Whether it’s moving across town or across the country, there are always boxes to pack and trucks to fill. But what if the core of your business is trucks and you didn’t have a choice about moving? That’s exactly what happened to Portland, Ore.’s J+D Refrigeration.
With the new Milwaukie Light Rail Project scheduled for completion in 2015 in Oregon’s biggest city, some businesses had to move to new locations across the city. J+D Refrigeration was one of the businesses forced to find a new location, as their old location was appropriated to make way for part of the tracks and surrounding infrastructure.
They found a location they liked in Clackamas County, but before they could move in, they had to know whether their fleet of refrigerated trucks could maneuver around the site. They called on VLMK Consulting Engineers in Portland, Ore., in early 2012 to help them with the transition.
“We got involved pretty early on when they realized that they were going to be ‘dislocated,’” said Brian Dubal, one of the senior engineers at VLMK. “The local authorities told them they would have to move, as Portland was building their new light-rail transit system right through their existing site.”
“There were some other developer firms involved, and we sold ourselves pretty well that we could do the job. Once we got into the design, we realized we needed to check out some of the clients’ concerns, and that’s when we got AutoTURN Pro 3D,” by Transoft Solutions Inc., Richmond, B.C., Canada.
J+D Refrigeration moved into their new warehouse facility in February 2013 with approximately 150,000 sq ft with 13 loading dock doors and a weigh scale on the premises. Prior to moving in, one of their main concerns was the site grading around the weigh scale. With WB-67 semitrailer trucks coming and going throughout the day, it was up to Dubal and his team to ensure safe operations.
“They were really more worried about the trucks tipping and being at a weird angle,” said Dubal. “It was also about offsetting the weigh scale. They were worried about having that kind of issue in approaching the truck scale.
“We ended up having to do some grade changes in the area mid-design, so some of the grades, while not steep, would have been better if they were flat,” he continued. “It was good to be able to show them that it wasn’t a problem. They are pleased with that.”
With the advanced design capabilities of the software, vehicle simulations are now linked directly to the CAD geometry, including Civil 3D alignments. Vehicle-path simulations were automatically updated based on any changes he made in his site design.
“I like that part of it a lot,” Dubal said. “I completed the J+D Refrigeration project all in 3-D and put it right on the finished surface. A lot of times, it’s good when you are laying out the site to use the 2-D capabilities and once we get our design done in 3-D, we make that a 3-D model, which is really helpful.”