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Issue 7

2020

MAGAZINE

CHAMBERLAIN BACKHOE SERVICE FOCUSES ON COMPACT OPERATED EQUIPMENT RENTAL SERVICES ON HOURLY OR CONTRACT RATES


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Compact

CONTENTS

equipment Issue

Feature Articles 06

CHAMBERLAIN BACKHOE SERVICE

14

BUILT ROBOTICS

20

WHEELED EXCAVATORS VS. BACKHOES:

Focuses on Compact Operated Equipment Rental Services on Hourly or Contract Rates 12

Brings Fully Autonomous Construction Equipment Operations to Worldwide Earthmoving Industry

4 Factors To Consider

24

24

ROCKEY MURATA LANDSCAPING

Adds New Case CX26C Mini Excavator to Enhance Area Drainage Trenching and General Excavation Duties

28

INDUSTRY NEWS

30

ADVERTISER INDEX

28

CalContractor Magazine / www.calcontractor.com PUBLISHER: Kerry Hoover khoover@calcontractor.com

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Brian Hoover, CMS, LLC Ian Hoover, CalContractor Magazine John Comrie, Volvo CE.

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CalContractor is published twelve times each year by Construction Marketing Services, LLC. Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. P.O. Box 892977, Temecula, CA 92589 / Phone: 909-772-3121

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CHAMBERLAIN BACKHOE SERVICE Focuses on Compact Operated Equipment Rental Services on Hourly or Contract Rates By Brian Hoover, Senior Editor

C

hamberlain Backhoe Service (CBS) has made their name and reputation in Southern California by providing hourly operated equipment rentals to a long list of subcontractors like plumbers, electricians and concrete and demolition contractors. But did you know that they also 6

offer turn-key contract construction services? For around two years now, CBS has been focusing on providing contract work that encompasses much more than just an operator and a machine. Nick Long is the director of operations for CBS, and he further explains the company’s offerings. “When we are not working by the

COMPAC T EQU I P MENT / 2 0 2 0

Above: Equipment operator, Buddy Varley, backfilling for a drainage system in Diamond Bar.


Right: Buddy Varley utilizing the versatility of his JD 30G compact excavator while working in tight spaces. Below: Jose Valencia on a John Deere 317G compact track loader, feeding base for the mini excavator.

hour, we give a set price with our foreman and laborers running the entire scope of the project,” says Nick. “Skilled labor is hard to come by, and we offer a solution that can replace a client’s entire underground crew. This allows the electrical contractor to focus on installing the wire and conduit or the plumber to keep his men in the trenches laying the pipe.” Nick explains that this particular solution does two things for their clients. It takes the risk of renting by the hour off the table and removes the stress of finding the other individual contractors and services. “In addition to the excavation and backfill, we can also do saw cutting, demolition, and even trucking services. We can do it all in one bid package that will make the entire process much easier and more profitable for certain clients. We started our contract division in 2018 with our dedicated contract division manager, Joe Rudolph, and business has grown fivefold since that time.” CALCON TRAC TOR .CO M

According to CBS owner and CEO, Tony Long, the company’s primary focus remains on the hourly operated equipment. “There are not many companies like ours that have 10-plus operators and consistently perform 18 to 20 jobs per day. We have our operators and another 30 or so available each day through our

broker service,” says Tony. “If a customer calls by noon, we can usually guarantee an operator and a machine the next day. That is very uncommon in this business, and it is all due to our relationships and wealth of quality resources.” Chamberlain Backhoe Service (CBS) originally made their mark back in 1957 when backhoes were

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Right: Jordan Long using a John Deere 30G compact excavator in between two buildings on a turnkey job in Arcadia. Below: 30 year tenured operator with CBS, Jeff Graham, digging for a plumbing contractor in Rancho Cucamonga.

king. According to Tony Long, they utilize their fleet of backhoes every day on production jobs located primarily throughout Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties. “Backhoes are the Swiss Army knife of construction with the front loader to push and load dirt and the excavator arm to dig and backfill trenches quickly,” continues Tony. “However, it is our compact equipment that is growing in use and popularity by the day. Even though our mini excavators and track skid steers are smaller in stature, they

are often more versatile in and around California’s tight job site conditions. A backhoe is going to out dig a mini excavator every day of the week. Still, the combination of a mini-ex and a skid steer is invaluable in many situations. All are equally important, and we maintain a consistent balance of usage.”

