Winning The War On Wear In The Trenches

August 2009 Vol. 64 No. 8

J. C. Lee Construction & Supply specializes in drainage projects, primarily the installation of cross‐pipes and under‐drains, for the highway‐heavy construction industry.

J. C. Lee Construction & Supply crewmembers used to spend 10 hours welding on the Vermeer T‐655 trenching machine’s (4-feet long by 12.5-inches wide) chain for every 40 hours of application – weekends included.

Then, Joe Pistorius, the company’s equipment manager and trencher operator, discovered Kennametal KenCast pads and bars.

“The same set of KenCast pads we installed in 2003 is still on the job – even after
almost 1,000 hours of some of the most abrasive cutting we’ve encountered in our
history,” says Pistorius. “And, best of all, we strongly feel this set can go another
1,000 hours…with just some routine maintenance involved.”

Kennametal KenCast metallurgically bonds cemented tungsten carbide particles, in various sizes, to air-hardened steel. KenCast combines the steel’s practicality with the carbide’s wear resistance and toughness to create superior weld‐on (by wire or rod) protection against even the most abusive environments. KenCast pads outlast and are easily attached to trencher base plates and other construction equipment versus solid carbide tiles, AR‐type steels, hardfacing materials, and embedded weld overlays.

Pistorius also realized that chain life was exceeding that of the bolt heads so he applied KenCast to deflect material away from the bolts to wear evenly with the plates.

In addition, KenCast pieces keep J.C. Lee’s base plates square and the sides of their tooth‐holders safeguarded. Time savings, though, are just one part of Pistorius’ story.

He estimates that the company saves up to $400 per week on downtime using the KenCast pads (8 KenCast pads on each of the chain’s 34 plates).

J.C. Lee owns a smaller Vermeer T‐455 machine, with an offsetting head, as well. It employs 186 KenCast pads (and Kennametal C20 slim‐profile blocks) for its underdrain tasks.

“And we get the same top‐quality wear performance on it as on our T‐655. These
KenCast bars are always up to the severest challenge. On any machine – on any job,” remarks Pistorius. 724.539.5000, www.kennametal.com