When Utah-based contractor BHI was awarded low bid on a three-mile stretch of canal essential to the irrigation around the largest city in Uintah County, in the northeastern part of Utah, they knew that extensive excavation and backfill would be on the cards and that it would require the most robust and reliable equipment.
BHI has been tasked by Uintah Water Conservancy District to enclose a 78-in. High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pipe across a vast portion of the Steinaker Service Canal near the city of Vernal. Owing to a water shortage over the past several years, the Uintah Water Conservancy District has been working to improve provision to the surrounding area, with the Steinaker Service Canal Enclosure Project.
The existing channel is being converted into a pressurized pipeline to provide a firm water supply to land in the surrounding Ashley Valley, with the aim to minimize and even eliminate loss of water through seepage and evaporation, maximizing the amount of water available for irrigation purposes. Upon completion, the canal enclosure will be the largest diameter HDPE pipe installation in the United States.
BHI is self-performing the entire scope of the project, which includes site preparations, excavation, pipe installation, back-fill and restoration of the canal. To handle the large-scale earth-moving, BHI needed articulated haulers that would be up to the challenge, day after day, in an intense six-month timeline.
Rokbak dealer Rasmussen Equipment, of Salt Lake City, supplied two RA30s to BHI on a rental-purchase option in September 2022. The haulers were received so positively on site that the purchase was completed before the end of the year.
The RA30s are tasked with transporting rock and rubble to excavate the area in order to install the pipe, later they will support with the subsequent backfill. With the capacity to transport a payload of up to 28 mt (30.9 t), a maximum engine power of 276 kW (370 hp), a heaped capacity of 17.5 cu. meters (22.9 cu. yd.), and a maximum torque of 1880 Nm at 1400 rpm, the Rokbak RA30 can be relied upon to all-weather-operate, transporting loads effectively and efficiently, with optimal traction in difficult terrain and combating steep inclines with ease.
“The RA30 is a top-performing machine,” said BHI operator Reese Shultz, who has already clocked over 2,000 hours alongside colleague Dustin Gardner in the two RA30s since work commenced in September. “It’s fuel efficient, powerful and with features like the tailgate helping to maximize load retainage as well as multiple reverse gears enabling quick cycle times, it’s been designed for productivity. It also has excellent mobility, it’s relatively narrow (10 ft., 6 in. at its maximum width) which is hugely beneficial in confined job site spaces.”
“One of the first things I noticed when I started using the RA30 was that it has proper visibility, from a comfy seat, in a quiet cab and the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system works really well,” explained Gardner. “It’s a real solid ride and it’s comfortable to operate over various ground conditions.”
It’s not hard to see why. Cushioned bump stops on the steering cylinders reduce strain on the operator over an extensive shift and a 45-degree steering angle at either side creates a turning radius of just 27 ft., 9 in. (8,470 mm), resulting in superior maneuverability. There is a spacious, ROPS/FOPS-compliant, pressurized cab. Smoother gear shifting accentuates these levels of comfort, alongside other benefits like faster cycle times, lower fuel consumption and reduced carbon emissions.
Rasmussen Equipment has provided Utah contractors with equipment solutions for moer than 75 years. That wealth of experience combined with the RA30’s capabilities for taking on the toughest tasks and terrain has proven to be an ideal combination.
“It’s always easy to work with BHI because of the professionalism and knowledge throughout the organisation,” said Rasmussen Equipment’s Sales Representative Brandon Dorney, who has worked closely with BHI for many years and facilitates the equipment support provided by Rasmussen Equipment. “We enjoy keeping up with the demands of BHI and coming up with solutions to individual projects. When BHI outlined this particular job with its challenging earthmoving aspects, we knew they needed Rokbak haulers.”
With the Steinaker Service Canal Enclosure Project due to run until April 2023 and a huge amount of groundwork still to be done, BHI expects to put the RA30s through their paces for a good while yet.