“We work in some pretty challenging environments,” says Brian Casper, construction superintendent with West Shore Constructors. “We need equipment that we can rely on to be durable and safe; that’s why we work closely with Bigfoot.”
West Shore has been a leader in Western Canada’s heavy construction industry for more than 50 years. They are known for their outstanding work in bridge building, pile driving, deep foundation improvement, marine construction, and industrial transport.
“We are a highly specialized company,” says Supervisor Michael Kobelka, “and we encounter some of the more unique problems in the heavy construction world.”
Throughout 2020, West Shore has been a part of the port upgrade at North Vancouver’s Neptune Terminal, where they have been using some very specialized equipment from Bigfoot’s Boscaro line of products.
“At Neptune, we were asked to design and build a series of interlocked cofferdam cells, so the new coal dumper pit could be constructed,” explains Kobelka. “When it’s all finished, they will be able to bring two rail cars at a time directly over the pit, where they’ll be rotated upside down to dump out the coal. Then the conveyors and ship loaders will transfer the coal into the ships. It’s a huge project.”
In order to build these deep cofferdam cells, West Shore has been driving interlocking piles to form a series of interconnected boxes, each about 20 meters by 20 meters.
“We started digging from the top with our excavators, but we couldn’t go very far down because the cells are so big,” says Casper. “So, we had to lower the excavators in and out of the cells with our cranes, but we still needed a way to get the material out.”
The solution was a Boscaro self-dumping bin from Bigfoot. Suspended by the crane, the bin could be lowered, filled with material, lifted out and dumped, all without any outside manipulation or unloading, which saved considerable time.
“We’ve been using that dumping bin constantly on this project,” says Casper, “and we’ve probably hoisted out about 30,000 cubic meters of material with it. It’s been invaluable.”
West Shore has been dealing with Bigfoot for years as a supplier of quality products for both rental and purchase, but Kobelka and Casper both got to know Bigfoot initially through its training programs.
“Most of our guys at West Shore have gone through Bigfoot’s rigging courses,” says Kobelka. “For guys like us who have been in the industry for more than 30 years and have attended multiple training sessions, I can honestly say that those courses at Bigfoot are some of the best I’ve ever taken.”
Whether through the training courses or through years of steady business-to-business sales and service, West Shore and Bigfoot have developed a strong relationship of trust.
“Now, when we need a new product, we’ll call Bigfoot right away or we’ll go to their website,” says Casper. “And, if they don’t have what we need, they always talk to us straight, and refer us to someone else who can help. We appreciate that kind of honesty and integrity.”
“We’ve never had any issues with our purchases from Bigfoot,” says Kobelka. “They always provide great products and great service.”
In addition to the Boscaro dumping bin, West Shore also utilized several other key pieces of equipment from Bigfoot that have been put to good use on the Neptune project.
“We needed a heavy-duty spreader bar,” says Kobelka, “so we could lower a Komatsu 138 down into the hole. You can’t do that with just any spreader bar.”
West Shore used the Boscaro 110-ton system and they’ve been using it steadily at Neptune. “It’s a quality spreader bar, and it’s holding up extremely well,” says Casper.
West Shore has come to expect the highest quality standards from Boscaro. “We’ve been using their man baskets for years,” Casper says, “and we recently got another one from Bigfoot. For access in and out of these cells at Neptune, we regularly have to use man baskets off of the crane. They get used a lot, day and night, and we always keep one on hand, in case of emergency, if we need to do a rescue.”
For West Shore, the close working relationship with Bigfoot, and the top-quality products from Boscaro, continue to be indispensable at Neptune, one of their most challenging projects to date.
for more information:
For more information, visit Bigfoot products, visit www.bigfootcrane.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions, November 2020
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