Contractor Tackles Desert Challenges

September 28, 2010

Vermeer T1255
KE&G uses a Vermeer T1255 Terrain Leveler on an environmentally sensitive jobsite.

When planning for an $80-million-plus upscale residential development located at the base of a mountain, KE&G Development expected challenges. The company is handling all infrastructure development on the Saguaro Ranch project, which is located 15 miles north of downtown Tucson, Ariz.

One of the greatest challenges is to ensure that the desert setting is treated sensitively while preserving its surroundings. The developer is committed to artfully blending world-class amenities into the scenic landscape with minimal environmental impact.

One of the ways KE&G is meeting the project's strict environmental requirements is by using Vermeer's T1255 Terrain Leveler—a 600-hp, 220,000-pound surface mining machine—to establish roadway subgrade. After the grading portion, it will also be used for trenching by replacing the road-milling attachment with a trenching boom.

According to Dan Keeley, vice president of KE&G, they're using the T1255 because it offers a unique advantage: The Terrain Leveler cuts the rock in place instead of fracturing it on a seam, so it's less invasive than other methods and offers minimal disruption to the terrain outside of the working space. Vermeer says the units are designed to eliminate the need for primary crushers, large loaders, large mining haul trucks—and associated permits—in addition to rippers and vertical drills.

Without using the T1255 or similar piece of equipment for the grading and trenching portion of the job, KE&G said it would have had to use a combination of drilling and blasting, ripping with large dozers, and setting up a separate crushing operation to reduce the size of excavated material.