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Texas Contractor, Komatsu Dozer Rip Through Layers of Tough Austin Chalk

Sat May 06, 2000 - West Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Try moving 670,320 cubic meters (882,000 cu. yds.) of Austin Chalk, and you’ll find it’s not an easy job. C. Watts and Sons Construction Co. Inc., Denton, TX, is in the midst of moving this massive amount of chalk for the North Texas Municipal Water District Landfill, McKinney, TX.

In order to increase the needed capacity of the landfill, Watts had to identify the most environmentally responsible, economical and ratepayer-friendly method. The answer was to dig into the Austin Chalk layer, which is more than 364 meters (1,200 ft.) thick. The chalk is layered beneath a level of dirt and trash and a level of clay. The removal of these two layers is adding an additional 380,000 cubic meters (500,000 cu. yds.) of material to be moved.

Since blasting is not permitted at the landfill, large dozers with rippers seemed to be the logical answer. So, Calvin “Junior” Watts II, vice president of C. Watts and Sons, called on Dallas-based Continental Equipment Company’s (CECo), Ray Campbell, mining systems manager.

Calvin Junior and Campbell decided the answer was a large dozer with that could handle the rough conditions. The 130,941-kilogram (290,980 lb.) Komatsu D575-2 was the answer.

The problem, however, was that since the D575A-2 is a mining application machine, it had never been used in this type of application – and, certainly not as a rental. The specs on this machine won over Calvin Junior and Campbell: two 2.7 meter (9 ft.), almost 1,710-kilogram (3,800 lb.) ripper shanks; a 2.2-meter (6 ft. 9 in.) dig depth; 783 kilowatts (1,050 hp); and 216,000 kilograms (480,000 lbs.) of drawbar pull. The D575A-2 is also configured with the 44-cubic-meter (58 cu. yd.) blade and can accommodate the optional 53 cubic meter (70 cu. yd.) blade as well.

With such strong numbers, the choice seemed easy. Or was it?

Calvin Junior and Ray Campbell had to convince Calvin Senior and CECo’s Gene Bullington that the chose was a win-win economical reality.

When the contractor choice to go with the D575A-2, the results and benefits came quickly. “We’ve already moved about half of the cubic yardage and are comfortably ahead of the contract timetable,” said Calvin Junior.

“The Komatsu D575A-2 machine actually uses less fuel than we anticipated and calculated for,” he added. “So, we could make this a winning contract.”

With the dozer on site and production running smoothly, Calvin Senior and Junior are glad they went with the advice from CECo.

“One secret,” said Calvin Senior, “is doing business with equipment companies like Continental that have experienced reps like Gene Bullington and Ray Campbell, both are veterans of over 30 years in the contracting equipment businesses. They know what a machine can really do; and don’t just rattle off statistics from brochures.”

C. Watts and Sons Construction Co. Inc. has been serving north Texas for many years.

Continental Equipment Company (CECo), is the authorized Komatsu construction, mining and utility equipment distributor for 117 counties of North and West Texas. For more information, contact CECo at 214/371-7777.

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