It takes a team

Dec. 6, 2017

Operating a flat saw takes skill, knowledge and endurance. It also takes having the right flat saw and the right diamond blade paired for the job. When these factors—skilled operator, flat saw and diamond blade—come together, a project even with its own unique set of circumstances can go smoothly and without too much difficulty.

That was the case on the Fort Loudoun Dam project at S.R. 73 (U.S. 321) in Loudoun County, Tenn., between I-40 and Maryville, Tenn. The overall project entailed demolition of an existing bridge over the dam and construction of a new, wider bridge that would be relocated a short distance away. True-Line Coring & Cutting, based in Knoxville, Tenn., was contracted to perform the six-month demolition of the old bridge deck. The original bridge was built in 1963 and the depth of the deck fluctuated between 7 in. to 12 in. The various thicknesses were due to the pitch of the bridge in certain areas. The inconsistent depths could potentially cause a decrease in cutting production, since the saw operator may have to cut an area more than once to reach the desired depth.

In addition to the bridge deck variable, the fact that the project took place in the summer, under very hot conditions, also complicated factors. Since traffic was completely diverted, True-Line’s operator would cut during the day under the hot, Tennessee summer sun. With this in mind, True-Line knew they would have to choose a flat saw with enough power, a diamond blade with the right specification to cut through the concrete and an operator who could handle the intricacies of controlling the machine through cutting various depths without negatively impacting production time and their project timeline. With all these factors in mind, True-Line selected a Husqvarna FS 7000 D flat saw with a 30-in. Husqvarna F900C series cured concrete diamond blade. For their saw operator, True-Line selected Charles Wingo to handle this project. Wingo has over 19 years of experience flat sawing and handling jobs that have unique challenges.

To get started, Wingo had to take safety and training classes to be allowed on the jobsite and perform the work. He needed the help of a crane to get the saw on the deck and into position to start cutting. Once the saw was in place, Wingo was tethered for safety. Once all of the safety precautions were in place, he started cutting. The first cuts are always the most nerve-wracking. This is the point when a skilled operator will know if the right saw and blade were chosen or if adjustments need to be made. Luckily, True-Line made the right selections and the FS 7000 D flat saw, F900C series diamond blade and Wingo made a great team and performed better than anticipated.

Wingo said, “With this saw and the right blade, I felt like this bridge deck was like cutting butter.” The saw and blade, with his skill and endurance in the heat, made this project much easier than expected.