When Chris Vorhies started Colorado Milling, LLC, he had a vision of executing asphalt milling jobs along the entirety of the front range of the Rocky Mountains. With more than 50 years of experience between himself and his team, Vorhies strove to become a growing force in the redevelopment of roads, highways, parking lots and asphalt surfaces along the I-25 corridor.
That vision coincided with requisite infrastructure improvements being made in Colorado’s largest city and Colorado Milling’s headquarters: Denver.
Currently, the company is working to mill roughly 300,000 square yards of asphalt across the Denver metro area. It’s a massive project for Vorhie’s outfit that often requires two of the company’s five cold milling machines, a pair of skid steer loaders equipped with brush attachments and wheel loaders for moving asphalt debris. In total, the project requires between 12-and-20 employees at all times.
“It’s the biggest project we’ve ever had,” Vorhies said.
Big Project. Massive Fuel Needs.
One of Colorado Milling’s mills burns between 100 and 200 gallons of diesel every day. Combine that with the fuel being burned by the company’s skid steers, loaders, and dump trucks hauling debris off-site, plus various other pieces of equipment, and that translates to a need for fueling efficiency.
Vorhies quickly identified that he had an opportunity to streamline his operation when he calculated how much fuel he would be burning and how much time it would take to make fuel runs with a 90-gallon tank in the back of a pickup.
“It would take one guy several hours a day per crew to just run back and forth to the fuel station to fill up the equipment after 8-to-10 hours of operating each day,” Vorhies said. “It was a lot of wasted time and a lot of overtime hours.”
It was at that point that Vorhies invested in a 920-gallon Thunder Creek Equipment Multi-Tank Trailer to solve his fueling challenges.
The Thunder Creek MTT is designed to transport up to 920 gallons of diesel over-the-road without the need for a HAZMAT authorization and in many cases a commercial driver’s license, saving Vorhies and Colorado Milling the cost of paying a professional driver, which are in short supply, and the additional insurance of a HAZMAT vehicle. The trailer is also equipped with Thunder Creek’s patented 2-in-1 DEF system that keeps the fluid in a closed loop, keeping it clean and clear of any contaminants.
“The Thunder Creek trailer has streamlined everything. Now one vehicle can take care of all the equipment as far as fuel and DEF,” Vorhies said. “We’re not running around with five-gallon jugs in the back of our service trucks. That was a pain.”
Colorado Milling is growing year-over-year, in part because of Colorado Milling’s knack for efficiency.
“When the longest part of the fueling process is filling up the trailer itself, I would say the process is working great,” Vorhies said. “The Thunder Creek has worked beautifully for us.”
Editor's Note: Scranton Gillette Communications and the SGC Infrastructure Group are not liable for the accuracy, efficacy and validity of the claims made in this piece. The views expressed in this content do not reflect the position of the Roads & Bridges' Editorial Team.