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Issue 10

2020

MAGAZINE

Utilizes Microtunneling Boring Machine Along with Open-Cut Trench Process on City Trunk Line South-Unit 3 Project


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Specialty Issue

CONTENTS Feature Articles 06

W.A. RASIC CONSTRUCTION Utilizes Microtunneling Boring Machine Along with Open-Cut Trench Process on City Trunk Line South-Unit 3 Project

06

14

SULLY-MILLER CONTRACTING CO.

20

TRINITY EQUIPMENT, INC.

Close to Completing Construction of Taxiway P Serving Midfield Satellite Concourse at LAX

Tops Off Their Heavy Equipment Offerings With the Addition of Sany America

26

ATASCADERO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT RESTORES 1958 CASE TERRATRAC CRAWLER DOZER

28

INSURANCE COLUMN

20

COVID-19 Updates

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

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Brian Hoover, CMS, LLC

14

GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Aldo Myftari

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Utilizes Microtunneling Boring Machine Along with Open-Cut Trench Process on City Trunk Line South-Unit 3 Project By Brian Hoover, Editor W. A. Rasic Construction has been constructing major infrastructure projects throughout the Western United States for more than 40 years. From gas and oil projects and dry utilities, to the $90 million River Supply Conduit Improvement Project, W. A. Rasic delivers safely, efficiently and sustainably. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is the nation’s largest municipal utility, serving an average of 438 million gallons of water per day to Los Angeles residents and businesses. For more than 100 years, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has provided the City of Los Angeles with reliable water and power service in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner. LADWP has a localized network of 6,730 miles of water mainline (20-inches or less in diameter) citywide serving residents and fire hydrants. There are another 550 miles of trunk lines citywide that deliver water CALCON TRAC TOR.CO M

between tanks and reservoirs to smaller water mains. The Water Infrastructure Plan (WIP) evaluates these lines utilizing an Asset Management Program (AM) to balance the long-term costs of mainlines, trunklines and other facilities. The LADWP, therefore, manages a corresponding portfolio of capital projects to maintain and expand the system. The utility’s Water Engineering and Technical Services (WETS) Division uses its Capital Improvement Program Management System (CIPMS) to oversee and manage a ten-year capital water system program currently consisting of over 200 projects with a budget of $6.5 billion. W. A. Rasic Construction (W. A. Rasic) was awarded the $43,315,000 City Trunk Line South – Unit 3 (CTLS-3) contract and given notice to proceed on August 26, 2019. The CTLS-3 project is scheduled for 1,111 days, which marks the completion date in September 2022. As part of LADWP’s Capital Improvement

Program, the CTLS-3 project will replace a 102-year-old water pipeline in North Hollywood that runs along Whitsett Ave. from Vanowen St. to Magnolia Blvd. W. A. Rasic is utilizing open trench and pipe jacking construction to install 5,357 linear feet of 60-inch diameter welded steel pipeline. Once complete, the CTLS – Unit 3 Project will comprise approximately 25% of the City Trunk Line South system that will connect the Los Angeles Aqueduct Filtration Plant to the Franklin Reservoir. Construction will rotate among the work areas to minimize traffic impacts along Whitsett Avenue. The project will move in a linear fashion, utilizing 1,171-feet of open-cut and 4,186-feet of pipe jacking construction methodology. CTLS-3 is the third in six units of the overall CTLS that will eventually replace approximately 42,000-feet of 51-inch to 72-inch diameter riveted steel city trunk line from the intersection of Canterbury Ave. and Nagle Ave. to Franklin Tunnel

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near Coldwater Canyon, south of Ventura Boulevard. Jeremy Juarez is the division manager for W. A. Rasic and he says that it is important to note the significant amount of time and resources it takes to get a job like this started. “Numerous documents have to be processed and approved before any earth can be moved or pipe placed in the ground,” says Juarez. “We went to work right after hearing that we were awarded the job. This included the entire submittal process for the approved use of the Akkerman microtunnel boring machine (MTBM) by both the LADWP and Bureau of Engineering (BOE), as well as other agencies. We also had to get approval for the 60-inch steel pipe, the 72-inch 8

