December 5, 2019
Sealevel Construction, a heavy civil and marine contractor in South Louisiana, was recently awarded a coastal restoration levee project requiring about 40,000 tons of 250-pound rip rap to be placed. They looked at subcontracting out the work, but after evaluating costs the subs were supplying versus purchasing their own piece of equipment from Hyundai equipment dealer State Machinery, they discovered they could almost pay for the equipment with that particular project if they did the work themselves, said Justin Lane, project manager, Sealevel Construction.
“It benefited us as a company not only on the levee project, but moving forward, to purchase the Hyundai HX900L (206,570 lbs.) large excavator from State Machinery. We chose them as a dealer because of our relationship and their great people. They helped facilitate making the machine more adaptive for marine. Their extra attention really played a big factor in our decision-making. They provide excellent service after the sale, not just ‘once they sell you a piece of equipment, you never hear from them again.’ The price of the machine was very competitive as well,” said Justin.
Before purchasing the HX900L, State Machinery salesman Chuck Commiskey took Sealevel around to see similar pieces of marine equipment working on similar coastal applications in South Louisiana. A lot of companies were using one smaller machine for one type of application. Sealevel wanted to look at streamlining one larger piece of equipment for multiple applications and thought of fabricating a material handling front on the HX900L with multiple buckets, attachments, and arms. This would allow the operator to jump from one project to the next more quickly and easily to increase productivity.
Sealevel purchased 3 buckets: digging, clamshell, and rip rap grapple to allow any type of mechanical dredging, digging, or material handling from barge to land or vice versa. By adding a grapple or a transfer clamshell bucket, they were able to handle larger, heavier material to meet project-specific needs with one machine.
“When the equipment is on a barge, having an arm with extra reach or being able to dig deeper to reach materials in the water or on land is important. Having the long reach stick boom as well as the material handling front gives the HX900L flexibility. The grapple attachment and long reach arm give operators additional reach,” said Tyler Duplantis, project manager.
One of the other attachments that State Machinery custom-built on the HX900L for Sealevel was a raised cab to give operators a better viewpoint in placing materials on and off of barges. There were a couple of little small issues at the beginning but they were able to work through those with the help of State Machinery.
Saltwater and corrosion issues can be a big problem for marine construction companies if they do not keep their equipment maintained. Sealevel has owned the HX900L approximately two years now and it has close to 1,000 hours on it.
“We’ve had no downtime that I’m aware of due to breakdowns or major overhauls from needing to do major equipment repairs or maintenance. State Machinery was really helpful in the beginning, getting us up to speed with the grease system and all required routine maintenance. Even in this harsh environment, the HX900L has held up well, and State Machinery has really been there for us the whole way through,” said Tyler.
“State Machinery, our Hyundai dealer, has been very attentive and supportive to all our needs. We’ve had very little issues with the Hyundai HX900L excavator. It has been a great piece of equipment, a huge asset to our inventory, and this definitely gives us a leg up over our competitors,” said Justin.