Tag Archive for 'excavators'

Utah Landfill Shuffles, Gains Space

GPS rover and level/slope measuring system help relocate garbage to gain 2.3 million yards of landfill space

By Jeff Winke

Ask the average person on the street where garbage goes after the garbage truck picks it up and takes it away, and most will likely say, “the dump.” At one time, most communities had a town dump located near the edge of town or just outside. That was where town-folk could toss out anything.

One can imagine Andy and Opie hauling an old chair that Aunt Bee wanted out of the house to the Mayberry town dump. Fortunately, in 1976, eight years after the last episode of The Andy Griffith Show aired, the United States government passed the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. This law put new rules into effect to protect water supplies and control how trash was thrown away. As a result, many dumps were closed or changed to follow the new rules.

There never was an episode showing toxic waste absentmindedly tossed into the Mayberry dump seeping into the ground and causing problems to underground water, streams, rivers, and the local “fishin’ hole.”

Today dumps are illegal, and trash is taken to a landfill. Modern-day landfills are sophisticated operations and are designed to receive garbage and keep the environment safe. A landfill has a liner system at the bottom to catch toxic waste that could pollute groundwater Trash is piled and smashed down to “fill” the landfill space.

Well before the federal law was passed, three forward-thinking cities near Salt Lake City, Utah came together in 1959 and decided to convert a popular dumping spot into a landfill. Slowly other local cities bought

into the project. Currently, the Trans-Jordan Cities Landfill is now owned and governed by seven cities with several other non-owning cities also bringing their Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to the site. The once Mayberry-style community dump is now a technologically advanced, sophisticated landfill serving approximately 500,000 residents, as well as accommodating the commercial waste from the same south half of Salt Lake Valley region.

The Class 1, Subtitle D landfill is managed by Trans-Jordan, South Jordan, Utah. At the site, Trans-Jordan digs down a hundred feet from ground level and fills it up to a point higher than original ground level.

“Our company started with seven full-time employees and has grown to a staff of 39, plus five temps,” stated Jason Turville, operations supervisor at Trans-Jordan Cities Landfill.  “We take in 365,000 tons of MSW a year at the Trans-Jordan Cities Landfill with steady growth as the communities continue to build out and the demand increases.”

Since its start, the company has made conscious, concerted efforts to be a positive corporate neighbor. They offer an active Green Waste program where they accept, grind and mulch trees, brush and associated organic materials, which are converted into compost and chips that is sold to the public at a reasonable price. The compost is a high-quality product that meets the USCC (US Composting Council) certification for compost.

There is also a public convenience center (PCC) for residents to drop their trash on a hard, concrete surface with recycling of many materials including metal, carpet pad, Freon containing appliances, electronics, and second-hand store donations. Another service offered is a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection and processing facility–free to residents and fee-based for small businesses.

The Trans-Jordan Cities Landfill currently accepts 365,000 tons a year of MSW from the 7 member cities which are West Jordan, Sandy, Draper, Riverton, South Jordan City, Murray and Midvale, as well as local commercial contributions.

“The best way to describe our company is ‘we manage airspace,'” Turville said. “Our job is put as much MSW into as little airspace as possible to maximize the life of the landfill space we have available.”

That goal of maximizing space was behind a recent Trans-Jordan project. The landfill has six cells. The company determined that they could gain significant space by relocating 500,000 cubic yards of MSW from a corner of an old cell to the new active cell. The move would literally gain 2.3 million yards of future landfilling space.

“Our current lowest elevation for our operation in Cell 6a has us at an elevation 50 feet lower than the bottom of the old trash placed in the corner,” Turville said. ‘Therefore, by moving it into the active area of the landfill, we gain the 50 feet of depth directly underneath and also from where the natural earthen slope will be removed to maximize the depth and space of the area.”

For the Old Cell 6 Trash Relocation Project, Trans-Jordan used a Cat 349F excavator and two Cat 740B haul trucks. Digging a new cell with an excavator is common practice, but digging trash out of an existing cell is not. The trash had been sitting there for 20-plus years and was very compacted. Trans-Jordan claimed that it actually was harder to pull out than dirt.

Trans-Jordan does not employ GPS machine control on any of its machines; however, they do use a handheld Trimble TSC3 GPS controller for establishing design grades and top of waste (TOW) grades. The Trimble rover is used for site measurement, stakeout, and grade checking operations. The controller, which is paired up with a Trimble R10 LT Receiver uses Utah’s VRS wireless network. In conjunction, all machines use JohnnyBall 3D onboard measuring systems, which is designed to provide operators with real-time level and slope.

“We manually put out stakes to follow, then use JohnnyBall as a tool to accurately maintain a level working area and establish a 4:1 working face on a daily basis,” Turville said. “Our MSW side slopes are 3:1 and with us having many new operators it is a great tool to teach them and show them the exact slope required for the operation.”

