TGC Development Chomps Through Raleigh Red With Terrain Leveler

Wed September 24, 2008 - Southeast Edition
Eric Olson

Infrastructure work is rolling along for hundreds of high-dollar homes just northwest of Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

TGC Development Inc. has been working at the site, a new section of Brier Creek Country Club, for the last several months. According to Wayne Thompson Jr., president of TGC Development, his firm has been involved in clearing and grading the land, as well as putting in the roads, water and sewer lines and setting up the pads for the home sites. He expects TGC’s work on this part of Brier Creek will be finished by the end of the year.

The site is located near the intersection of Page Road and Globe Road, less than a mile from the airport. In fact, the county line between Durham and Wake counties runs right through the development.

Thompson said that his firm has been preparing between 225 and 250 home sites for construction. Brier Creek is being developed by Toll Brothers Inc. of Horsham, Pa., and features homes priced at $600,000 and up.

Thompson characterizes his work at Brier Creek to be largely trouble free, particularly since he has been using some new equipment that he leased from Vermeer Mid Atlantic.

After explaining what he needed to Brett Boswell, the general manager and director of sales for the Raleigh office of Vermeer Mid Atlantic, Thompson was able to rent a Vermeer T-955 trencher and a TL-1255 Terrain Leveler for his company’s use.

Those two pieces of equipment proved to be very effective for the jobs Thompson had in mind.

“That Terrain Leveler, in particular, has been a big workhorse for us,” Thompson said. “It has ground up about 120,000 to 125,000 yards of Terassic rock and what they call Raleigh Red, a super hardpan. The rock runs anywhere from 14,000 to 18,000 pounds per square inch so there was some pretty hard stuff in there.

“But, that 1255 ate it like a man,” he said. “That Terrain Leveler is definitely worth its weight in gold.”

Even though Thompson only rented the Terrain Leveler from Vermeer Mid Atlantic, he plans to purchase it in the near future.

“That equipment has been perfect for that job, especially when it came to the rock excavation,” said Boswell. “They really are good for site development, especially the 1255, because it allows you to get away from drilling and blasting. That rock is hard enough that you cannot excavate it with a standard excavator.”

In addition, Boswell was impressed at the inventive way that Thompson used the trencher at Brier Creek.

“The 955 was used by Thompson in a very unique way because he was actually going in and pre-digging all his trenches for his water lines and then putting the dirt back in,” he said. “It is pretty normal to use it for trenching in for a water main, but he was going in and cutting all the ditch out and putting the dirt back in so that they could come back at a later time and excavate the dirt in order to place the pipe sections in.”

As this was the first time that Vermeer Mid Atlantic and TGC Development had worked together, Boswell said that he was glad he could accommodate Thompson.

“I just decided that it was time to get a Vermeer in here if we could,” added Thompson. “I wanted a bigger track-mounted machine and it just so happened that Brett popped up. He has been very helpful and very easy to work with.”

In addition to the Vermeer equipment, Thompson and his crew, which at one time numbered close to 75 people on the Brier Creek project, had an extensive fleet on site. That would include about 18 Komatsu PC300 excavators, another half dozen Komatsu WA380 wheel loaders, two Komatsu D39 bulldozers and about 12 John Deere dozers that ranged from the 700 class to the 850 class, according to Thompson.

TGC Development was founded by Thompson 15 years ago and now employs about 90 people. The firm is recognized as one of North Carolina’s best site development contractors. In addition, the firm is noted for its work in soil stabilization and asphalt reclamation. Although Thompson prefers residential work, he said that TGC also does a great deal of commercial and industrial work. CEG