So what do you do for a customer when nobody really makes the perfect tool for the job?
Simple. If you are Ring Power, you build a new tool.
TECO’s Gypsum facility at their Big Bend Power Station was using another brand’s machines that were built for coal applications. They were doing the job, but not living up to expectations in ability or reliability. So when it came time to replace them, they started looking for better options.
Ring Power’s Tampa branch – just about 4 miles from the power plant – happened to have a couple broker-owned 834G Wheel Dozers from South America on their lot (awaiting rebuild for resale.) Larry Purdue (Ring Power’s Vice President Service Operations Manager of Heavy Equipment) and James Scarpo (the Tampa branch’s Heavy Equipment Sales Manager) saw this as an opportunity.
They approached TECO Fleet Manager Tim Muncy, and he shared his expectations and the job’s demands.
The result was a second-life rebuild with more than 40 configuration changes, by project team Scott Rajzer (FS Tech I), Pat Woolsey (Tech I), Bobby Curtis (Apprentice Tech) and Sammy Simmons (Assistant Manager). Many of the modifications were to address the weight and density of gypsum.
“Gypsum is up to 85 pounds per cubic foot, but all the other machines were made for coal, which is only 55 pounds per cubic foot,” explained TECO Fleet Manager Tim Muncy.
The hydraulic system was completely redesigned and an additional hydraulic tower added (because the job required scooping and lifting to move the material); weight was reallocated on the frame; the torque converter was changed to a lockup style (to lock the scoop and load in place while moving); the mainframe and wiring were updated; and finally the unit was fitted with a specially modified scoop.
“The guys over at Ring Power modified a 30-yard coal bucket down to 20 yards for us,” said Muncy. “They also added weight to the frame for better balance … I have nothing but good things to say about this project.”
Caterpillar provided engineering assistance on the project from the beginning to facilitate the equipment’s conversion from a wheel dozer to a scoop configuration.
The Gyp-Gator operator, Evaristo Hernandez of Moretrench (contractor for TECO) added “The new machine is very nice. Plenty of power … PLENTY!”