Ellensburg, Washington



Gradall boom perfect for riverbank reconstruction and debris removal

Flooding in Kittitas County, Washington, created an urgent need to address both damage to the bank and the collection of a large amount of debris in Monastash Creek. The creek is an important tributary to the Yakima River that drains a 100-square-mile watershed in the center of the state. Flood damage to the creek included a 280-foot section of the bank that would have to be rebuilt, plus there was a large amount of debris in the river, especially under a bridge on Cover Road that could create further flooding.


The Kittitas County Road Department put its XL 4100 IV Gradall excavator to work on the project, using a 60-inch ditching bucket to clear away and then rebuild the river bank. The bank was 12 feet high in some spots, and the telescoping, tilting boom was able to recreate the proper slope and shape of the bank.

I also liked the way I could reach about straight down in the debris cleanup, said Darren Case, the operator. "The boom can reach under the bridge, but in this case, we put the machine on the road above. We used a cable and dredge to pull debris from under the bridge, and then we removed it from above with the Gradall." By the time the project was completed, some 33 truck loads of material were removed from the creek. "With the Gradall, it went pretty quickly," said Case. An experienced Gradall operator with the county's earlier XL 4100 Gradall model, Case said the new design was far more comfortable. "I'd say it was actually about 10 times more comfortable in both the carrier cab and in the upper," he said.

An automatic transmission, now standard on XL 4100 IV models, made it easier to drive about 10 miles to the job in the morning, and then back to the yard at night - all without the need for a lowboy trailer. The fuel efficiency of the new model also was impressive, said to be about a 30 percent improvement over the earlier model that used two engines. "Other than the creek cleanup, we use the Gradall for different jobs on an everyday basis," said Willie Adams, the shop foreman. "It's very good for ditching and roadside repair. We use it a lot."

For more information about Gradall excavators call (800) 445-4752.