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Two Rokbak RA30 Articulated Haulers Tackle Mega Pipeline Project in Utah

When Utah-based contractor BHI was awarded a project for a 3-mile stretch of canal essential to the irrigation around the largest city in Uintah County, in the northeastern part of the state, they knew that extensive excavation and backfill would be on the cards and that it would require the most robust and reliable equipment.
A Hive of Activity in the Beehive State
BHI was tasked by the Uintah Water Conservancy District to enclose a 78-inch High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pipe across a vast portion of the Steinaker Service Canal near the city of Vernal. In response to a prolonged water shortage, the Uintah Water Conservancy District undertook the Steinaker Service Canal Enclosure Project to enhance water supply to the nearby region.

The channel was converted into a pressurized pipeline to provide a firm water supply to land in the surrounding Ashley Valley, with the aim to minimize and even eliminate loss of water through seepage and evaporation, maximizing the amount of water available for irrigation purposes. The completed canal enclosure is the largest diameter HDPE pipe installation in the United States.

BHI self-performed the entire scope of the project, which included site preparations, excavation, pipe installation, back-fill, and restoration of the canal. To handle the large-scale earth-moving, BHI needed articulated haulers that would be up to the challenge, day after day, in an intense six-month timeline.

Operating with Ease
Rokbak dealer Rasmussen Equipment, of Salt Lake City, supplied two Rokbak RA30 Articulated Haulers to BHI on a rental-purchase option in September 2022. The haulers were received so positively on site that the purchase was completed before the end of the year.

The RA30s were tasked with transporting rock and rubble to excavate the area in order to install the pipe, as well as providing support with the subsequent backfill. With the capacity to transport a payload of up to 30.9 tons, a maximum engine power of 370 horsepower, a heaped capacity of 22.9 cubic yards, and a maximum torque of 1880 nm at 1400 rpm, the Rokbak RA30 can be relied upon to all-weather-operate, transporting loads effectively and efficiently, with optimal traction in difficult terrain and combating steep inclines with ease.

“The RA30 is a top-performing machine,” said BHI Operator Reese Shultz, who clocked up over 2,000 hours alongside colleague Dustin Gardner in the two RA30s over the course of the project. “It’s fuel efficient, powerful, and with features like the tailgate helping to maximize load retainage as well as multiple reverse gears enabling quick cycle times, it’s been designed for productivity. It also has excellent mobility, it’s relatively narrow [10 feet 6 inches at its maximum width], which is hugely beneficial in confined job site spaces.”

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“One of the first things I noticed when I started using the RA30 was that it has proper visibility, from a comfy seat in a quiet cab, and the HVAC [heating, ventilation, and air conditioning] system works really well,” Gardner said. “It’s a real solid ride, and it’s comfortable to operate over various ground conditions.”

Cushioned bump stops on the steering cylinders reduce strain on the operator over an extensive shift, and a 45-degree steering angle at either side creates a turning radius of just 27 feet 9 inches. There is a spacious, ROPS/FOPS-compliant, pressurized cab. Smoother gear shifting accentuates these levels of comfort, alongside other benefits like faster cycle times, lower fuel consumption, and reduced carbon emissions.

Exceeding Expectations
Rasmussen Equipment has provided Utah contractors with equipment solutions for over 75 years. That wealth of experience combined with the RA30’s capabilities for taking on the toughest tasks and terrain has proven to be an ideal combination.

“It’s always easy to work with BHI because of the professionalism and knowledge throughout the organization,” said Rasmussen Equipment’s Sales Representative Brandon Dorney, who has worked closely with BHI for many years and facilitates the equipment support provided by Rasmussen Equipment. “We enjoy keeping up with the demands of BHI and coming up with solutions to individual projects. When BHI outlined this particular job with its challenging earthmoving aspects, we knew they needed Rokbak haulers.”

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