"It was different," Van Zutphen said. "And, it was a challenge. But we got it done on schedule."
Actually, Murray reports the job was done ahead of schedule. "The loading was done in record time, and that allowed the ship to depart one day early," he said.
D.J. Campbell, of S.W. Weeks, said his firm had just taken delivery of a Volvo EC460B LC excavator on demo from Strongco Equipment - Dartmouth when he received a call from Van Zutphen.
"Ted was able to give them most of what they were looking for, but they were short on some of the sizes," Campbell said, noting that his firm provided about 5,000 tons of rock. "This job just happened to come around at the right time, just as we brought in the Volvo."
S.W. Weeks operators used the Volvo EC460B LC, equipped with a bucket, to sort rock in the quarry and to load boulders onto trucks.
"The operators were pretty impressed with the Volvo," Campbell said. "It was the combination of power, fuel economy and operator comfort that they really liked. And, they said it was real smooth."
Campbell added, "It's obvious that Volvo spent a lot of time talking to operators while they were designing that machine."
In the quarries, engineers measured, marked and logged each of the boulders that would be sent to Barbados, a total of 27,000 rocks. "It was quite a feat," Murray said, adding that the rocks were each marked and placed into one of three size categories: 1/2 to 1 ton, 2 to 3 tons, and 3 to 4 tons. Each category was represented by a uniquely colored mark to assist excavator operators who were loading the rock.
According to Murray, the engineers knew precisely what quantity and size of rocks they needed to complete the plans drawn for the Barbados job. "The rocks will be placed according to size in order to best break up the wave action and dissipate the wave's energy," he said.
Both Campbell and Van Zutphen were impressed by the engineers' precise measurements. Said Campbell, "They had it all drawn up and knew exactly what they needed for the job. It was almost like they were putting a puzzle together down in Barbados."
Campbell said he was particularly impressed by the loading operation at the dock.
"There were huge grapples on the ship that were used to pick up these enormous rocks and to load them onto the boat," he said. Because each boulder was marked with its weight, crane operators could easily pick the appropriately weighted rocks in order to balance the load on board the ship.
"Ted and his crew did a great job of filling that order," Murray said.
While the unloading in Barbados was made difficult due to a limited amount of space on the dock, Murray said the ship was emptied successfully by C.O. Williams Construction Ltd., and the armor rock now rests in a large stockpile on the Barbados coast. "You can't miss it," he said, adding that he expects the coastline protection project will take several years to complete.
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