Simplifying grading and sloping

Case Studies
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Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. brings 49 years of experience to the highway, commercial and residential fields throughout central Pennsylvania. The company expands its business with a focus on safety, quality, service and reliability. To further that mission, the company purchased Helac Corp.'s PowerTilt swing attachment five years ago. It purchased another in 2006.

Before using the swing attachment, Glenn O. Hawbaker faced two challenges on the jobsite. For grading and sloping work, the company was using large and expensive special purpose excavators that had to be moved in and out of jobsites frequently. Additionally, the large rubber tires on the specialty machines often caused sliding or spinning when a rock was hooked, creating an unstable work environment.

The company’s crew also faced difficulty with the outriggers on its specialty excavator and backhoe fleet. Operators had to take their hands off the controls to tilt the outriggers and move the machine at different angles around the jobsite. However, when the outriggers had to be tilted at an awkward angle, the operators felt unsafe and uncomfortable because it was difficult to keep the machines stable.

Glenn O. Hawbaker solved these problems with the PowerTilt . Now, the crew can keep one machine on the jobsite without the expense or complicated logistics of moving the specialty excavators among different jobsites. And by adding the attachment to existing Case and Caterpillar backhoes, the company no longer had to move the entire machine to the correct angle. Instead, the company could keep one machine on the jobsite to tilt the bucket or attachment.

“Now with PowerTilt , we’re doing everything on the fly. We tilt and grade at the same time,” said Paul Peters, backhoe operator for Glenn O. Hawbaker.

Multiple benefits

After switching to the swing attachment, Glenn O. Hawbaker and its customers received a wide range of expected and unexpected benefits.

“We saved on labor, got tasks done faster and safer, and increased the appearance of the end product. What’s more, we had the unexpected benefit of people asking us what tool were we using and how we were getting more work done with less hand work,” Peters said.

Glenn O. Hawbaker uses the two swing attachments on its entire fleet of backhoes to perform a wide range of tasks throughout the construction process, including site preparation, earth excavation, subgrade placement and grading, utility installation, site concrete and site cleanup and landscaping. The company uses a grading bucket with PowerTilt about 95% of the time and uses other attachments 5% of the time.

The most common applications for the swing attachment include topsoil work, grading and pond work.

A versatile tool

Glenn O. Hawbaker first learned about PowerTilt when they saw a local municipality using a 1-ft bucket to dig around pipes. Since then, the crew has used the swing attachment for a variety of specialty applications.

For example, the company used it with ripper shanks to rip frozen soil in the winter or to rip rocks and stumps in tough-to-get corners or ditches. Compactors work equally well with the swing attachment when soil needs to be compressed around utilities or on slopes. When it is necessary to dig footers in areas with a lot of limestone in foundation corners, the attachment works well with hydraulic hammers.

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