Base cups for JohnnyBall have been mounted in seven Trans-Jordan machines–dozers, compactors, an excavator, and a motorgrader–which enables the four JohnnyBalls they currently own to be moved seamlessly from machine to machine as needed.

“The GPS rover gives us the ability to take the site design created in our office and implement it in the field,” Turville said. “JohnnyBall helps our operators to efficiently and accurately build slopes where staking is not reasonable or appropriate–and it keeps the machine operator accountable to me and the other managers. The GPS rover used with JohnnyBall is a powerful combination that has become essential to our success.”

The Old Cell 6 Trash Relocation Project was completed in two phases. The company cut half of the old MSW and relocated it from August 2014 through Sept 2015. Phase 2–the other half–started up in May 2017 and finished October 2018.

The project occurred while continuing to take in 365,000 tons a year of MSW from the seven member cities and commercial traffic. The MSW that was moved was added into the daily processing amount.

For processing the trash daily, Trans-Jordan employs two Cat 836K landfill compactors equipped with JohnnyBall 3D onboard measuring systems to maintain a level top, 3:1 side slope, and a 4:1 working face. The company operates a Cat D5 dozer equipped with a JohnnyBall for dressing-up side slopes and working on finish slopes for liner placement.

“JohnnyBall has become a necessary tool to ensure we maintain 3:1, 2.5:1, and 2:1 slopes in the various locations,” stated Turville. “It is simple, easy to use, and provides real time feedback to the operator, which means a lot to us especially since two-thirds of the crew are green and learning how to achieve the grades we need, while working on their own.”

With the Old Cell 6 Trash Relocation Project completed, Turville reflected: “For years we will be talking and reminiscing about moving ‘old Cell 6,’ how this project helped extend the life of the landfill, and how interesting it was to ‘mine’ old trash and see what did and did not decompose over the 20 years it was sitting. A worthwhile and interesting project, for sure.”

Caterpillar Introduces New and Updated Products and Technology

CASE Announces Fourth-Annual Dire States Equipment Grant

Grant provides $25,000 in free equipment use to one winning community to repair and/or build local infrastructure or other critical systems. 
CASE Construction Equipment has issued the call for entries for the 2019 Dire States Equipment Grant. Submissions can be made at DireStates.com/Grant. The 2019 entry deadline is March 31, 2019, and the winner will be announced in April 2019.
Originally launched in 2016, the Dire States Grant provides one winning community with $25,000 in free equipment use to help offset the costs of building or repairing a critical piece of local infrastructure. Representatives of municipal, county and other local governments are eligible to apply. Entrants will be asked to describe the project and provide a detailed assessment of how that local piece of infrastructure will benefit the community.
Examples of suitable infrastructure projects include: road/bridge repair or construction, utility pipe replacement, erosion control along lakes and rivers, wastewater system improvements, school projects and park/recreational construction. All projects that fall within the 16 core categories of infrastructure, as identified by ASCE in its Infrastructure Report Card, will be considered.
The 2018 winner was Surrey, North Dakota. The community used the grant to significantly transform the city’s rainwater runoff and roadway drainage.
“We wouldn’t have been able to complete this amount of work in 100 years – and this has saved Surrey more than $100,000 in work that otherwise wouldn’t have been done,” said Keith Hegney, public works director, Surrey, North Dakota.
“Surrey represents the ideal Dire States entrant  — a community that was able to show the compounding benefit of infrastructure improvements on other elements of the city’s systems and future growth,” says Michel Marchand, vice president — North America, CASE Construction Equipment. “Entries for this grant have increased exponentially each year, which highlights the continued need for a greater focus on local infrastructure funding and development.”
“While Federal funding is critical to long-term sustainability of the nation’s infrastructure, it’s the network of local projects that most directly impact our daily lives,” says Athena Campos, senior director of marketing, CASE Construction Equipment. “At CASE, we’re working together with our dealers and customers to make a difference in building those local communities.”
All local governments in the United States are eligible to apply. A full list of rules and submission criteria are available at DireStates.com/Grant. For more information on Dire States, visit DireStates.com. For more information on CASE, visit CaseCE.com.

Utility Contractor Offers 7 Lessons in Entrepreneurship to Kick Off the New Year

Utility Contractor Offers 7 Lessons in Entrepreneurship
to Kick Off the New Year

 Going from selling directional drill rigs and underground equipment to running your own utility construction business requires a big leap of faith and a lot more. Scott Kandziora shares what he’s learned since he co-founded Milwaukee-based Underground Specialists in 2000.

