Massive wind farm project relies on Vacall Hydro Excavators for critical on-site safety exploration work.

Profile 07 : Tuscola County, MI

Barton Malow Co., the largest construction firm in the state of Michigan, requires the best tools possible to generate high-efficiency work and safe working practices at the Cross Winds Energy Park project in Tuscola County. Based in Southfield, Mich., Barton Malow is Consumer Energy's lead contractor for the 105 MW wind farm – designed to capture and convert wind to electricity. The infrastructure plan includes 62 wind turbines in an electrical generation system involving easements on 51,300 acres for the underground electrical collection system. Consumer Energy has already provided natural gas and electricity to 6.6 million of the state's 10 million residents in Michigan's lower peninsula. A new state law set a deadline for any company that sells electricity in the state to have at least 10 percent of that electricity come from renewable energy resources. Efficient, productive construction practices at Cross Winds are necessary to meet that deadline.

The Vacall versatility advantage

To create safe pathways through the project for heavy equipment, and to plot the future location of collection lines, Barton Malow crews found it necessary to verify the location and depth of underground gas, utility and fiber optic lines shown on existing maps.

Over the years, Barton Malow has had experience with every leading brand of hydro excavators for this type of critical work, and settled on a preference for Vacall's AllExcavate models for Cross Winds.

"It's got a lot of power," said operator Bob Angell, who was digging holes to install ports where the utility lines could be viewed. He especially liked the AllSmartFlow™ control system that's standard on all Vacall machines.

Using a color LCD screen and a wireless remote control device, he says he can locate the boom properly and dial in the jetting and vacuum forces that he wants. "It's very precise, and when you dial it in, you'll get exactly what you want all day long," he said.

Operating an AllExcavate is much simpler than other hydro excavator brands that require much more complicated procedures, he noted. "It's got the features I appreciate," Angell noted. "Like a vibrating debris tank that makes it easier to dump than competitive models. And a nice siren that sounds when it's low on water, so I can shut it off."

"Plus, it's very reliable in cold weather, and we get a lot of that here in this part of Michigan," he added.

Barton Malow acquired two AllExcavate models from Southeastern Equipment, the Vacall distributor. Their second truck is equipped with the new optional heavy-duty, full-length rubber hose and redesigned cold-weather option with larger heated compartment for operators to change out of wet, cold work clothes.

Daniel Ortega, safety coordinator on the site, said the company is especially sensitive to job site safety, so the job performed with the Vacall machines at the Cross Winds project to create safe pathways for machine travel and transmission lines is critical to its success.

Learn more about Vacall AllExcavate Models here. For a demo, call 330-339-2211. Vacall products are designed, manufactured and supported by Gradall Industries, Inc., a world leader in pioneering hydraulic technologies.

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