On the Trail to New Efficiencies
Anyone who’s been on a multi-use trail knows it can be a perfect place for a relaxing stroll or aerobic exercise. These trails are also a vital resource for connecting communities. This is certainly the case with the Atlanta BeltLine, an old railway bed that stretches around the city. The trail is being paved and outfitted to create an easy route for exploring parks, neighborhoods, dining areas, and connecting to job centers in the Atlanta metro area.
To achieve this vision, the trail developers needed to partner with the right contractors to complete the trail system on time and on budget. Brooks Berry Haynie & Associates (BBH) is an electrical contracting business that serves the greater Atlanta area.
“We are a niche business; there’s not a lot of folks that do what we do,” explained Andy O’Kelley, chief operating officer at BBH. “We’ve evolved over time to be the well-rounded business we are today, which means we might have someone working at an airport next to a Boeing 747 one day and then on the set of WandaVision the next.”
The Westside BeltLine Project
BBH was the successful bidder on utility work for the new extension of the Atlanta BeltLine Westside Trail, a 3-mile stretch of the 22-mile Atlanta BeltLine. The BeltLine has been ongoing since 2005, and BBH has been part of the project during most phases. The company’s crews install light poles and lighting, traffic signals, fiber optic cables, security cameras and more.
“This is the sixth or seventh phase we’ve worked on for the Atlanta BeltLine, and we are looking forward to what this trail will bring to the Atlanta community,” O’Kelley said. “The east side of the BeltLine has been great for the development. You can go over there on a weekend and walk around, eat, go to a restaurant, bar or brewery. It’s a great thing to see.”
Mini excavators are one of BBH’s biggest assets for the company’s portion of the project, and for most of the work they do. Their fleet includes several Yanmar SV100s, ViO55s and ViO35s.
“We own about 30 of the ViO35s because of their ability to work in very tight spaces like street corners with a lot of traffic,” O’Kelley said. “They are a great efficiency-enhancing tool for us and can be paired with multiple attachments, so we don’t have to cross the road back and forth to switch out machines.”
The mini excavators’ versatility saves the crews a significant amount of time on the jobsite. A light pole, for example, can be completed in an hour. BBH uses a bucket to dig for conduit installation before switching to an auger attachment to drill a hole. Crews then use the excavator to carry over the precast concrete base, place it in the hole and backfill. Previously, crews may have had to dig 10 or 12 holes, pour the wet concrete, wait for it to set while hoping for good weather, then backfill.
In addition to versatility and efficiency, O’Kelley has found the mini excavators to be extremely reliable.
“These machines are very dependable and pretty much maintain themselves, so all we have to do is preventive maintenance,” O’Kelley said. “This helps our team stay highly efficient on the jobsite because we don’t have to worry about a lot of machine downtime.”
On the Trail to Success
When it comes to maximizing efficiency on the jobsite, O’Kelley believes it takes the right team and equipment. For him, this means open communication and putting the customer first in every situation so both BBH and the project’s owners can be successful.
The same can be said about the equipment BBH invests in. With this winning combination of hard-working employees and equipment, it’s no wonder they’ve gained a reputation for excellence and efficiency in everything they do.