Above: City Trunk Line South-Unit 3 project jacking pit with Akkermann SL82P microtunneling boring machine hard at work.

casing, as well as the traffic control plan phasing, which is another complicated process.” Once the approval process of numerous submittals was complete, W. A. Rasic began implementing their traffic control plan, while also installing extensometers and inclinometers to measure displacement and movements around the tunneling area. Next, they set up their survey and began removing any utility conflicts within the initial jacking pit area. “This is

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a five-tunnel project with jacking and receiving pits, as well as open-cut trenching,” says Juarez. “Each jacking pit is approximately 33 to 45 feet deep, 40-feet long and 14 feet wide, and requires several months to construct prior to the launch of the TBM.” Juarez clarifies that the jacking pit itself is much more than just a hole in the ground. Preparing the pit requires a great deal of engineered shoring, including installing soldier beams, { Continued on page 10 } C A LCO N T R AC TO R .CO M


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W. A. Rasic excavating one of the 40-foot deep, 40-foot long and 14-foot wide jacking pits on the City Trunk Line South-Unit 3 project in Los Angeles.

{ Continued from page 8 }

plates, struts and walers. “To properly support the MTBM process, W. A. Rasic pours a 1-foot thick concrete floor, on grade, that is utilized to negate any deflection that may be caused by the positive active pressures acting at the bottom of the shoring system. Further, the slab is there to assist in mitigating any groundwater infiltration. It also helps to negate any soil conditioning material such as bentonite and slurry from infiltrating the pit as the MTBM egresses into the native soil.” According to Juarez, the project is built in three individual reaches. Reach one contains two runs that utilize the same jacking pit but has two separate receiving 10

pits. “We bore out approximately 1,000 feet from work area 12, which is the designation we give to the main jacking pit control zone. When that push is complete, we bring the MTBM back and go another 1,000 feet in the opposite direction from the same jacking pit,” says Juarez. “We then jump to reach three, where the same process is repeated and then on to reach two for more of the same. One MTBM machine performs the work for all five bores, and each push will eventually make a connection to the existing DWP trunklines.” According to the Akkerman website, MTBM’s utilize high pressure jetting nozzles, articulated steering joint with three-point

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steering control, and hydraulically activated dirt wings to minimize MTBM roll. The guidance system relays all critical operation data to the control container using proprietary control software programs. The MTBM system also includes a live, one-way audio system and camera allowing for system monitoring during operation, in addition to a gas detector and submersible pump. The MTBM is most suitable for saturated and flowing material and pressurized soil under the water table. MTBM’s can drive to lengths up to 1,000 linear feet and are remotely controlled from an above-ground computerized service station. MTBM’s minimize ground surface settlement, as the C A LCO N T R AC TO R .CO M


excavation occurs by infusing the soil with slurry at the face of the bore. The pulverized dirt, rock and sand are then pumped out through the machine using water jets and slurry pumps. According to Juarez, the extracted material has an almost toothpaste type consistency as it is processed through a separator. The slurry is then ejected onto a slab for wheel loaders and skid steers to pick up and load into 10-wheel trucks for export. “We utilized a similar earth pressure balance shield tunnel boring machine (EPTBM) on the W. A. Rasic /SAK Joint Venture for the River Supply Conduit 5 & 6 project for LADWP a few years back. This is, however, the first time we have utilized the MTBM as the prime self-performing contractor on a project,” explains Juarez. “Mike Abbott is our tunneling superintendent operating the MTBM, and he has many years of experience. Running an MTBM CALCON TRAC TOR.CO M

is no easy task, and it requires a great deal of training and experience. We are fortunate to have someone as qualified and experienced as Mike on this job.” Juarez said they are utilizing 20-foot casing sections that are 72-inches in diameter. They are using 72-inch Permalok® steel casing pipe, which connects quickly and eliminates field butt-welding. Once the casings are installed, the new 60-inch trunkline will follow throughout the project. “Our entire team is doing an exceptional job with some of the best in the industry overseeing the MTBM process. Johnny Juarez is our project engineer, Jeff Ray, general superintendent, Gilbert Estrada, our superintendent, and Horacio Hernandez and Moses Vallejo are the project managers on the job,” continue Juarez. “We also have multiple crews and a foreman overseeing the open-cut trenching section.”

