In the wake of a string of tornadoes in 2008 - and with memories of Hurricane Katrina's destruction of the Gulf Coast still fresh - the state of Tennessee launched an emergency preparedness program. The goal was to provide quick, effective response after tornadoes, storms, earthquakes and other natural disasters inTennessee and neighboring states. Strategically located, the response equipment needed to be productive, versatile and able to move quickly to different locations. Also, the state said the equipment had to meet everyday maintenance needs.
As part of Tennessee's emergency preparedness program, the state purchased fifteen XL 4100 III Gradall excavators. "They are very mobile, so we can get them to lots of locations quickly," said John Thomas, emergency coordinator in western Tennessee. Terry Farley, an administrative services assistant with the TDOT Maintenance Department in Nashville, added: "When there's a need for cleanup, the Gradalls are a lot more effective than loaders and trackhoes." Divided into four regions of the state, each of the Gradalls is equipped with a grapple for cleanup work. Some also are equipped with mowers and buckets for highway repairs and roadside maintenance. All have auxiliary hydraulics with an eye toward future use of hammers and other attachments. Just weeks after the delivery of the XL 4100 III models, and right after training, about four of the Gradalls got their first emergency test. A major ice storm paralyzed Obion and Lake counties in the northwestern corner of the state, blocking roads with fallen trees and debris. "We had Gradalls before, but we got grapples with the new models and we used them to remove overhanging branches and open state and county roads," said Thomas. "The tilting boom movements allowed us to properly position the grapples to quickly pull back and remove the branches."
For more information about Gradall excavators call (800) 445-4752.