Tramac V55 Takes Down Cliff for WV Road Project

Thu November 07, 2002 - Northeast Edition

Wayne Concrete, of Barboursville, WV, has been hammering hard to remove a 700 ft. (213 m) long, 100 ft. (30 m) high rock cliff along State Route 10 in Logan county.

According to Bud Daniels, president of Wayne Concrete, this has been a problem spot for the past 80 years — at most, the width of the road at this dangerous point is a lane and a half. When the rock cliff is removed, the Department of Transportation will begin widening the road to two full lanes and a “bench” to receive fallen rocks.

While work is being done, the road must remain closed. Because Route 10 provides access to area schools, Wayne Concrete started work as soon as vacation began in June. It had been working 12-hour shifts every day and expected to complete the job early in the new school year in September.

This timing presented a real challenge because work was interrupted between six and eight times each day to clear debris and remove the rubber blasting mats from the CSX railroad tracks that abut the other side of the highway. Daniels said, CSX owns the right of way in this area and its chief concern is moving coal. (Initially, CSX thought that there would be four trains each day but, due to healthy coal sales, trains are more frequent.) When asked how this worked, Daniels said that they were given approximately an hour’s warning before a train came through. Blasting and hammering were stopped, and cleanup began.

Wayne Concrete needed all the power they could muster to complete the project on time. Its original plan called for major blasting, then using hammers to break the resulting rocks into removable pieces. Because of the proximity to the railroad, CSX restricted the use of blasting. After further evaluation and help from Eddie Rowan, of State Equipment in Cross Lanes, WV, and Tramac’s Jim Lafon, it was decided that the most effective approach would be to drill pre-slits and use limited blasting. The major breaking work was done by a powerful V55 on a Daewoo Solar 400, working alongside a V45 on a Komatsu PC300.

While some of the rock was hauled away to waste sites, much of it was stockpiled on CSX property for future use.

Daniels reported that the V55 did its job very well and, that he had no maintenance stoppages. The BRV Automatic Blow Control System was particularly valuable because the hardness of the sandstone cliff varied considerably. The V-Technology automatically adjusts the impact power and striking rate according to the material, preventing damaging shock waves from being transmitted to the boom and excavator.

Wayne Concrete has been a loyal Tramac customers since it purchased its first hydraulic hammer in 1989 — a BRH501. The company liked the fact that it ran on lower flow and lower pressure. In fact, Daniels said the company’s BRH501 has been rebuilt and is still in its fleet. He said it works as well today as the day he bought it.

(This article appears courtesy of “Tramac Breaking News.”)