Sand Lake Recreation Area and the adjacent Sand Lake Estuary located along Oregon’s North Coast are well-known for providing opportunities for fishing, swimming, hiking and other outdoor activities. Those who live in the area also know that the territory comes with a steady supply of rain.
“This area typically gets about 100 inches a year, so there’s a joke around here that there’s the rainy season and then there’s August,” quipped Steve Gosse, an operator at Kroes Northwest Inc., which is a family-owned construction company based in Rickreall, Ore., that specializes in the agriculture industry. “It seemed like we got practically all that rain in March and April while we were doing a recent project. It was a wet, sloppy, muddy mess.”
To accomplish moving about 4,000 yards of dirt as part of the site preparation for a new 800-cow dairy farm that will be located less than a mile from the Pacific Ocean, Kroes Northwest rented a Terramac RT14R rubber-tracked crawler carrier. With a 28,000-pound carrying capacity and a ground pressure of 8.3 PSI while fully loaded, the RT14R powered through the conditions, according to Gosse.
“I dug sections that were 6 inches underwater,” said Gosse, who mainly used an excavator to load the RT14R. “With the Terramac, it didn’t matter what the conditions were. We were able to haul dirt in a torrential downpour and 2 feet of mud — and not get stuck.”
Rotating frame, simple operation
The approximately 42,000-pound RT14R features a 360-degree rotating frame that allows operators to dump at any angle.
“You’re always heading forward while moving,” explained operator Noah Chatelain. “Instead of having to make a turn that’s really sharp, I can just pull up to the dump spot, spin the cab, unload, spin the cab back around, and head the other way. It not only saves time, but it keeps you from tearing up and rutting up places. I’ve run some dump trucks in poor ground conditions, and the Terramac is a much better option.”
Gosse added, “I like that he can track a straight line to me and turn the cab, so I can load from behind, which is my favorite thing to do. You can see the box better and fill it easier that way. Being able to rotate is huge.”
Plus, operating the RT14R is simple, according to Chatelain.
“It’s one joystick with six buttons that controls everything,” said Chatelain. “There are two speeds, and you can go forward or reverse. A monitor has all the gauges and a feature that allows you to turn on a rear camera, so you can see what’s behind you if you choose to back up. I like it for positioning to see when I’m close enough to the excavator. Before I ran it, I thought it was going to take a while to get the hang of it. Steve went through the operation, and I realized it was easy.”
Kroes Northwest uses the motto, “Solutions that work.” Gosse said the company definitely found one with the Terramac RT14R rubber-tracked crawler carrier.
“There’s no way we could have even started digging on this job without the Terramac,” declared Gosse. “No dump truck — unless it’s the middle of summer out here — can really function. The RT14R has given us the ability to continue to work. Excavation can get kind of slow in the wintertime [due to Oregon’s weather conditions]. This allows us to basically keep busy year-round.”