early 2000, Thompson Construction — a family-owned business located in Fremont, Neb., just west of Omaha — decided to transition to a different kind of business: civil utility work.
However, to effectively take on this new opportunity, the company needed to add larger construction equipment to its fleet. The choice was Doosan.
“As we made the transition away from soil conservation to civil utility work, it was obvious we needed a tracked machine for repair and mitigation projects, but we also needed a machine that was large and powerful enough to complete the work in an efficient manner,” said Kelly Thompson, president of Thompson Construction. His two brothers, Scott and Steve, along with his sister and brother-in-law, Julie and Mike French, took over their parents' business in 1996. “After meeting with my sales specialist at Bobcat of Omaha, the decision was easy,” he said.
After evaluating its equipment needs, the company decided to lease a Doosan DX225LC-3 crawler excavator equipped with optional two-way auxiliary hydraulics, a quick coupler and a hydraulic clamp.
“The DX225LC-3 was the only machine we considered to lease,” Thompson said. “It had everything we needed —optimal horsepower, durability, operator comfort, productivity and fuel efficiency. The tracks are especially beneficial in our line of work because they can maintain greater contact with the ground, creating a more stable machine.”
Thompson said the company chose to lease rather than buy because it gives them more flexibility on specific jobs and the ability to use the newest equipment to complete civil utility projects that include sewer, sanitary sewer and storm sewer installation, as well as dam construction and substation concrete foundations.
Dependable Equipment Expands Firm's Services
Since leasing the DX225LC-3, with an operating weight of 49,604 lbs. (22,500 kg), Thompson said the machine has improved his crew's productivity and profitability.
“The machine is large and powerful enough to easily excavate outfall channels as well as place riprap and sheet pile,” Thompson said. “Another benefit is that the DX225LC-3 is equipped with a hydraulic clamp, which is used to grab and place sheet pile on top of newly excavated soil. The fact that the DX225LC-3 was available with a hydraulic clamp solidified our decision to go with Doosan.”
Sheet piling is an erosion control technique that takes steel sheet sections with interlocking edges and connects them to create a retention wall.
Additionally, the machine's maximum dig depth at 21.7 ft. (6.6 m) has allowed Thompson's crew to efficiently dig outfall basins to slow down water runoff. The machine also has a lift height of approximately 20 ft. (6 m), making it easy to lay corrugated metal pipes and concrete structures using the integrated lifting point on the quick coupler.
Plus, Thompson said the machine's easy-to-operate joystick controls allow for more precise clamp movements, which is especially beneficial when placing sheet pile and excavating soil.
“We typically are working on three to four jobs at a time, so using a machine equipped with easy-to-use joysticks helps us keep up with the demand,” Thompson said.
Not only has the DX225LC-3 crawler excavator allowed Thompson Construction to continue its success as a family-owned business, but it also has given the company tools to find faster, more versatile solutions to get the job done right.