Backwoods Grading, Landscape & Excavation in Fairview, North Carolina, is a family-owned business with specialties that include boulder retaining walls, water features, road grading, driveways, and housing sites.
For its housing site work, Backwoods must achieve the proper compaction for the footers. It has been using a BOMAG BMP 8500 articulated dual-drum radio-controlled compactor designed for some of that earthwork, as well as for its retaining wall construction.
Not only is the machine achieving compaction in tight areas, but it is also saving proprietor Josh Miller manpower and money.
“I like the 36-inch-wide trench roller with remote control because it’s so versatile,” Miller says. “We didn’t have to hire an extra guy [to operate a ride-on compactor] because whoever was on the skid steer or the track hoe could just carry the remote with him and stay in the machine in the air conditioning or the heat, depending on the season. The guys love it because they can charge the remote overnight, get to the job next morning, start it up from inside the cab, and they’re able to move dirt and compact it all at the same time.”
One of Backwoods latest projects is an 18-foot lift with boulder terrace retaining walls that requires compaction all the way up.
“It’s got our compaction up to 99.8 percent the whole way,” Miller says. “It’s been outstanding because the roller really holds its ground. It’s not easy to tip. I’m not saying you can’t get one up on its side, but the guys working on some of these steep-slope inclines were working on a 30 to 40 percent grade sometimes and we’re able to set the roller down there and take off with it.”
Miller estimates that Backwoods is on track to build 50 retaining walls this year and says that the unit will be on at least 90 percent of those jobs. He says it’s easy for the company to justify an extra expenditure for remote-control technology in a small package.
“The uptime is amazing,” Miller says. “I’m not having to stop my job to make repairs or pay an extra guy to come out there with this massive five- or six-foot trench roller, and it gets the compaction where we need it. If it’s going to move me on to the next job faster, then why not spend the extra money? It makes our job and our life easier. It saves me thousands of dollars.”