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Battling The Elements Year-Round
“When you’re cutting ice, steel temper in the teeth is devoured,” Jinkerson says. “It’s not that the teeth aren’t functional, it’s just that they’re designed to cut rock. We were changing teeth almost every day. But if we didn’t do it, we didn’t get any production.
“The weather conditions were severe and the company was under great pressure to get this project done by deadline.”
Once the scarifier separated the topsoil and the rockwheel tractors opened the trench, the traditional excavators were brought in to complete the final part of the three step process. Meeting their trench requirements, Henkels & McCoy crews installed the 24 inch diameter crude oil pipeline on a 6 inch to 1 foot bed and then ensured it had about four feet of cover. Day in and day out during the summer’s hottest days and the winter’s coldest months they repeated this process over 56 weeks for 155 miles.
“I don’t want to be melodramatic. It’s dirt work,” Jinkerson says. “The ground conditions were frozen; we had to come up with a viable means of cutting the soil and opening up the ditch; and the rockwheel was extraordinarily expeditious in allowing us to do that.”