Located in Placentia, CA, CBS has a variety of equipment available, including backhoes, compact excavators, rubbertired and track skid steers, 10 wheel and bobtail dump trucks. They also offer a wide range of buckets and attachments such as augers, breakers, forks and { Continued on page 10 }


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Right: Ken Stotlzner using the precision of the John Deere compact excavator to dig around and expose large heating and cooling lines. Below: Jordan Long digging footings with a John Deere 60G, the largest compact excavator in the CBS fleet.

wheel compactors. Their entire fleet is made up of John Deere machines from Coastline Equipment, except for one backhoe. “We just purchased a new John Deere 310SL backhoe from Coastline and added a new Deere 317G compact track loader in 2019,” says Nick. “Coastline has always been there for us and we have a great repour with everyone, from our sales representatives, Sean James, and Matt Windsor, to everyone in the parts and service departments.” Nick says that they have had numerous conversations with dozens of operators that tell them precisely what the issues

are with each machine. “John Deere has an outstanding track record for durability, reliability and productivity,” continues Nick. “Their beautiful, new headquarters in Long Beach is located close by for our parts and maintenance needs. Coastline is also there for us when we need to rent that larger excavator or wheel loader for one of our contract jobs.” As a non-union contractor, CBS works in both the private and public works sectors. “We are slammed right now with prevailing wage work. Schools are shut down, and they are getting as much done as possible during this COVID-19 situation,” says Tony. “There is a lot that goes into this type of work, and not everyone can do it. There are { Continued on page 12 } 10

COMPAC T EQU I P MENT / 2 0 2 0

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Left: Buddy Varley digging for a grease interceptor down in Costa Mesa. Below Left: The newest dump truck in the fleet, which will be used to haul a skid steer/mini ex combo. Below Right: Jordan Long digging electrical trenches for a long time client on a turnkey project in Riverside.

{ Continued from page 10 }

a ton of compliance documents involved. Our full-service staff can easily fulfill everything from dispatching and billing to every inch of red tape that is inevitably involved with this type of work.” Both Tony and Nick Long agree that although our country is going through unprecedented times right now, their company is the busiest it has ever been. “July will wrap up our most productive three-month period in the history of our company. We just keep breaking sales records, even with some jobs being suspended or delayed,” says Nick.  CBS also started a new repair and maintenance company lately in response to an industry desire to have faster and more efficient 12

essential construction equipment services. “We started Long and Sons Equipment Services because we noted that many contractors have a hard time getting their compact equipment worked on quickly and properly. My brother, Tyler, is spearheading this new company, and we have been swamped these past three or four months. That tells us that we are on to something,” says Nick. “We are not trying to replace the dealer or take on complicated warranty work, but just offer another option for those quick, generic repair or maintenance situations.” Tony Long had owned and operated a landscape construction company before purchasing Chamberlain Backhoe

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Service from Hank Swickard in 1988. Long then purchased American Backhoe in 2011 and still operates under that name. Every family member is involved with the business, with Tony’s wife, Wendy Long, serving as the company president. Tony is the company CEO. Tyler serves as the fleet manager, with Jordan giving his all as one of the equipment operators and Nick taking on the duty of the director of operations. It is all in the family, and I don’t think Tony Long would have it any other way. For more information on Chamberlain Backhoe Service or any of the affiliate companies, please visit www.chamberlainbackhoe.com or call their Placentia headquarters at (714) 579-8670. Cc C A LCO N T R AC TO R .CO M


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By Brian Hoover, Senior Editor

T

he foundation of nearly every construction project begins with earthmoving, a multi-billion-dollar worldwide market that is expanding at a furious pace. Mass excavation and grading contractors move hundreds of millions of cubic yards of dirt every year in California. With an average of 80,000 new homes being built in California each year, much of that earth is being moved to build house pads. All of this grading and excavating cannot be accomplished without the use of modern hydraulic-driven pieces of construction equipment. These machines require experienced, trained individuals to operate them out in the field. GPS tracking devices were first introduced in the mid-90s with guidance systems and 3D grade control technology coming of age a few years later. Machine telematics represented the next wave of machine technology to hit the market in around 2013, providing contractors with the ability to track the security, performance, and overall health of their equipment out in the field. But what about the autonomous operations of construction equipment? Unmanned construction machinery robots; when will they become available? Autonomous vehicles (AV) date back well beyond recent efforts by present-day companies like 14

