Ernzen says the company's equipment fleet size is an often-discussed topic, with the management team considering renting more instead of owning so many pieces. But Bottorff says the company always sticks with its large equipment fleet because they know it's well-maintained and there's ease in scheduling equipment when it's your own. "Because we own most of our equipment it gives us a competitive edge over the people we're bidding against," Bottorff says.
"We did almost 200 jobs last year, and a lot of those jobs only lasted a day and a half or two days. Since we own our own equipment it's easy for us to take it with us and bring it back home at the end of the day rather than arranging delivery with rental pieces," Ernzen adds.
An award-winning project
Bottorff Construction's dedication to quality and customer service can be seen in the company's recent award-winning project at Norfolk Southern Intermodal Facility. The site is a train yard and distribution center where trains from the coast carry imported goods, then cranes unload the train cars and load the goods onto trucks for distribution across the country. Bottorff Construction was hired as a subcontractor on the train yard repair; another subcontractor demoed the damaged areas throughout the 150-acre train yard and Bottorff Construction installed the new concrete.
Bottorff had 18 men working on the project, which took place over several months. The project demanded heavily reinforced concrete because of the industrial nature of the project - the yard field was placed at 10 inches thick while the crane rails were placed at 16 inches thick. Ernzen says the project was built to MoDOT (Missouri Department of Transportation) specifications for concrete mix design.
One of the challenges Bottorff Construction faced on this project was scheduling around traffic, on both road and rail. Because the crew was taking on large pours - 1,200 to 1,300 yards a day - the company had to ensure ready mix trucks were coming in without delay. In order to avoid heavy interstate traffic between the ready mix plant and the jobsite and train car traffic coming into the yard and restricting access to the jobsite, Bottorff Construction started its pours at midnight.
This job also spurned Bottorff Construction to increase its equipment fleet, investing in a Putzmeister Telebelt 110. This equipment allowed the company to place both the base material and the concrete on the job, and it allowed them to belt over the top of flat cars sitting on the tracks during times when trains blocked their path to the pour.
The purchase of the Telebelt not only helped the company on the train yard project but they've been keeping it busy ever since. "Now that we have the Telebelt, we use it on almost every job we have," Ernzen says.
Upon completion, the project totaled 16,000 cubic yards of concrete, 9,050 mans hours and zero hours of re-work required, helping the company make this a successful and profitable venture. Not to mention an award-winning project.