Using Volvo excavator in place of self-propelled scraper leads to record material-moving totals for site contractor in Reno, Nevada
RENO, Nev. - In a state known for its legal gambling, someone taking a chance in Nevada is nothing new.
So, few were surprised when Reno-based H.M. Byars Construction Co. decided to move away from its historical use of self-propelled scrapers for mass-excavation work and give its Volvo EC460BLC a chance to do the same job.
What was surprising to some was the payoff.
In excavation terms, the results were like being dealt a two-card 21 in blackjack. It has paid off big time.
"We're setting company records in the cubic yards of material that we are able to move on a daily basis," said Byars equipment manager Doug Jones.
How much? Jones estimates that Byars is moving between 10- and 15- percent more material with the Volvo EC460BLC than the firm was able to handle with its fleet of box scrapers.
"This is the modern way of doing excavation," he said. "It was hard for us at first to change, but it's clear that this is the way to go."
Byars is presently preparing building sites on a large tract of rocky ground in the foothills north of Reno, on the edge of the Tahoe National Forest. Jones said that this material - which he calls "a really rocky outcrop" - had been hard on the cutting edges of the box scrapers.
" We were always having to shut the scrapers down to change cutting blades," he said. "The tires on the scrapers were always spinning and were wearing out, as well."
H.M. Byars Construction was founded in the early 60s by Marv Byars and now has grown to 85 employees. Since its inception, Byars had relied upon a team of dozers and box scrapers to perform mass excavation in Reno.
Like many site contractors, Jones said Byars has discovered that an efficient combination of powerful excavators and articulated haulers is a more practical and profitable method of moving material than the scraper process.
"That's especially true now that Reno's valley region is just about fully developed, and we're going up into the hills," Jones said. "The excavators and articulated trucks are much better suited for that terrain."
In particular, Jones said Volvo's 47.1-ton EC460BLC is the right machine for the job.
"It's weighted right and is very well balanced, which makes it stable when loading the artics," he said. "And the Volvo is so smooth that our operators tell us it is almost effortless."
Volvo's hydraulic system is designed to respond to the slightest operator command. Boom, arm and slew priority system, boom and arm flow regeneration, and two variable axial displacement piston pumps enhance hydraulic performance, resulting in high slew torque, powerful digging forces and fast digging and slew speeds in all Bseries models. That means faster cycle times and more efficient operation across the board.