Google and Uber. The 1939 New York World’s Fair featured a “Futurama” exhibit that displayed General Motors’ vision of an automated highway system dominated by self-driving cars. Fast forward to 2020 and although not overly prolific, automated cars and trucks have made their way to the highways, roads, and streets of America and beyond. Although the self-driving industry has not come close to their prediction of 10-million units by 2020, it has made tremendous strides in both the automobile and trucking industries. Where autonomy is available for one machine, in theory, it can exist for all machines. The construction industry has faced a skilled labor shortage ever since the surge in housing started in

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the 80s. This problem persisted through the 90s and continues to be an issue. With baby boomers retiring and the increased unavailability of skilled heavy equipment operators, many projects have been delayed as supply struggles to keep up with demand. Built Robotics Hits the Scene   Built Robotics is the first and only commercial construction robotics company currently providing the general civil engineering market with construction machinery robots. Simply put, a robot is a machine designed to execute one or more tasks automatically with speed and precision per instruction programmed in advance. Built C A LCO N T R AC TO R .CO M


Right: A CTL is outfitted with a Built Robotics AI Guidance System on the top of its cab. The system allows the equipment to run fully autonomously. Bottom: Different attachments can be added to existing skid steers or CTLS to increase the variety of work that can be performed autonomously.

Robotics began their journey in 2016 when they started upgrading off-the-shelf heavy equipment with AI guidance systems, enabling them to operate fully autonomously. The company’s vision has been to enable equipment operators to oversee a fleet of smart vehicles that work autonomously in parallel and alongside existing work. The initial stage of operations is now complete, and they are up and running with fully operational rental machines and retrofit kits for any size of machine or configuration. The primary focus and initial benefit of these Built

Robotics robots are on grading and earthmoving projects. The most impressive results come from the more mundane and repetitive projects like trench digging, excavation, grading pads, mass grading and backfill operations. Built Robotics is the brainchild of Noah Ready-Campbell, a young entrepreneur with a fantastic eye for turning future concepts and dreams into a reality. Noah launched his new venture, Built Robotics, in 2016, after selling his most recent startup to eBay in 2015. His father was a carpenter and a contractor, and Noah

worked for him, renovating houses, over summer break, and on weekends during high school. He then went on to work for Google after college. This experience gave Noah a taste for both construction and technology. So after selling his online secondhand clothing marketplace business to eBay, he decided to move those resources into another startup. He was interested in what could be done differently in construction to accelerate a construction firm’s ability to build upon and improve their environment.

Top 3 Pictures: Precision sawcutting and demolishing of 3 levels of existing parking garage structure for the installation of the Tower Crane for new construction. Bottom Picture: Excavation of Mat foundation 10’ deep at the bottom level of the existing parking garage. 3,000 CY of soil was trucked out from the bottom to street level.


Right: (Left to Right) VP of Strategy, Operations & Finance, Gaurav Kikani; Founder & CEO, Noah Ready-Campbell; Co-Founder & Lead Robotics Engineer, Andrew Liang. Bottom: A dozer upgraded with Built’s technology is working with Independent Construction to finish grade on hundreds of pads within a master-plan residential community in the Bay Area.

Noah had the idea to apply the advances in industry, manufacturing and already successful consumer technology like autonomous vehicles, into construction robotics. He had a sit-down with his father, who immediately suggested that he learn to operate a construction machine before automating any piece of equipment. Noah took his dad’s advice and rented a John Deere 135G excavator, and with the help and guidance from the rental associate, he dug a pond for his mother in his parent’s backyard. Not long after this time, Noah met Andrew Liang, his co-

16

founder, and six months later, they had their prototype up and running. The company has raised more than $48 million from venture capitalists and other private investors and is now operating its commercial venture internationally. Built Robotics can equip any brand, make or model of construction equipment, with an AI Guidance System or kit that straps to the top of any excavator, dozer, backhoe, skid steer loader or other construction machines. Their infrastructure utilizes technology like lidar, IMU (inertial measurement unit),

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GPS (Global Positioning System) and Wi-Fi. This technology and software are connected to the machine’s hydraulic operating system to transform it into an earthmoving robot. Built Robotics sells the conversion boxes to construction firms and assists them with installation and training. A usage fee is charged whenever the machines are in autonomous mode. The user also pays a monthly fee for access to the software that covers all updates and the installation. Although some of the basic concepts { Continued on page 16 }

