Founded in 1969, Herzog Contracting Corp. is a giant, with six divisions spread across rail, waste management, and roadway construction and maintenance.
And Herzog is not just about size; the company is also known for substantial industry innovations, including fast and precise rail unloading machines and GPS-guided ballast trains, the ProScan LiDAR Truck, and several GIS and automated mapping solutions.
In 2014, Herzog began implementing a roadway contracting innovation from another firm, the Pivoted Turnbuckle Manhole Riser pioneered by American Highway Products. “We’d been using cast iron risers exclusively to raise manholes to grade,” explained Bryan Jones, Vice President of Project Delivery in Herzog’s Heavy Highway Division. “They were effective in many ways, but inventory was a persistent challenge—we perform work for a lot of different municipalities, all with differently sized manholes, and it was difficult to keep every size of riser we may need in inventory.”
For Jones, the chief advantage of the AHP risers was adjustability; they are sturdy, flexible rings made of galvanized U.S. steel, are easy to set into original utility rims, and the patented pivoted turnbuckle enables fast adjustment to securely fit variously sized manholes. The time saved is significant. “We may need 6-8 AHP risers for a project in a day, have them all on the truck, and regardless of manhole size, the risers will fit,” he explained. “With cast risers, the crew may think they all the risers they need, but if one rim turns out to be an odd size they can lose a day, or maybe the manhole will have to be paved over and dug back up and adjusted at a later time—that’s a lot of extra work!”
In 2014, Jones heard about the adjustable risers from a colleague, and realized immediately that they were a difference-maker. “We first used AHP manhole risers for Wathena, Kansas. I ordered almost 100 risers that project—we knew from the start they would be a great fit for our operations,” Jones said. Since then, Herzog has installed over 1,000 Pivoted Turnbuckle Manhole Risers and keeps a year’s inventory on hand. “We have not had any failures to date.”
Summing up, Jones said, “The AHP risers are a great asset to our operations, and they’ve been incredible to work with over the years. We will continue to maintain a business relationship with AHP as long as they’re still making great products.”
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.