Farmington Hills, Michigan



Two XL 3100 models make short work of big culvert project

The City of Farmington Hills, Mich., maintains some 58 miles of major streets and 243 miles of secondary paved and unpaved streets - the 9th largest municipal street network in the state.

To maintain those streets, the city requires full versatility from its equipment to handle a wide range of jobs including street patching, grading, ditching, guardrail repairs, mowing and more.

On one culvert replacement project, the city sent out two XL 3100 III Gradall excavators to quickly dig up and replace aging infrastructure, a common task for busy public works crews everywhere.


"Our Gradalls are our workhorses," said Kevin McCarthy, superintendent of the Farmington Hills Department of Public Works. For the culvert project, his crew used the two Gradalls to work from opposite sides of the 22-foot wide road that had eight to 10-foot shoulders.

After a hydraulic hammer was used to break up the asphalt pavement, the two Gradalls simultaneously removed material and dug down eight feet to extract two deteriorated pipes. One was a galvanized pipe that McCarthy said "was like aluminum foil." When they were digging, they also found an old clay pipe that they broke up and removed.

After installing new plastic pipe, the excavators refilled the culvert to create a final grade and prepared it for pavement. "We did the job on a Saturday, so that we didn't obstruct much traffic," said McCarthy. "The work started about 7 a.m. and the road was ready to drive on by one o'clock. The machines worked very quickly."

McCarthy said his department uses its two newer Gradall excavators, in addition to an old G3WD model, for a wide range of jobs in the city, located northwest of Detroit. The department always has a grapple attachment on the G3WD, so it's always ready to clear away tree limbs quickly when needed.

"After a bad storm, we can drive the Gradall out to clean up trees pretty quickly, open the road and then come by the next day to pick up the debris," said McCarthy. "The newer Gradalls are always busy with ditching and roadside repair and maintenance, in addition to our culvert work. Our operators love them."

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