New Equipment Makes Debut at Highway 74 Site

Fri September 30, 2005 - Southeast Edition
Gwenyth Laird Pernie

An improved piece of iron made its national debut this spring at the U.S. 74 highway project in Robeson County, NC.

According to Terry Moore, of R.W. Moore Equipment Company, headquartered in Raleigh, NC, the John Deere 210 rubber-tired excavator was selected for this project because of the large job site and the machine’s ability to set jersey barriers and pipes and dig trenches.

“The 210 requires less maintenance, is more efficient and compact, and can do more operations than [our previous machines],” Moore said.

The new U.S. 74 four-lane road will be 11.2 mi. long with 8 mi. of new construction and 3.2 mi. on the existing roadway. The $100-million project will involve 6 million cu. yds. (4.5 million cu m) of barrow material from barrow pits, 551,000 tons (500,000 t) of asphalt pavement, nine new bridge structures and two box culverts. The prime contractor on the project is Rea Contracting LLC, a wholly- owned subsidiary of the Lane Construction Company of Meriden, CT.

Bill Moyers is project manager of Rea Contracting, which is handling all the grading, pipe work, erosion control, traffic control —essentially all the site preparation work.

The John Deere 210 was one of many new pieces of equipment purchased, leased to own, or rented by Rea Contracting to handle the extensive excavation work at the I-74 project.

According to Barry Larson, business manager of John Deere, the equipment was supplied by two John Deere dealerships in North Carolina: R.W. Moore Equipment Company in Wilmington, NC, and James River Equipment Company in Charlotte, NC.

R.W. Moore and James River worked cooperatively in supplying the equipment to Rea Contracting.

According to Terry Moore and Jeff Fink of James River, multiple equipment has been used for excavation and bridge construction: John Deere 600C and 800C excavators; John Deere 550H, 700H and 850C and J bulldozers with GPS control; John Deere 544J wheel loaders with coupler buckets and forks to handle pipe or spoil; multiple John Deere 35- and 40-ton articulating trucks; a John Deere 225 excavator used for the bridge work as well as a 210C excavator and Sakai rollers.

In addition, James River supplied three John Deere 9520 tractors, which are currently on extended rental. These tractors are each equipped with two 1810E 24-cu.-yd. (18 cu m) pans for hauling barrow. Also included is a Rome Disk for tilling and loosening soil, a 16-ft. box blade to maintain the haul roads.

“The collaboration between our company and R.W. Moore has been a unique and positive experience for me,” Fink stated. “The lines of communication have been excellent, ensuring that this co-venture was productive for all involved.”

Responsibility for maintenance and service to all the equipment at the job site is handled solely by R.W. Moore.

“Our mobile service units provide on-site periodic maintenance on the machines every 250 hours of operation,” Moore stated. “Equipment parts — such as hoses, oil and air filters — and general parts and all John Deere recommend maintenance supplies are contained in a 40-ft. long on site storage container. Rea Contracting has a key to the storage unit and may sign out parts/supplies as needed.

A field mechanic is on-call for non-routine maintenance problems under warranty.

“While the majority of equipment at the job site is John Deere, we do have some Cat, Hamm, Ingersoll-Rand, and Volvo equipment,” Moyers said. “Cat equipment is leased from Gregory Poole Dealership in Fayetteville, NC, and Volvo equipment is rented from ASC dealership in Charlotte, NC.”

According to Larson one of the more interesting aspects of this job, as far as equipment use, has been the method used to move barrow around the job site.

Two methods are being used — haul trucks and 450-hp wheel tractors with 18-yd. injector pull scrapers behind them.

“The use of scrapers to move materials from the barrow to the job site is a new method for Rea and is proving to be quite cost effective,” Larson stated. “The scraper bowls raise and lower hydraulically, picking up the dirt at an accelerated rate and quickly depositing to the fill area. Wheel tractors move quite fast and are much more mobile than haul trucks.”

According to Moyers, the use of the tractor pans to haul barrow works best and is most cost effective when conditions are dry and for short hauls; however, in wet conditions and long hauls the tractors do not maneuver well and therefore are not as efficient as haul trucks.

“The biggest advantage of the tractors is that they work independently.” Moyers stated. “They would be most effective in dry regions with low water tables where they could be utilized all the time.”

According to Moyers the earthmoving portion of the project, which began in March 2005, should take 24 to 30 months and is 10 to 12 percent complete. The entire project is approximately 15 percent complete. CEG