Special attachment plate gives Connecticut contractor power, reach and versatility
ANSONIA, Conn. - An efficient Volvo hydraulic quick coupler and a bit of jobsite ingenuity allowed a Connecticut contractor to finish a complicated utility job in a marshy area with a single Volvo EC240BLC excavator that did the job of three pieces of equipment.
And as Complete Construction Co., Inc's Tony Teixeira points out, using just one machine to do the job had a positive impact on the bottom line.
"We were able to do the whole project using just the Volvo excavator," he said. "When you don't have to use three different pieces of equipment and three different operators, that saves you time and - most importantly - money."
The Ansonia-based utility contractor was brought in to replace 600 feet of ductile iron pipe for a sanitary sewer project in nearby Fairfield, a seaside Connecticut town located on the coast of Long Island Sound, north of Long Island, N.Y.
Because the ground conditions in the project area were wet and with a seemingly deep bottom area, the municipal contract called for Complete Construction to drive H-beam piles as deep as 25 feet at 9-foot increments to support and keep the sanitary sewer pipe in place.
Though this was the type of job that typically would have required a crane, Teixeira said he was convinced the firm could get the job done for lower cost and more efficiently with its Volvo EC240BLC excavator.
"It was either that or we would have had to bring a crane in for this job," he said. "We don't have a crane, nor have much use for one, but that Volvo excavator is a tool that we use everyday."
So, Complete Construction technicians went to work and added a special attachment plate that extended the reach of the excavator, allowing the firm to drive the H-beam piles using a vibratory hammer attached to the Volvo S2 hydraulic quick coupler.
The EC240BLC could handle Hbeams at lengths up to 25-feet. However, once the project began, Teixeira said, his crews found that some of the piles had to be driven much deeper. In some cases, piles went down as far as 60 feet before hitting bedrock.
Again, rather than bringing in a crane to handle the longer sections of piling, Teixeira said Complete Construction decided it was more cost and time efficient to drive the 25 foot pilings with the Volvo excavator and then weld extensions.
"It was far less expensive to drive with the Volvo and then weld the 25-foot sections than it would have been for us to bring in a crane," he said.
Once the pilings were driven to refusal on the Fairfield project, they were cut off about a foot above the bottom of the trench. Then, caps were poured to encase the piles and reinforce the concrete support beam base to support the new sanitary line. Teixeira said his firm used custom designed pre-cast concrete beams and cradles, placing them with the 24-ton EC240BLC.