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and sensors are shared, their technology stack and architecture are all custom engineered. Built Robotics currently has over $100 million in committed business with leading construction firms across the nation and worldwide. Their robots have been deployed to build critical infrastructures such as wind farms, gas pipelines and new housing developments. California earthmoving contractor, Independent Construction Co. (Independent) worked with Built Robotics in 2017 and 2018 to complete finish grade work on residential building pads. Eric McCosker, project manager for Independent, worked alongside Noah and his Built Robotics crew on both projects. “We partnered with Built Robotics on two projects,” says McCosker. “We started on a pilot project in 2017

with an automated skid steer loader and used their services again in 2018 with fully automated track dozers.” McCosker says that Independent Construction was performing the rough grading on the housing project in 2018, and Built Robotics would follow behind with the robots to finish grade the lots. “This is very promising technology that allowed us to see what could ultimately be accomplished on a much larger scale. We specifically noted the benefits of using this technology on straightforward design projects where there are plenty of repetitive tasks,” continues McCosker. “It is another tool that can make us more productive and safer in certain conditions. You have a square point shovel and a spade shovel. They are both shovels but are used for different things.” McCosker points to the potential with these robots being used on

projects at night, where there are fewer regulations and city ordinances. “We were able to negotiate some variances and use the robots at night, which is a great use of this technology. We also deal with working conditions from time to time where using Built Robotics technology makes more sense where safety is concerned,” says McCosker. “We spent a lot of time with Noah and his team, discussing our experience and ways that the technology could further benefit a mass grading and excavation company like ours. They were very receptive to our assessments, and we look forward to watching their growth and success, as well as working with them in the future.”   Built Robotics is not about replacing operators, but only enhancing their abilities toward higher productivity. Erol Ahmed is the director of communications

An autonomous excavator is helping to dig wind tower foundations for Mortenson in the Great Plains. Each turbine is about 10 feet in depth and 62 feet in diameter.


Above: An excavator outfitted with Built’s technology is trenching to prepare for installing gas pipeline in Queensland, Australia, in partnership with MPC Kinetic. Right: Robotic Equipment Operators work at a nearby trailer at a job site monitoring progress by the autonomous heavy equipment.

for Built Robotics, and he further explains the benefits of using Built Robotics out on the job site. “Using our robots on a job site allows the skilled operator to move on to more critical, highlevel tasks that better utilize their talents,” says Ahmed. “If a contractor has a lot of dirt to move in the early stages of a project, our robots can expedite that process by working in controlled, 24-hour cycles. This means performing more projects annually and saving money on working hours.” Ahmed says that the efficiency and potential of robots in excavation and earthmoving has a lot of original equipment manufacturer’s CALCON TRAC TOR .CO M

thinking more seriously about this technology. “The sky is the limit for robots in construction, and Built Robotics is answering the call for this technology internationally. Europe, Asia, and the Middle East have a huge appetite for this technology, and our goal is to have kits available that end-users can install on their own,” continues Ahmed. “We are also on track to expand to other markets and more difficult tasks that will allow our robots to help build a new era in construction.” Built Robotics collaborates and works with the International Union Operating Engineers (IUOE) in a multi-year strategic partnership

agreement. This training program will prepare more than 400,000 IUOE members to oversee and manage robotic equipment and work alongside autonomously operating vehicles. Built Robotics provides its guidance systems to the IUOE’s International Training & Education Center (ITEC), located near Houston. IUOE members will also be trained to install, operate, and repair robots in realistic job site conditions. Built Robotics is headquartered in San Francisco. For more information, please visit their website at www.builtrobotics.com, email them at info@builtrobotics. com or call (415) 343-7870. Cc

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WHEELED EXCAVATORS VS. BACKHOES: 4 FACTORS TO CONSIDER

By John Comrie, Product Manager, Compact Equipment, Volvo CE.