Above: Separators filter the slurry from the microtunneling operation and deliver to slab below for loading and export.

Above Inset: Mike Abbott, W. A. Rasic superintendent operating the Akkermann microtunneling machine from above ground work station.

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Above: W. A. Rasic delivering 72-inch Permalok® steel casing pipe to jacking pit where it is then lowered in place by a 90-ton hydraulic crane. Once the 72-inch casing is installed, the new 60-inch welded steel pipe is jacked inside and the voids are grouted.

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W. A. Rasic designates the open-cut trenching section as Work Area 14. The 1,271-foot open-cut section utilizes beam and plate shoring for the welded installation of 60-inch waterline. “The open-cut section is situated in a tight working area, and we are using our Cat 335F hydraulic excavator here due to its minimum swing radius,” says Juarez. “The open-cut section is fairly simplistic by comparison to the MTBM sections. This is our bread and butter, and we have done a lot of this type of work over the years. Everything is going smoothly, and that has a lot to do with our ability to work closely and efficiently with the various agencies like LADWP, BOE, the City of Los Angeles. We are also fortunate to be working for Pete, Frank and Walter Rasic, who are all very involved

in the daily operations and future success of every team member.” W. A. Rasic Construction specializes in infrastructure projects and is now one of the largest privately-owned utility contractors in the Western United States. With extensive resources, a focus on safety and strict adherence to quality, they consistently deliver on some of the most complex projects, like the City Trunk Line South-Unit 3 project. The company’s foundation is firmly rooted in their family tradition with a continued focus toward an exciting and bountiful future. For more information, please visit their website at www.warasic.com or call their Long Beach headquarters at (562) 928-6111. Cc

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SULLY-MILLER CONTRACTING COMPANY - CLOSE TO COMPLETING CONSTRUCTION OF TAXIWAY P SERVING MIDFIELD SATELLITE CONCOURSE AT LAX

L

os Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the nation’s third busiest airport in annual passengers and annual aircraft operations. After years of construction, the new $1.6 billion, 750,000-square-foot Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) at LAX will open this December. The new concourse features 12 gates and is connected to the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) by a 1,000-foot pedestrian tunnel. MSC will also feature new aircraft parking aprons, taxiways/lanes and various new utility installations. Sully-Miller Contracting Company (Sully-Miller) was selected to construct the new LAX Taxiway P, located west of the concourse. Taxiway P’s construction is an $84,135,000 contract that will provide a connection between

By Brian Hoov

er, Editor

the north and south airfields and access to the MSC. Specifically, this new north-south taxiway west of Taxiway R will connect to Taxiway E on the north, and Taxiway B on the south. Sully-Miller received notice to proceed in November 2019 and broke ground on the project in February 2020. Construction on this new, approximately 4,000-foot-long taxiway is expected to be complete in December 2020. Sully-Miller operations manager, Travis Clausen, has been overseeing all aspects of Taxiway P construction. According to Clausen, Sully-Miller is scheduled to perform approximately 60 percent of the $84 million contract to include numerous trades. “The work is being completed in 20 phases, each

of which includes concrete paving, asphalt paving, demolition, grading, electrical work, subbase and base, as well as finish electrical and striping. These numerous phases were necessary because we are working in and around a fully operational international airport,” says Clausen. “Completing $84 million of work in just ten months has required multiple crews to work 20 hours a day, six days a week throughout the duration of the project. Coordinating these work hours and strict requirements for daily inspection and quality control/assurance has been a daily challenge.” Sully-Miller subcontracted the demolition of a US Airways jet airline hangar and a 1.4-milliondeluge gallon water tank to


Sully-Miller crew member performs finishing work at LAX Taxiway P construction where they are utilizing their Bidwell 6500 paving machine to place 42,000 cubic yards of lean concrete base.

