Down the Home Stretch

September 28, 2010

Stringham Construction, a full-service construction and excavating company, is effectively using a Hydrema 922C articulated dump truck to handle road building and site-preparation construction needs on the Swan Creek Village project nearGarden City, UT.

Swan Creek Village is located in the foothills, on the west side of Bear Lake near the Utah/Idaho border. The village consists of 800 lots, mostly filled with cabins, as well as an RV park. Swan Creek has its own beachfront access to the lake and is minutes away from the state marina and boat launch. The village also is adjacent to over 300 miles of groomed snowmobile trails, with nearby skiing for recreational use in the winter.

Swan Creek Village has been under construction for the past 10 years, with Stringham Construction now completing the final phase. This phase consists of building access roads for two, 16-foot-tall water tanks that will hold 200,000 gallons of water. Stringham will also handle installation of waterlines that will run from the water tanks to the cabins below on a mountainous 30-acre, 130-lot site.

Before work began on the final phase, Stringham contacted MESCO, its local equipment dealer, looking for a powerful articulating dump truck that would be able to maneuver narrow roads and tackle rough terrain.

“At first we were looking at a 40-metric-ton articulating dump truck. As we looked over the site, it became obvious we needed something smaller and more maneuverable like the Hydrema 922C,” said Dan Stringham, owner of Stringham Construction. “MESCO was right there during this process and helped us choose the best piece of equipment for the job.”

The project began in mid-April 2008, while up to 8 feet of snow was covering parts of the site. Stringham used a dozer to clear the snow before starting earthwork.

“We are working on the side of a mountain with steep cliffs. Adding 8 feet of snow to the already challenging terrain creates an even more dangerous work environment,” Stringham said. “We had a few snow drifts that were 12 feet high, which was a little scary. We pushed the snow over the side of the mountain to get it out of our way quickly.”

After clearing the snow, Stringham began excavating the 5,000-foot-long access roads for the water towers. But as the snow melted, it created an extremely muddy work environment.

“We had mud up to the axles on the 922C, but it always pulled through and never got stuck, even when fully loaded. It has very good traction in all kinds of conditions and is very powerful,” Stringham recalled.

The 922C is made of high-tensile Hardox steel, providing the strength needed for various work conditions. Its low ground pressure of 11.3 psi and light weight of 31,500 pounds enables it to operate in both hard and soft soil conditions, as well as in snow. The 922C is equipped with a 15.7-cubic-yard capacity and is powered by a 6.7-liter, Cummins QSB, 24 Valve Tier III engine, rated at 264 horsepower.

Working in Tight Spaces

After the snow and mud became part of the past, Stringham still had to deal with the 45-degree sloped mountain and tight work area with large cliffs both above and below them.

“The roads were 10 feet wide when we started the project and are now about 15 feet wide,” Stringham said. “We had to build turnaround areas every 500 feet in order to haul the material safely off the mountain. The Hydrema 922C has excellent visibility and is small enough to maneuver in these confined work areas.”

The 922C's cab sits high on the dump truck body and has an inclined narrow hood, which gives the operator all-around visibility. The 922C also features broad mirrors for added visibility when in reverse or tipping. The narrow 9-foot-wide by 26-foot, 6-inch-long body allows it to work in narrow areas on the job site.

Stringham most recently was installing 7,000 feet of 6-inch PVC pipe that is required to be buried 6 feet deep, then backfilled with sand and covered with fill dirt.

“We've been using the 922C for just about everything,” Stringham said. “We've loaded it with pipe and used it for hauling and unloading the sand and fill for backfilling the pipe trenches.”

At the time this story was being written, Stringham had excavated and hauled more than 5,000 tons of rock and soil with the 922C. Some of the soil was taken to a lower area of the village where it was used to realign a road that had cut across a residence's property.

“We used the dirt from the excavation work on the water tank access road to create the new road. This portion of the project required a lot of fill dirt to fill in the 20-foot-deep slopes and gaps,” Stringham explained. “We were able to knock this project out without compromising our water tank deadline due to the 922C's quick cycle time and maneuverability.”

The Hydrema 922C's tipping hydraulics with servo automatically increase the engine revs when the tipping control lever is activated. This allows tipping cycle times of 7.5 seconds up and 5.5 seconds down. Its patented articulation joint aids stability, and it can dump fully articulated.

“I've been running the 922C for 50 hours a week, and it's held up very well with minimal downtime. It is very easy to perform basic maintenance and extremely fuel efficient,” Stringham said. “It also provides a smooth ride.”

Story courtesy of A/S Hydrema, an international group of companies that design, manufacture and market high-technology earthmoving equipment. For more information, visit