L

et’s talk about wheeled excavators versus backhoes. Many backhoe customers opt for that machine because of its mobility and how it serves as two machines in one (an excavator and a loader) and because the type of work they typically do doesn’t justify getting a wheeled excavator. In many of those cases, they would benefit from a compact wheeled excavator. One reason is wheeled excavators stack up well against backhoes when it comes to features and specs. Another is I’ve found that most fleets primarily use the excavator end of the backhoe, and seldom use it as a loader. Specifically, I’m seeing more interest in the EW60E wheeled 20

excavator, and a lot of that is coming from die-hard backhoe customers. How do you decide between a wheeled excavator or backhoe for your operation? Here are a few considerations that I share with customers when evaluating their options. ENGINE POWER AND DIGGING FORCES Don’t be deceived by the higher horsepower on backhoes. The horsepower number is representative of the bucket up front that requires horsepower and does not reflect the digging power on the excavator end. Also, consider your maximum digging depths needed. Though the EW60E has less digging depth than backhoes, with a max

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dig depth of 10 feet 10 inches and a reach of 19 feet 11 inches, the EW60E is a fit for most applications. With digging forces that include breakout at 9,736 lbf and tearout at 6,474 lbf, the EW60E has the performance to do the job. WORKING RANGE AND REPOSITIONING If you are working in tight spaces, you may find it more difficult to maneuver a backhoe that only has 180 degree working radius compared to 360 degree on the EW60E. The added flexibility allows more options to dump material and load a truck. Or when trenching, the operator needs to think about repositioning a backhoe when on an EW60E, you would simply need to push the C A LCO N T R AC TO R .CO M


The EW60E offers better access to confined areas, fast cycle times and operates at lower cost.

travel pedals with your feet and can keep digging. The compact size of the EW60E allows it to fit in places where backhoes can’t. And thanks to a 360 degree working radius, you rarely reposition a wheeled excavator to finish the job. Add to that, the offset boom 70 degree left and 60 degree right, and you can really get into some tight areas. Plus, the working at 70 degree offset allows the operator an unrestricted view to the bucket when trying to locate sensitive pipes and cables. PROVEN PRODUCTIVITY AND EFFICIENCY In 2015, we tested the EW60 against a competitively sized backhoe. The first test involved digging a trench 60 feet long and 3 feet deep. The EW60E did the work 38 percent faster and used four times less fuel than the backhoe. The second test dug a pool 9x9 feet, 3 feet deep. The EW60 finished in half the time and burned a CALCON TRAC TOR .CO M

quarter of the fuel compared with the backhoe. TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP A final consideration is the total cost of ownership. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

• Backhoes usually have a higher purchase price.

• Backhoe tires are more expensive.

• Backhoes consume more fuel •

due to a larger engine and hydraulic system. The EW60E’s standard auto idle and engine auto shut down help reduce fuel consumption and noise levels. Tier 4 final backhoes above 74 horsepower require a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system and regular DEF refueling. The 64-horsepower Tier 4 Final engine in the EW60E has DPF with full automatic regen and no DEF, which saves on cost and removes worries about having to store the DEF.

WHICH IS THE RIGHT MACHINE FOR YOU? While the excavator in any form will never completely take over from the backhoe workhorse, the wheeled excavator is a good cost-efficient alternative if you require high mobility from an excavator. The EW60E offers better access to confined areas, fast cycle times and operates at lower cost. My last comment, and probably most important, is how the EW60E makes life easier for the operator by creating a comfortable environment. Cabs on these machines are easy to enter and exit, offer great all-around visibility, well-placed controls, smooth operation, and lower fatigue on the operator. It’s not just backhoes. Compact excavators are also replacing skid steers in many fleets. Read more about that trend at https:// volvoceblog.com/excavators-arethe-new-skid-steers/ Cc

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Right: Ryan Murata, Project Administrator, Rockey Murata Landscaping, Inc.

ROCKEY MURATA LANDSCAPING Adds New Case CX26C Mini Excavator to Enhance Area Drainage Trenching and General Excavation Duties By Ian Hoover, Editor

R

ockey Murata had a dream of owning a small landscaping company, but he had to overcome one main adversity before he could pursue his vision. You see, Rockey Murata was one of 120,000 Japanese Americans incarcerated within 10 separate internment camps in California back in the 1940s. Rockey and five other Japanese men got together while in the camp and worked out a vision for what their future would look like after the war. True to their dreams, the men started a small landscaping group that started out performing light residential 24

landscaping duties that gradually escalated to commercial projects. Rockey Murata aptly named his venture, Rockey Murata Landscaping (RML) and his hard work and legacy has now been handed down to his descendants. Seventy-five years later, his son, Rick, serves as the owner and president of RML and his grandsons, Ryan and Derek, also work for the family enterprise. Rick Murata had many dreams and career ideas, but fate stepped in when his father (Rockey) was involved in a car accident that sidelined him for an extended period. It was then

