Lindburg worked for Las Vegas-based C&S Company for about a year before he purchased the business in 2003, and he soon learned about the anxieties that owning your own business can produce. “There are nights when you can’t sleep because you wonder how you’re going to keep it all going,” he says. “Now, I could do another $50 to $100 million a year. The problem is, we just can’t find enough qualified people out here.”
C&S Company was founded in 1955 by Ken Clark and Tom Stewart. In 1983, the business was sold to Bob Delaney. When Lindburg purchased the stock in 2003, the company was essentially dormant. “I decided I wanted to get it rolling again,” Lindburg says. Today, the company employs 60 people and does work in all phases of the infrastructure that supports both residential and commercial sites.
One of the current jobs for C&S calls for installing water lines, sewers, storm drains, streets, and curbs for an 1800-acre master plan community called Mountain’s Edge, located on the southwest edge of Las Vegas. Things were going fine, with the company using a VermeerÂ® T1055 hydrostatic trencher “” and doing 1200 to 1500 feet a day on 24 inch water lines “” when the unexpected happened. The trencher hit basalt. “I got a phone call that they had gone from 1200 feet a day to 200, and we couldn’t figure out what was going on,” Lindburg says. “That was the hardest stuff I’d ever seen “” it was like granite.”
A quick call to Vermeer Sales Southwest brought John May, from outside sales, onto the scene. “Basalt isn’t all that common in Las Vegas, though we do see it from time to time,” May says. “It’s more common in the mountains; mostly what you see around here is gravel.”
Using the Vermeer TEC 2000.2 Electronic Control System, May optimised the control settings and he also changed the trencher’s tooth patterns. Lindburg was impressed. “We were back up to an average 700 feet per day in some of the worst stuff I’ve seen. The production on this machine has been incredible.”
The Vermeer TEC 2000.2 Electronic Control System monitors operating conditions, measures full-range ground speed and headshaft speed, and informs the operator of real-time machine performance, increasing productivity and reducing machine wear. An electric stroke limiter increases engine control, and the Auto Plunge feature eliminates operator error.
Lindburg purchased the T1055 trencher in 2004. “We’re running the T1055 with an extended boom that will cut 15 feet,” he says. “There are times we’re running seven days a week. In fact, since we’ve bought it, I’d say it’s been running about six days a week on average.”
Lindburg says that the machine is running a 6.2-mile power feeder with an average depth of nine feet, and an average trenching footage per day of about 2000 feet at 30 inches wide. “It’s simply got the power to get us through the tough jobs,” he says. With its heavy-duty CAT 425 hp engine the T1055 has ample power to cut through some of the toughest surface materials at the job site.
Because a trencher is an attachment, the base T1055 can be switched out to a terrain leveller with relative ease. This way, the terrain leveller can allow the operator to work in site preparation applications, maximising the use of the unit.
Other benefits are a premium elevating cab that positions the operator between the conveyor and the boom for a clear view. The cab features a swivelling seat, LEXANÂ® glass, filtered and pressurised air, heating, and air conditioning. In addition, a Rotary Power motor and splined headshaft produce lower speed and higher torque, giving operators superior rock penetration and low chain wear for better production results. Speed and production are also priorities for Lindburg’s company, and with the Vermeer T1055, travel speeds of up to 1.5 mph are possible. “I wish we’d bought a Vermeer from the get-go, but when you start a new business, you start slow,” Lindburg says. “Now we can’t move it from one job to another fast enough.”
Another big issue in the Las Vegas area is dust control. Lindburg says the Environmental Protection Agency is constantly on guard for infractions against dust control policies. The Vermeer T1055 can be equipped with an optional dust suppression system featuring a 500-gallon water tank. “We are so glad we’ve got that. It’s done a really good job of keeping the dust down,” said Lindburg.
With the southwest and northwest sides of the city booming, Las Vegas is in for a spell of unprecedented construction in both the residential and commercial areas and Lindburg knows what his machines of choice will be. “I can’t recommend Vermeer products highly enough,” he says. “They’ve worked the best for us.”