1. Grab onto new utility technology 
Kandziora sold for Ditch Witch for five years out of college. Self-contained directional drilling equipment had just begun to transform the boring industry. “I grabbed on to the new technology because it gave me credibility with veteran customers,” says Kandziora. He trained crews on the rigs that he sold and saw a lot of people were not doing it right. He saw an opportunity to make money by doing things the right way.

2. Find a partner
Kandziora convinced Jerry Peterson, a former Ditch Witch principal, to go into business with him. Peterson had the industry contacts in Wisconsin and the funds needed for the start-up. “He really mentored me,” says Kandziora. The two worked together until Peterson retired in 2004 and Kandziora bought his share of the business.

3. Diversify your services
When Underground Specialists first launched, installing fiber optic cable for telephone companies was the primary source of income. By 2002, that market had dried up. “It forced us to go into the sewer and water market, where there was a lot more to learn about drilling,” says Kandziora.

When the government began subsidizing geothermal systems in the late 2000s, Underground Specialists pursued that market. They gradually added electrical and vacuum truck work to the mix.

In the last five years, the company expanded work in electrical, adding additional equipment and crew members to complete parking lot bases. “Diversification helps boost your sales,” he says. “When one market is down, another tends to perform well.”

4. Get utility crews invested in the business
Before Kandziora owned his own company he witnessed a lot of utility construction workers who just didn’t care about their work. “I never wanted to hear that from my employees,” he says. His solution was to create a profit-sharing system that allows employees to reap the benefits that come from working above and beyond on the job to help the company be profitable. “It promotes the attitude I want,” he says. When the company was too small to be able to provide health insurance for employees, he provided additional pay as compensation.

In today’s tight labor market, Kandziora is more inclined to hire less experienced workers and train them. “They don’t come with problems or bad habits learned from other contractors,” says Kandziora. Among his crew are a former landscaper, truck driver, roofer and a machine hand that are now all underground operators. Three supervisors are responsible for training the new hires on the drill rigs.

5. Be self-motivated
“I see a lot of small business owners sitting at home and waiting for the work to come,” says Kandziora. “I don’t think you can do that in this market. You have to be prepared to work long hours.” Kandziora believes it’s important to complete every bidding opportunity. “It’s easy to drop the ball and say, I’ll bid the next one.”

6. Recognize when you need to let go of the reins
Expanding from one crew to two crews in 2017 was a huge step for Kandziora’s business. “As a new business owner, it took me a long time to let go of the reins, to not be on every job site, controlling every aspect of it. It’s very difficult to let go and trust guys to keep the good name that you have been building. I finally realized that if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to sell the company when I wanted to retire,” says Kandziora. Finding and keeping good employees becomes even more important when you grow.

7. Stay up-to-date on the latest products and technology
Kandziora recognizes the importance of staying up-to-date on technology but admits with a growing company, it’s difficult to find time for reading. “Attending ICUEE is my opportunity to catch up on what’s new and what’s out there and it gives the guys a team-building experience,” he says. The entire team is included because each person has their own ideas of what might help on their projects. At the next ICUEE show, he will be paying special attention to vacuum trucks, drill rig electronics, drill rig innovations, and trucks.

“At ICUEE 90 percent of the equipment will directly help us on our sites. The fact that we can get on the machine is a huge benefit. It’s different from any other show we go to.”

Save the date for ICUEE, The Demo Expo for the Construction and Utility Industries, Oct. 1-3, 2019, Louisville, KY. To get the latest information about the show, sign up for show alerts.

EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURERS ENCOURAGED BY US-CHINA COMPROMISE ON TARIFFS

Dennis Slater, AEM President

Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) President Dennis Slater issued the following statement today on the recently announced truce between the United States and China on tariffs:

“We hope this builds momentum towards further reasonable agreements to reduce these taxes on Americans and better promote free trade,” said Dennis Slater, president of AEM. “However, the decision also risks extending rather than ending the ongoing uncertainty supplied by the tariffs, creating an unpredictable business environment threatening many of our industry’s 1.3 million jobs.”
Equipment manufacturing company executives have regularly spoken out in response to the Trump administration’s trade policies throughout 2018. Currently, with tariffs on $250 billion on Chinese goods now in place, the Trump Administration has imposed tariffs on about half of the total amount of goods imported into the U.S. from China last year. However, the agreement between President Trump and China president Xi Jinping does not remove these tariffs but just delays a possible decision to extend and increase tariffs on additional goods imported into the U.S.
The ongoing trade war has hurt the profits of many equipment manufacturers, threatening many of the 1.3 million good-paying jobs the industry supports. The tariffs have also had a negative impact on U.S. farmers and ranchers, at a time when many are struggling due to a multi-year slump in income.
AEM is the North American-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers, with more than 1,000 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related industry sectors worldwide. The equipment manufacturing industry in the United States supports 1.3 million jobs and contributes roughly $159 billion to the economy every year.