Silverado Contractors, Inc. The electrical work for the new centerline and shoulder lighting and heavy electrical backbone work like the several LADWP ductbanks were subcontracted to Aldridge Electric. Additionally, Sully-Miller subcontracted the taxiway striping to Sterndahl Enterprises, Inc., the underground structure work to Golden Sun Construction, and the PCC pavement equipment was provided by Cooper Engineering,

Inc. “There were several important components to this project other than the obvious paving of the taxiway and aprons,” continues Clausen. “We were required to backfill an existing 300-foot by 75-foot tunnel to make way for the construction of the new taxiway. We also excavated and installed a new 10” reclaimed waterline, as well as numerous storm drain lines.” The nearly 4,000 linear foot Taxiway P sits on an area that encompasses around 32-acres.

Sully-Miller is utilizing Cooper Engineering’s Gomaco 2400 PCC paving machine and a Gomaco RTP-500 rubber-tracked placer to put down 24,000 cubic yards of concrete provided by Catalina Pacific. The asphalt aprons and other miscellaneous roadways were paved with approximately 38,000 tons of asphalt supplied by Blue Diamond Materials. In addition to the concrete and asphalt materials, Sully-Miller has placed 50,000 tons of crushed/recycled

Sully-Miller team also used a Telebelt to assist in the placement of 24,000 cubic yards of concrete provided by Catalina Pacific.

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material, 40,000 tons of recycled aggregate base, and 12,000 tons of virgin aggregate base throughout the project. “We have maintained an average of 50 crew members on-site at any given time, with some shifts including up to 100 workers, including all subcontractor crews,” says Clausen. “The job has gone very smoothly, and I credit our project management team for safely and efficiently overseeing the daily operations. This includes our job superintendent, Steven Gomez, concrete superintendent, John Flores, and our five foremen: Jesse Soto, Larry Vasquez, Daniel Gomez, Alex Perez and Kevin White.”

Sully-Miller is well-known throughout the industry for completing airport projects with minimal intrusion to ongoing daily operations. Their teams work independently and alongside other industry contractors and engineering firms to deliver a wide range of projects. From full reconstruction and significant expansion projects like Taxiway P to minor maintenance jobs, Sully-Miller has the workforce and experience to get it done on time and within budget. Sully-Miller has worked on 38 local airports throughout Southern California, including LAX, Burbank, John Wayne, Long Beach and Ontario airports. “I would like to take the

time to thank and recognize the stakeholders on this Taxiway P project for their professionalism and partnering spirit. They are, of course, the great people at Los Angeles World Airports and specifically Los Angeles International Airport, as well as everyone at American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Menzies and Delta Airlines. As always, they have all been great to work with, and we appreciate their trust and support.” For more information on Sully-Miller Contracting Company, please visit their website at www.sully-miller.com or call their Brea headquarters at (714) 578-9600. Cc

Right: Sully-Miller relied on Savala Equipment Rentals for demolition equipment on part of the LAX project. Below: Sully-Miller is well-known throughout the industry for completing airport projects with minimal intrusion to ongoing daily operations.

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By Brian Hoover, Editor

T

ake a drive on the 215 Freeway near Colton, and you can’t miss the sea of new construction equipment up on the hill east of the freeway. That’s Trinity Equipment, Inc. (Trinity Equipment), and they have everything from full-sized and mini excavators to wheel loaders, motor graders, dozers and highlift equipment to skid steers, and a full line of tractors, attachments

20

and other utility equipment. Trinity Equipment is genuinely a megamall for all your heavy, medium and light-duty construction needs. Eric Lewis is the owner, president and CEO of Trinity Equipment, and he has come a long way since his days of serving our country in Iraq. As a young man, Lewis enlisted in the United States Army, where he served two tours in Iraq for 27 months of

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deployment between 2004-2009. After returning from his service, Lewis secured a job in law enforcement and eventually went to work with his father in the construction business. His next move would be a big one, as he made the decision to start Trinity Equipment, Inc. in 2016. In 2017, Lewis applied for and received his certification as a Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE).

