Seige is a general contractor based in Niles, Michigan, just north of the Indiana-Michigan state line. The company does concrete highway paving, mass earth excavation, storm and sanitary sewers, and a variety of infrastructure work. Seige builds to a high standard of quality.
"We've been very blessed that we have won awards in each of the past 12 years from national and state concrete and ready-mix associations for quality in concrete paving," says company President Marvin "Marv" Seige.
We catch up with Seige and Boyles as they're heading up construction of a $1.8-million traffic circle in South Bend for the Indiana Department of Transportation. The job calls for reshaping two streets, carving out a retention pond, building new storm sewers, and trenching for a water main.
"The benefits of the Topcon 3D-MC2 system are appreciated on this project. We haven't done any preliminary staking – the guys can move dirt once and know they're putting it in the right spot." That's because the Topcon grade-control system features a color monitor in the cab that displays a 3D model of the project's design showing the dozer blade in relationship to the desired grade.
"When the 700K operator puts the Topcon system in the automatic mode, it continually controls the blade, giving us accurate grading every time. It's great working with this dozer/grading-system combo."
Grade "A" Grade Checker
"The operator of the 700K is able to cut the dirt to grade and communicate by radio with the other operators on the job," says Selge Project Manager Jamie Plunkett. "There are some legs that require fill, but for the most part there is excess. So we are balancing the excess dirt with the portions of the site needing fill material, all in the same process. And that's making it nice for us – to use the 700K as a grade checker for the job."
Plunkett says that without the grade-control system, laborers and foremen sometimes cannot set stakes fast enough to keep up with a dozer. "But with the Topcon 3D-MC2 machine control on the 700K, it allows us to have the operator determine the grades and communicate them to the other operators doing earthwork on the site."
Nice Iron to Have Around
In the first stage of earthmoving on the project, Seige used the 700K to move some 8,000 cubic yards of earth. That took the grade down to a point low enough so crews could install approximately 1,700 feet of new water main.
A 544J Loader assisted and a 650H Dozer backfilled the water-main trench. Meanwhile, the 700K continued to balance cuts and fills on the site.
A crew removed the old water main as the 700K continued to cut the grade down. In the second stage of earthmoving, the Deere dozer excavated some 13,000 cubic yards of earth and stabilized the subgrade with Portland cement before finish grading. And with that, the two streets are ready for a four-inch lift of asphalt pavement, curbs, and gutters.
What Goes Around Comes Around
"The 3D grade-control technology gives us tremendous savings in time and effort," says Seige. "It's a leap forward in technology. We've estimated we're saving somewhere around 40 percent when you total up labor, time, and reduced wear and tear on the machine. Topcon is definitely top-notch."
Plunkett is enthusiastic about the new dozer, too. "The 700K is a fantastic machine," he says. "It has excellent strength and can push and manipulate a lot of dirt. And the operators really like the hydrostatic-drive system."