Trocom Takes Komatsu Iron for Dip in Brooklyn Lake

Thu July 15, 2004 - Northeast Edition

Deciding what equipment is ideally suited for a particular application often can be the difference between sinking or swimming on a project. Trocom Construction Corporation, of Maspeth, NY, recently made one of these equipment decisions and, as a result, one of its jobs in Brooklyn went swimmingly.

In early 2003, Trocom began work “in” the lake in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. There, the company was responsible for dredging the lake of sediment, which had accumulated at the bottom over the past century, rendering the shallow lake (5 feet at its deepest) extremely cloudy. Some vegetation, called phragmites, also was removed in an effort to prevent the shoreline from encroaching any further into the lake. Trocom completed the $2-million project, which was done under the auspices of the Environmental Protection Agency and Christian Zimmerman, chief engineer of Prospect Park, of the New York City Parks and Recreation Department, this past May.

To expose the sediment, Trocom worked from the center of the lake by building dams at both ends of it. So that the lake was never completely empty, water was constantly shifted from one end of the lake to the other, depending on which side was being dredged. Consequently, the job site was always one large muck pit in which an operator could step off a machine and sink a few feet into the lakebed.

Before the project began, Luca Toscano, general supervisor of Trocom, recognized the inherent challenges of working in muck, particularly with transporting it out of the lake, and began researching the types of equipment he thought would overcome these potential problems.

“I knew what I was looking for,” said Toscano. “We had used these types of machines [haul trucks] on previous jobs in Europe, so I searched on the Internet and discovered that Komatsu had such a machine available.”

What he found was the Komatsu CD110R-1 tracked dump truck, which would allow him to operate on the lakebed with heavy loads of material in areas where one could not walk.

Toscano called Miles D’Aquila, sales representative of Edward Ehrbar Inc., in Pelham Manor, NY, and it turned out that the company had one of these machines in its inventory. Toscano rented the CD110R-1 right away and put it work in the muck, with only one minor modification – the tailgate was extended so that the muck would not slosh out of the back of the machine.

The sediment removed from the lakebed, which totaled approximately 12,000 yds. (10,973 m), was put in piles to dry before being screened to use elsewhere. According to Toscano, the CD110R-1 performed flawlessly throughout the project.

“We never could have completed this job without the Komatsu,” he said. “The CD110R-1 allowed us to work in the muck without disrupting the clay line beneath it. The machine’s steering setup makes it very maneuverable and we were able to operate in tight places while dumping the loads of sediment at many different angles because of the machine’s 360-degree rotation. And we never once got stuck. We experienced several bad storms during this job, but we never had to stop work because of it. ”

Another advantage to the CD110R-1’s tracked system, said Toscano, is that he could run loads [of material] across the shoreline without doing any damage to it. “We kept the area looking pristine,” he said.

Toscano also was impressed with the machine’s ease of operation and cab design. “Anyone who can run an excavator can run this machine,” he said. “I also appreciated the tremendous visibility from the cab – anything that needed to be seen could easily be recognized.”

During the project, Trocom also used a Komatsu PC130 excavator, which it rented from Cap Equipment in New York. (Edward Ehrbar Inc. supplies Cap with the Komatsu equipment that it has in its rental fleet.)

Prospect Park covers 526 acres in the heart of Brooklyn and was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who also designed Manhattan’s Central Park. The park receives more 6 million visitors each year.

Edward Ehrbar Inc. is the authorized dealer for the full line of Komatsu products in Westchester County, New York City, Long Island and Fairfield County, CT. Ehrbar also represents Ingersoll-Rand, Blaw-Knox, Metso Minerals, NPK Attachments, LaBounty Attachments, Rogers Trailers and other related equipment lines.

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