A 25-year veteran of the construction business, Corinthian Contractors owner Jamie Doll has never been especially loyal to one brand of equipment. If a machine worked and he could get it at the right price, he bought it. If he had problems with a machine, he didn’t buy that brand again.
When the Maryland-based general contracting company was awarded a subcontractor bid in late 2015 to do excavation, material hauling and placement service work for the high-profile Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, Doll knew he would need the right mix of construction equipment to efficiently complete the job.
The Metrorail expansion project would require Corinthian Contractors to dig 15- to 18-foot trenches several thousand feet in length, and install eight manholes and dry utilities to provide electrical power for a new traction power substation near the Washington Dulles International Airport. The work was part of a two-phase, 23-mile extension of the Metrorail system connecting rail service from the Dulles Corridor to downtown Washington, D.C., officially known as the Silver Line, and adding 11 new stations.
The Metrorail bid was a two-year job for Corinthian Contractors, and the company dedicated equipment to the jobsite for the full length of the project. Doll knew that equipment used at the jobsite would need to be well-suited not only to the volume of work, but also the tight quarters of a shared worksite along a busy roadway.
Five more Doosan machines
A year into the project, Doll purchased another DX235LCR-5 and DX300LC-5, as well as three more Doosan crawler excavators: a DX85R-3, DX140LCR-5 and DX180LC-5.
The additional DX235LCR-5 and DX300LC-5 excavators joined the same models that were already dedicated to the Metrorail project, where the equipment was proven capable of removing thick overburden and forming trenches specifically for manholes. “The excavators have the capability to dig both large areas and small areas effectively,” Doll says. “You don’t need a different machine to match different parts of the job.”
Both DX235LCR-5s were equipped with an optional quick coupler for faster bucket changes. “We’ve had times when we switch the buckets two to three times a day,” Doll says. “It’s just drop, pick it up and go. It’s very easy.”
While the pair of DX235LCR-5 machines offered reduced tail swing, perfect for working along the median, Corinthian Contractors tasked the two DX300LC-5 excavators with the wayside area of the project where digging through rock presented a challenge for less-powerful units.
Even in less-than-ideal conditions, the DX300LC-5 accomplished the task with ease. The permanently sealed and lubricated tracks on the machines maximize uptime. “It’s muddy, it’s bumpy, and when it rains the ground is very thick,” Doll says. “The machines are well-suited to work through the conditions.”
Since the Metrorail project wrapped up, Corinthian Contractors has taken on more high-profile projects, including a road-widening project at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia. Doll knows the DX235LCR-5 will provide yet another advantage when it’s transported to the new jobsite.
“The DX235LCR-5 can be hauled on our lowboy (trailer) from site to site,” he says. The DX235LCR-5 excavator is the maximum weight that can be hauled without a permit. “Every time we need a permit to move a machine, the cost is $1,500. That’s a nice savings.”
More than power and performance
Although the Doosan machines have been a smart investment for Corinthian Contractors, the equipment performance isn’t the only factor turning Doll into a loyal Doosan customer. “There’s a commitment to support that I haven’t seen before,” he says of H&E Equipment Services.
Doll relies on H&E Equipment for its preventive maintenance program. “It’s easier to pay for the PM program and have H&E manage the maintenance,” Doll says. “It’s less time for my guys to do it. It’s scheduled, it’s necessary and it helps with the resale process when you have that service report from the dealership.”
With more work ahead, Doll knows his seven Doosan crawler excavators and one Doosan wheel loader are up to the challenge. “I don’t want to buy anything else,” he says. Whether the jobsite calls for precision in confined areas or powerful digging in wide-open spaces, he has the right mix of construction equipment to efficiently complete the job.