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Left: Trinity Equipment, Inc. offers the full line of Sany equipment, including 120,000 lb. excavators to 4,000 lb. mini-excavators. They also have Sany wheel loaders, motor graders, rollers and telehandlers in stock and ready for delivery. Below: The company is also a distributor for Mustang and Yanmar lines as well as a long list of other equipment from industryleading manufacturers.

The Department of General Services (DGS) serves as a business manager for the state of California. DGS serves the public by providing a variety of services to state agencies through the procurement of acquisition solutions that include, among other things, construction equipment and services. Trinity Equipment is fully certified through the Department of General Services. Along with their DVBE certification, they have also been approved as a Small Business Enterprise (SBE), a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE),

Left & above: Visit Trinity’s new location off the 215 Freeway near Colton where you can’t miss the sea of new construction equipment. They have everything from full-sized and mini excavators to wheel loaders, motor graders, dozers and highlift equipment to skid steers, and a full line of tractors, attachments and other utility equipment.

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Left: Trinity Equipment, Inc.’s sales team. Above: Trinity Equipment, Inc.’s service team. Below: Trinity Equipment, Inc.’s rental team.

Community Business Enterprise (CBE), Emerging Business Enterprise (EBE) and Very Small Business Enterprise (VSBE). “As a full-line heavy equipment dealer, rental facility, and parts and service house, we are and have been helping a long list of California contractors and public agencies to meet their required certification goals,” says Lewis. “Our corporation is unique in that we are not a pass-through company. We own the equipment we rent, and we are a fully authorized equipment distributor.” Lewis also points out that his company retains very high safety standards and holds a passing grade certification through the Industrial Compliance & Safety Network (ISN). “Our clients can maximize their certification credit requirements by using Trinity Equipment in place of a pass-through company,” continues Lewis. “We also have a DVBE and MGE certification through the Supplier Clearinghouse diversity program. This enables us to assist the California public utility commission work sector.” This year, Trinity Equipment completed its portfolio of 22

equipment offerings with the addition of Sany, and they are now an officially approved dealer. “We offer the full line of Sany equipment, including 120,000 lb. excavators to a Sany 4,000 lb. mini-excavator. We also have Sany wheel loaders, motor graders, rollers and telehandlers in stock and ready for delivery,” says Lewis. “We decided to become a Sany distributor after visiting their Atlanta headquarters where they are now manufacturing and assembling parts, and we are

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very excited about representing this rugged and dependable equipment line.” Lewis points out that Sany recently began building its excavator brand from scratch in the United States. This means that the components come in as individual parts and are then assembled here in the United States.” As a Veteran owned and operated business, Trinity Equipment knows the importance of being organized and paying { Continued on page 24 } C A LCO N T R AC TO R .CO M


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Top Left: Trinity Equipment is very involved with FrontSight Military Outreach. Pictured at their recent golf tournament third from the left is Octavio Sanchez, Executive Director and to his left Eric Lewis, TEI along with some of the other board members. Top Right: Check-in at the FrontSight golf tournament held at Sierra Lakes in Fontana on Oct. 3rd. 1). FrontSight team in front of their booth. 2). Having some fun with the remote controlled Sany excavator. 3). Eric Lewis addresses the attendees.

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attention to each and every detail. Their service department is factory certified in all major brands and backed by an impressive parts inventory. Their mobile fleet of service trucks and technicians respond in a timely manner, knowing how costly delays can be in the construction business. They also have a hose and tire facility, as well as a welding fabrication shop on premises to help limit downtime for their customers. Trinity Equipment’s equipment lineup is 95% Tier 4 compliant, 24

which means less downtime and better fuel economy for their customers. The company serves all of Southern California and offers a long list of equipment from industry-leading manufacturers to include: Yanmar, Mustang, Manitou, Kioti, Bomag, Dynapac, Genie, Haulotte, MB Crusher, Green Machine, Grasshopper, Jacobsen, Stihl, Cushman, Towmaster, Redexim, Gearmore, Ryan, Agrimetal, Paladin, Edge Attachments, Striker Hydraulic Breakers, Atlas Copco, Multiquip, Shark Pressure Washers and

