Business: Stealth Construction Inc.
In business since: 2000
Location: Manassas, Virginia
Doosan machines: DX80, DX180LC-3, DX235LCR-5 and two DX300LC-5 crawler excavators
For Kent Baxter, vice president of Stealth Construction, there is a lot to like about the dependable Doosan® crawler excavators his employees use every day at underground construction jobsites. “Owning Doosan excavators is a no-brainer,” he says.
For starters, Baxter says the Doosan excavators’ comfortable cab makes the machines a favorite of his operators. There’s the productivity of the machines that Baxter compares favorably with other leading brands. Then, he adds, Doosan financing is the best in the business.
And the list continues. Baxter says the power and strength of his Doosan excavators is unmatched, including their impressive lifting ability. He says his company’s two DX300LC-5 excavators are superior to some larger crawler excavators built by other manufacturers.
Their lifting ability alone has proven to be a significant time- and money-saving investment on some of our jobs.
Big job requires big power
In 2016, a Stealth Construction crew worked for more than six months on a project near Dulles International Airport, installing duct banks and manholes for Dominion Virginia Power to provide additional electrical power capacity to the area.
Since 1976, the power company had an electrical substation on the east side of the airport, along State Route 28 and north of the fuel farm (a dedicated oil deposit for aviation fuel). In recent years, Dominion planned to expand the capacity of the substation to provide power to the Silver line of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail and to meet the increased demand
from customers traveling near the airport.
One aspect of this job provided a major challenge for Stealth Construction: About 700 feet of the mile-long underground project was located in a gully with swamplike conditions. “The company that we purchase our manholes from typically backs up to the hole and The company that we purchase our manholes from typically backs up to the hole and places them in the ground,” Baxter says. “That option was not available in this situation;
neither was unloading and placing the manholes with a crane. It was quite a dilemma.”
He did, however, have a pair of DX300LC-5 excavators on the scene – the only two pieces of equipment that could access the jobsite. One was equipped with a hydraulic breaker for maneuvering through rocky areas. The other was for digging. As a last resort, Baxter decided to use the Doosan® excavators for lifting and setting the manholes.
“A few years earlier, before we had the DX300LC-5s, we tried to lift some manholes with another brand of crawler excavator,” he recalls. “Those two machines, which were actually larger than the DX300LC-5s, were unable to do it. As a result of that struggle, I wasn’t sure if the Doosan machines could handle this job.”
Each manhole is delivered in two sections to help lessen the weight on the trucks during transportation. With the Doosan excavators, the 19-foot by 9-foot concrete manhole structures were picked up and positioned in the swamp area and precisely placed. “We were impressed,” Baxter says. “The excavators were first-rate.”
Lifting away expenses
Not only did the excavators meet the challenge of placing the six manholes required for this job, they also helped the company reduce expenses.
“Every time we hire a crane, the cost is $3,000 to $4,000,” Baxter says. “Based on what the excavators did on this job, I would expect we will have less need for a crane in the future. That’s a nice savings.”
The versatility and dependability of the excavators make them the most-used equipment on all of the company’s projects.
“On the Dulles Airport job, the two DX300LC-5s did much more than dig the holes for the manholes and place them,” Baxter says. “We used them to dig trenches for the duct banks. The DX300LC-5s also dug bore pits and set big shoring boxes along with the large auger bore machines, then continued supporting the bore operation by setting augers, steel casings and spoil removals.”
Stealth Construction purchased the Doosan excavators from H&E Equipment in Warrenton, Virginia.
“The financing initially got my attention,” Baxter says. “Once we started using them, we found how valuable the power and strength of the machines proved to be. Our goal is to get in, get the job done and get out as quickly as possible – that’s what the name of the company (Stealth) refers to. The Doosan excavators certainly help us get the work done fast.”
When Baxter stops by his jobsites daily, he not only sees what has been accomplished, but also listens to what his operators have to say.
“All of them rave about the excavators,” he says. “They really like the machines. Believe me, if they didn’t they would tell me. These guys have run every excavator ever made. They know what’s going on. I can tell how much they enjoy operating our Doosan products.”