Ashwill Flooring Removal Services Inc., located in Monticello, MN, specializes in removing various floor mediums, including vinyl composition tile (VCT), carpet and tile. As a small, one-man operation, Jim Ashwill, owner, is always looking for ways to enhance efficiency and do more with less.
Tasked with the job to remove approximately 8,600 square feet of ceramic tile - roughly 50,000 pounds of material - from a private college pool measuring 13.6 feet deep, Ashwill knew there were long days and a lot of work ahead of him and his crew.
Removing material from a swimming pool is a tall order due to its deep body and steep slopes. One option would be to manually carry buckets, however, this is very inefficient and demands heavy labor. Workers are required to not only walk down into the pool, but also carry heavy loads up the steep incline. Ashwill also considered renting a stock chaser for the project, which is an electric-powered work vehicle designed to carry large loads. While the stock chaser would be optimal to handle the large quantity of tile, it did not have the maneuverability needed to climb in and out of the pool and access the hard-to-reach corners.
Fortunately, Ashwill had recently heard about a new product, the Power Pusher electric wheelbarrow, from a neighboring construction services firm, McGough. After speaking to McGough about the product’s capabilities and doing some additional research online, Ashwill wanted to test the wheelbarrow for himself.
“I looked at the electric wheelbarrow online and thought, yes, this is exactly what I need,” said Ashwill. “I called Ryan Blesi at Nu Star Inc., and asked if I could have it yet today. Ryan picked it up from McGough and brought it right over.”
Using a 23-foot ramp, five- to zero-feet on the shallow end of the pool, the Power Pusher electric wheelbarrow easily climbed up and down the sharp inclines.
“The ramp was really steep, and really slippery, but the electric wheelbarrow went up smoothly with no problems at all,” said Ashwill.
In addition to carrying heavy loads, the electric wheelbarrow eliminates the unnecessary ergonomic challenges and production halts associated with traditional wheelbarrow solutions. It easily reaches compact spaces to ensure all material is completely removed. Offering a bucket capacity of nine cubic feet and powered dump, users can also haul large loads in one pass. Further, the wheelbarrow can run for a total of five miles on a single charge with its rechargeable battery, reducing downtime.
“The Power Pusher electric wheelbarrow is a gold mine in terms of performance,” said Ashwill. “It really made this project easier and faster—it surpassed my expectations.”
While the electric wheelbarrow increased Ashwill’s crew productivity, it significantly reduced their labor by eliminating the pushing, pulling and lifting required with other wheelbarrow solutions.
Prior to receiving the electric wheelbarrow, Ashwill’s process included loading three 30-gallon buckets onto a flat bed and transporting them out to the dumpster, which required two people. After receiving the electric wheelbarrow, the same amount of material could be moved with one person and demanded less physical stress.
“Other wheelbarrows may be less expensive, but the Power Pusher model easily makes up for the cost in saved labor and efficiency,” stated Ashwill. “I can confidently say I saved $4,000, at a minimum, in labor on this job alone.”
Since the completion of the pool tile removal, Ashwill has used the Power Pusher electric wheelbarrow for several projects, including removing 13,500 square feet of VCT tile in a school, 1,200 square feet of ceramic tile at a restaurant chain and 2,200 square feet of tile at a retail store. Ashwill also has several upcoming construction projects that he plans to use the Power Pusher electric wheelbarrow for.
“I can’t see any other comparable product performing better in this industry,” said Ashwill.