Volvo Construction Equipment saves time and money at the world's largest rodeo in Texas, USA.
Over two million visitors travelled to Texas for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo this year. The annual show is the third largest fair in North America, with more than 27,000 livestock competitors and horse show entries.
The fair takes place in Reliant Park, a vast complex of buildings and tents with six indoor arenas and a stadium. The venue is usually home to the Houston Texans American football team, but every March the area is taken over by thousands of stalls and pens housing goats, sheep and cattle.
Before the show can begin, the arenas must be prepared for the livestock. The concrete floor has to be covered with a combination of clay and sand for the base and sawdust and wood shavings for the topsoil, to create suitable bedding for the animals. The materials have to be refreshed everyday and cleaned each time a group of livestock moves out of an area.
Volvo Construction Equipment has the hefty task of transporting the materials - more than 8,000 cubic yards in total. ROMCO, Volvo's local dealer, supplied two Volvo A25D articulated haulers, two L25B compact wheel loaders and a G960 motor grader for the job.
Archie Peterson, Sales Representative for ROMCO, has been a member of the show's Equipment Acquisition Committee for 17 years and tells how he persuaded organizers to switch from on-road tandem-axle trucks to Volvo articulated haulers. "The Volvo haulers are much faster than on-road trucks for hauling clay, sand and topsoil," he says. "But show management was hesitant to use them at first, because they thought the tires would tear up the pavement. So I brought a Volvo A25D articulated hauler to the grounds, to show that it would not tear up the pavement - the next day they sent all the on-road trucks home."
The haulers move the sawdust for half a mile from a stockpile to a point near the Reliant Centre at between 30-40 mph "We cut the time spent hauling materials from two weeks to three days," says Peterson.
Like the haulers, the Volvo L25B compact wheel loaders were a hit at the show for their ability to manoeuvre into tight spaces to distribute materials to the pens. "We've got those wheel loaders in use everywhere on the grounds," says Greg Golightly, Managing Director of the Buildings and Grounds Department at the show. "They are so easy to navigate around the arena; everybody wants to use one!"
Alongside the horses and livestock at the show was a carnival, petting zoo, art exhibits, food court and bands which performed every night - among this year's top acts was the Black Eyed Peas and the Jonas Brothers.
The show began in 1932 as a charity event to help the youth of Texas and it has since contributed more than $250 million to educational youth programs in the area.
An army of 20,000 volunteers helped at the show and as a kind gesture ROMCO donated the Volvo equipment, which saved organizers a considerable amount of money.
Photo 1: An A25D Volvo articulated hauler moves dirt into the arena at Reliant Park.
Photo 2: The Volvo L25B was invaluable for moving dirt and sawdust in and out of livestock stalls.
Photo 3: Archie Peterson from ROMCO Equipment Co., and Mike Strittmatter from Volvo Construction Equipment have been members of the Equipment Acquisition Committee for the Houston Rodeo.
Photo 4: The Rodeo begins in the Houston stadium.
Photo 5: A rider demonstrates his Rodeo skills.