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Airman Generators. They are indeed a megamall of equipment offerings and stand ready to serve with experienced, friendly and capable sales representatives and support staff. “At Trinity Equipment, we hold dear to our faith,” concludes Lewis. “We are a Christian company and strive to do good in this world. We pray for all of you during these difficult and trying times. May God bless you, your families, your businesses, and may God bless the United States of America.” Cc C A LCO N T R AC TO R .CO M


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/ 2020

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Above Right: Casey Havemann proudly posing with his fully restored 1958 Case Terratrac crawler dozer. Above left: The 1958 Case Terratrac crawler dozer prior to restoration.

ATASCADERO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT RESTORES 1958 CASE TERRATRAC CRAWLER DOZER

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asey Havemann loves to get his hands dirty. He learned to ride a quad at the age of 2, and has grown up around machinery his entire life. Five years ago, his older brother got involved in the JB Dewar Tractor Restoration Education Program and entered a restored Oliver Cletrac tractor/dozer into the annual competition at the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles. Casey was so impressed that he wanted to restore a tractor on his own, and that year he restored a 1959 David Bradley tractor. He was only 12 years old. “I tore down the whole thing and painted it and then put all new parts on it. I had lots of fun 26

rebuilding that tractor,” Casey says. “One year later, I started on my 1951 Farmall Super C, which taught me so much more about motors and transmissions. I was really excited and happy I was finally a part of the Tractor Restoration Education Program.” Most recently, Casey won first place in the 2020 competition with a restored 1958 J.I. CASE Terratrac crawler dozer as part of the annual JB Dewar Tractor Restoration Education Program in San Luis Obispo, California. “In Paso Robles, about a mile from the fair, there’s a yard that JB Dewar can store tractors that people have donated, and I went there for a cleanup day just to help

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out,” says Casey. “I saw it there and it just caught my eye because it was complete. It was in good enough shape to tell where everything was originally. And I thought it would just be cool because it was a good size and it was all there.” A RARE BEAST The Terratrac crawler dozer is a bit of an oddball machine. Manufactured between 1957 and 1958, only 496 of these small crawler dozer/tractors ever came off the line. They’re rare—even more rare to find one mostly intact. The quaint machine weighs approximately 4,605 pounds, and is powered by a 2.4 Liter C A LCO N T R AC TO R .CO M


Above left and right: Before and after pictures of the J.I. Case 2.4 liter liquid-cooled engine. Right: Terratrac 320 logo shines brightly once again on the wonderfully restored 1958 Case crawler dozer. This tractor is a part of San Luis Obispo’s rich agricultural history and was rescued from a well-known local rancher and donated to the JB Dewar restoration program.

J.I. Case G-148 liquid-cooled 4-cylinder gasoline engine, and was manufactured at the J.I. CASE factory in Churubusco, Indiana. This particular Terratrac is part of San Luis Obispo’s rich agricultural history. Rescued from an old family ranch that was in the process of foreclosure, the old machine sat for many years on the property of Mr. Ernie Dalidio, a well-known ranch owner in the area, before it was eventually donated to the JB Dewar restoration program. Unfortunately, any further details of the machine’s history have been lost to time. The Terratrac needed work, but Casey was up for the challenge. “The biggest challenges were moving things around, and all the heavy parts,” he explains. “Luckily, we have a forklift and a hoist. That made it quite a bit easier, but still all the tracks and trying to preserve the paint on the tracks and keep it show-ready.” “Some of the parts were harder to find. I found a lot of motor parts because that motor was used in so many tractors, but I couldn’t find CALCON TRAC TOR.CO M

the decals or anything, so I had to get those custom made. I had to make the seat cushions myself.” Throughout the process, Casey had to learn how to rebuild an engine. He also had to machine many of the replacement parts, since they are so difficult—if not impossible—to find. “I knew it needed motor work, so I learned quite a bit from my dad teaching me how to rebuild a motor and get the right specs of the crank and the bearings.” “I also used my grandpa Emmett’s lathe. I probably did 40 hours on it, making some parts, making the pins for the blades, the pins for the tracks, cylinder rods.” WHAT’S NEXT? This is Casey’s Senior year at Atascadero High School, so he’s planning on taking it easy and enjoying his time there—but he is still planning more creative projects. “Next year I’m planning on building a car trailer,” he says. “And I’m just finishing up a barbecue I built on golf cart tires.”

