RCS Construction Brings Wet Job Site Up to Grade in Fla.

Mon May 11, 2015 - Southeast Edition

The operator of this John Deere 450 excavator digs a lake and loads out a Volvo truck.
The operator of this John Deere 450 excavator digs a lake and loads out a Volvo truck.
The operator of this John Deere 450 excavator digs a lake and loads out a Volvo truck. The operator of a Cat D6N shapes a road using the 3D machine control system. Shannon Fletcher keeps the job rolling for RCS Construction Co. This John Deere 750J is equipped with machine control.

RCS Construction is finishing up the initial development on a 160-acre project for the Viera Corporation in Brevard County. The development will feature homes built around three manmade lakes.

“We are doing the mass grading on the job, which means we are digging the ponds and building the site up to the elevation they want for the building pads and road base,” said Shannon Fletcher, job superintendent of RCS Construction. “We are moving around 590,000 cubic yards. It is a low site and it has been a very wet job through a very wet winter here in Florida. We have had to build up all of the house pads about three feet.”

All of the material to build the house pads and roads is out of the three lakes, which are being dug about 17 ft. (5.1 m) deep. Since it is a balanced site, no material needs to be brought in or hauled out. At the height of the job they were digging all three ponds at one time. They had five Deere excavators on site and were using 35 to 40-ton (31 to 36 t) Volvo and Bell trucks.

According to Fletcher, “The job was set up around the ponds to keep the hauls short. Maximum haul lengths were 1,000 feet.”

RCS Construction had to rim ditch the lakes because the material had so much plastics in it that crews couldn’t put down sock pipe or wellpoints. Fortunately, the company was able to use existing ditches on site left over from when it was an agricultural site to move the water around. The ditches were filled in and brought up to grade at the end of the job.

“On this site we are not doing the utilities although we do storm drain, sewer, water and roads on other jobs,” said Fletcher. “We did set up a 3D machine control system running both Topcon and Trimble on the site.”

This allowed the dozer and grader operators to just drive the machines and the blades adjusted for the pads and roads automatically. They were required to achieve 95 percent compaction on the pads, and 98 percent on roadway. At the peak of construction the company had five Deere backhoes, three Cat dozers, Deere motorgraders plus appropriate trucks and compaction equipment on the site.

According to Fletcher, much of equipment on the job came from Nortrax.

“We have a very good relationship with Nortrax and that is who we get most of our equipment from. They have been very good to deal with on parts and service. They have taken care of us throughout the years.”

RCS Construction Co. Inc. is headquartered in Clermont, Fla.