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Working On A Level Playing Field
“With the quad track system, you can put it on a bank or slope without having to worry about stability. Plus, it’s not like a rubber tire machine where you have one tire off the ground and that might be your pulling tire,” Jones says. “It lies on the ground with all four tracks, so you’ve got plenty of pull power.”
Although production rates vary by job site due to various ground conditions, the numbers showed on this site how productive crews were with the unit. Using a vibratory plow blade on the machine, Jones says his crews were able to plow an average of 6,000 feet per day. “We ran into problems with the locating service keeping up with us because we were moving so fast,” he says.
Ironically, weather had been on Jones’ side early in the job. He says that region of North Carolina is typically wet in the fall, but due to a drought the previous summer, his crews didn’t have to contend with wet conditions in the ditches and rights of way – at least not until rains hit in late November. “We had a few places that got kind of wet, but with that machine having tracks, it didn’t slow us down,” he says.
A & L Cable Services crews also had an HDD rig stationed at the job site for boring under roads, creeks and other obstacles. Jones says the HDD machine would work out ahead of the RTX1250 installing the conduit under highways and roads, and then the plow would pick up where the HDD rig had left off.
By the first of December, Jones and his crews had completed the $700,000 underground installation portion and the 50 miles of aerial work. They could have completed installation of the underground fiber optics with a rubber tire unit, but Jones says it would have taken them a month or two longer.
“In this area, we’re pretty well known for being one of the bigger and better companies in the utility business, and our reputation speaks for itself,” Jones says. “It has a lot to do with having the right people out there and the right equipment.”
A & L Cable Services: (910) 486-6064
Vermeer Corp.: (888) 837-6337, www.vermeer.com