When asked if he had a dream restoration project, Casey said “I don’t know. Maybe an old Dodge Power Wagon would be pretty cool.” KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY Tim Havemann, Casey’s father, has been with United Rentals for over 26 years. He grew up in a body shop, and learned everything he knows from his own father, Emmett Havemann, a life-long machinist. After high school, Casey is thinking about carrying on the family tradition. “Next year I’m thinking about going to Reedley College,” he explains. “It’s a diesel program. That’s where my brother just graduated this year, so I thought it would be pretty cool to at least go check it out.” Whatever he does, there is no doubt that Casey Havemann will have a bright, creative and interesting future. Cc

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INSURANCE COLUMN

CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT THE NEW COVID MANDATES ARE AND HOW THEY AFFECT US? By Steve Cota, Patriot Risk & Insurance Services

Governor Newsome recently enacted new legislation in response to COVID-19’s impact on California. This new legislation imposes further burden and responsibility on the shoulders of business owners. Assembly Bill 1159 is meant to clarify and force employer required response to all COVID cases. As you may recall, the mandates that came from Executive Order 6260 earlier this year were in a direct response to COVID and Worker’s Compensation. This order specified the guidelines for reporting suspected work-related COVID claims as well as the necessary presumptions of liability. Most notably, Executive Order 6260 required proof of a positive COVID test within 14 days of an employee working on an employer’s premises or at the direction of an employer in order to file a worker’s compensation claim. This mandate, however, expired on July 5th. Now cue in Assembly Bill 1159, which requires employers to retroactively report all COVID positive cases, industrial or not, to their claim administrator from July 4th to current. It should be noted that non-industrial cases are not required to be filed as a worker’s compensation claim, but only as a notification to the claims administrator. Employers are required to also provide the date of testing or positive knowledge as well as the highest amount of employees that the COVID positive employee has worked with in a 45 day period. This information is not used against employers for calculation of experience modification rating, however, it is being used by the state in an attempt to monitor and track “COVID outbreaks.” Assembly Bill 1159 also shifts the burden of proof for alleged work-related COVID cases back on the employer. The claims administrator now has a 45-day period to determine compensability on whether an employee contracted COVID through work related actions. Employers are able to rebut the presumption 28

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that a COVID case is work related by providing proof or evidence of measures taken to stop or eliminate the transmission of COVID in a work environment. Also, the employer can provide any evidence of the employee’s non-occupational risks of COVID infections to argue the presumption. Another bill which deals with COVID that you may not be aware of is Assembly Bill 685. While this bill does not go into effect until January 2021, it requires public notice to all employees upon knowledge of a COVID positive case. This is aimed at providing knowledge of potential exposure for employees and is again meant to assist with the tracking of “COVID Outbreaks.” Employers will need to provide all employees notification of any COVID positive tests as well as be accountable for confirming all employees are appropriately notified. Until the pandemic officially end we can count on further legislation being passed to help curb the spread and minimize risk to employees. Now, more than ever, it is important to be up to date with Illness & Injury Prevention programs as well as ensuring the comprehension of said policies and procedures by all employees. COVID is showing all of us how maintaining diligent documentation is crucial in risk mitigation. Until we can confidently say that COVID is no longer an issue, it is important to utilize safety meetings and company communication to reiterate the importance of maintaining health and safety standards. Steve Cota, CRIS, directs the Construction Program for Patriot Risk & Insurance Services in Irvine, California. For more information regarding the above or any other insurance-related questions, he may be reached at (949) 486-7947 or scota@patrisk.com.

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