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that Rick decided to take on more responsibility and began running the day-to-day operations for his father. Like their father (Rick), both Ryan and Derek Murata originally had alternative plans for their future. The older brother, Ryan, had already started and was pursuing a promising career as a Supercar technician before joining the family business as a project administrator in 2013. Derek pursued a sales career path, making his mark in several ventures before going fulltime as an account manager for his father in 2015. “My brother and I worked C A LCO N T R AC TO R .CO M


Right: Ryan Murata on the new Case CX26C mini excavator that RML recently purchased from Sonsray Machinery on a drainage project for a new subdivision in Ontario.

for my dad during breaks from school, and we learned the basics of this business as teenagers,” says Ryan. “Now, we all work together as a family unit to enthusiastically grow what my grandfather started 75 years ago.” Rockey Murata Landscaping is a full-service landscaping and hardscaping construction firm with an emphasis on area drainage work for developers, builders, HOA communities and other commercial development companies. Ryan says that his father (Rick) is in the office every day by 6 a.m. before going out into the field to oversee numerous job sites that the company’s 40-plus team members work on each day. The company serves all of Orange and San Diego County and up into southern Los Angeles county and to Temecula in Riverside County. Ryan Murata spends much of his day operating the equipment that makes these drainage and landscaping jobs possible. These machines include skid steer loaders, trenchers and a brand-new Case CX26C mini excavator that RML recently purchased from Sonsray Machinery in Santa Fe Springs. “I have rented and operated many Case machines in the past and have always liked how they run and react,” says Ryan. “I am one of the primary operators, and it was my opinion that if we were going to purchase a new machine, it would be a Case.” Rick says that he has seen the Sonsray Machinery logo on numerous job sites on machines and trucks, but that this is his first purchase from the company. “We have been renting mini excavators for years, and the usage has just become so common that we decided it was time to buy,” continues Ryan. “We purchased our new Case on June 30th, and both Sonsray and our representative, Juan Loza, have taken excellent care of us through the entire sale and financing process.” CALCON TRAC TOR .CO M


Right: RML relies on compact equipment; skid steers, mini excavators and trenchers for their drainage and landscaping projects.

The Case CX26C mini excavator is a 5,520 lb. Tier 4 Final machine that boasts excellent breakout force in a lightweight, compact, zero tail swing package. The unit can achieve a digging depth of up to nearly 8 feet, making it the ideal machine for many jobs that RML takes on every day. “We plant a lot of oversized trees, like on the job that we just completed where we installed a 92-inch Sycamore tree where our new Case mini excavator was the perfect tool for the job,” says Ryan. “We also do a lot of trenching, and we are already getting impressive production out of this Case (CX26C) mini excavator.” RML is currently on a job site where they are using their new Case CX26C mini excavator to perform area drainage work on mainline and HOA irrigation installations for production home construction in Ontario. “I run our equipment pretty hard, and I prefer our Case over other mini excavators that I have rented in the past,” continues Ryan. “Our 26

Case mini excavator is now in Ontario where we are digging one-foot wide by two-foot deep trenches. I am getting around 450 feet a day of trenching in as we install 1 1/2” pipe with 4” sleeves into conduit.” RML also recently completed a job in Lake Forest, where they used their new Case CX26C mini excavator. “We did pretty much the same thing on the Lake Forest project as we are doing in Ontario, but with the addition of 8-foot deep tie-ins. We had to excavate a bench to dig lower from, and the Case mini excavator made that process all the easier. Aside from the production, this new Case is also very comfortable, and I appreciate the reclining seats.” RML performs a lot of work that requires larger equipment, and they rent those machines as needed. “I would like to see us buy a Case backhoe as our next purchase for largescale drainage production work. Other than that, we are in a good place right now with our company and equipment fleet.”

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Rockey Murata Landscaping also has a landscaping maintenance division that Ryan’s uncle (Rick’s brother), Robert Murata, oversees. This division works primarily on public works projects for local cities and municipalities. RML will be celebrating their 75th anniversary in 2020, one that coincides with the end of World War II. The Murata family has overcome great diversity on their long journey to success and prosperity in the California landscape construction business. All of the hard work and sacrifice has been paying off for many decades as a new generation continues to push Rockey’s legacy forward. For more information on Rockey Murata Landscaping, please email them at muratalandscape@gmail.com  or call (562) 921-3210. Cc

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MINI MACHINES, BIG BUSINESS: COMPACT EQUIPMENT SEES ELECTRIFYING RISE IN SALES AS SOUTH COAST AQMD AWARDS VOLVO CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT $2 MILLION TO TEST ELECTRIC HEAVY EQUIPMENT IN CALIFORNIA At the center of some of the most influential technological transformations in recent years, compact machines have proved to be a breeding ground for innovation and application versatility. The product experts at Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) explain why they continue to be the most popular segment on the market. The global compact construction equipment market – consisting of compact excavators, skid steer loaders, compact track loaders and compact wheel loaders – was valued at more than US $10 billion in 2017 and is likely to reach more than US $15 billion by the end of 2025. According to analysts, sales of mini excavators alone represented almost of construction equipment sold worldwide last year. For compact wheel loaders, currently valued at US $4.8 billion, the market is expected to grow another 3% over the next 10 years.  The compact construction equipment industry contains products which are small, robust, can fit into smaller places, are versatile in application, and are cost effective – all of which explain their increased adoption as demand for infrastructure and construction grows. And they have become more popular across almost all regions – with Europe and North America remaining the top markets for Volvo CE.  Another prominent factor for the machines’ popularity is the rise in electromobility, which is 28

Volvo CE’s electric compact L25 wheel loader and ECR25 excavator.

redefining the market in major ways. Manufacturers have invested heavily in developing electric solutions in this sector, not least Volvo CE – who as the first OEM to commit to moving its compact product line from diesel to electric in Europe is arguably leading the industry revolution. From mid-2020, Volvo CE will begin to launch its range of electric compact excavators (EC15 to EC27) and wheel loaders (L20 to L28), stopping new diesel engine-based development of these models. To this end, Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) was awarded a $2 million grant for a commercial pilot of the company’s electric, zero-emissions excavator and

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electric wheel loader in California. The grant, administered by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD), is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Targeted Air Shed Grant Program which helps agencies develop plans and conduct projects to reduce air pollution in areas with the highest level of smog and soot in the United States. South Coast AQMD is responsible for attaining state and federal standards by improving air quality in the South Coast Air Basin of California. C A LCO N T R AC TO R .CO M


Volvo CE will invest another $1.5 million on top of the awarded amount, which will raise the total project amount to $3.5 million. The grant aims to accelerate the deployment of zero emissions technologies for off-road mobile equipment, which is one of the major contributors to nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions in the South Coast Air Basin. The South Coast AQMD region includes Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties, including the Coachella Valley. “Off-Road Construction equipment accounts for 43 tons per day of NOx emissions in the South Coast Air Basin,” said Wayne Nastri, Executive Officer for South Coast AQMD. “We look forwarding to working with Volvo as they pave the way for the development of zero-emission technologies in this sector.” Volvo CE’s electric compact ECR25 excavator and L25 wheel loader are currently being developed and tested in Europe. Volvo CE will adapt some configurations previously developed for the European program and demonstrate the machines in real-life applications for a minimum of six months in California. Tests will start during the second half of this year – September for the excavator and December for the wheel loader. Three customers in the South Coast Air Basin area will be selected to test the machines. The results of these demonstrations, together with customer feedback, will be reported to South Coast AQMD. “We are honored to be awarded this grant. It is a recognition of Volvo CE’s commitment to building a more sustainable future,” said Stephen Roy, Senior Vice President for the Americas, Volvo CE. “We are also excited for the opportunity to bring these prototypes to our customers in the U.S. after our big success with customers in Europe, and show that these machines are not only key tools to reduce emissions, they are also great for business, as they deliver low noise levels, high efficiency and reduced energy costs.” Electric machines are bringing with them altogether new segments for the business – and even traditional customers are showing signs of being more open to this new technology. Elodie Guyot, Electric Compact Excavator Project Manager at Volvo CE, who oversaw the launch of the ECR25 Electric, says: “Since we announced the launch of our new machines we have been getting increasingly diverse requests from the market. Landscaping and utility works are typical applications for compact excavators, but we are now also receiving requests for other job sites such as indoor demolition or tunneling maintenance. It is these new applications which benefit from zero exhaust fumes and low noise, providing a far more pleasant work environment.” Cc CALCON TRAC TOR .CO M

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CalContractor - 2020 Compact Equipment  

CalContractor is published 12X each year and is mailed to California's top civil general engineering contractors.

CalContractor - 2020 Compact Equipment  

CalContractor is published 12X each year and is mailed to California's top civil general engineering contractors.

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