Volvo ‘routes’ for the US

More than 2.5 million cubic meters of material is being moved with a fleet of Volvo articulated haulers in Illinois.


Home to the world’s first skyscraper, the Chicago Bears – and the Blues Brothers – Illinois is the fifth most populous state in America and is a major transportation hub. Industrial cities and agricultural productivity is growing in central and northern Illinois – while natural resources like coal, timber and oil and gas in the south help provide the state with a diverse economic base.

Headquartered in Bloomsdale, Missouri, Bloomsdale Excavating has been contracted to move overburden material for a major road construction project close to the town of Macomb. The company has been in business for 65 years and specializes in heavy civil engineering and mining projects that have a positive impact on the environment.

The Route 336 project, valued at $32 million was awarded to Bloomsdale in July last year by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and includes building 6.5 miles (10.5 km) of a four lane highway on US Routes 336 and 110. The project will require pre-grading work and the construction of drainage structures on a new section of the roads, as well as the reconstruction of county highway 14, which is located to the west of Macomb. It also includes 10 miles (16 km) of grading and clearing, and the installation of utilities.

“Bloomsdale Excavating is excited to be part of the Illinois Route 336 project,” says Scott Drury, president of Bloomsdale Excavating. “We are looking forward to building strong relationships with IDOT, local subcontractors, suppliers and the surrounding community. As the prime contractor, we are required to complete the project in 220 working days – but projects with tight timelines and high expectations of quality and safety are well within our capability.”

More than just a road

The grading work on the main highway – plus four miles (6.44 km) of side roads, service roads and on/off ramps – involves hauling more than 2.5 million cubic meters of material, clearing 70 acres (28.33 hectares) of land, moving and transporting 161,000 tonnes of imported rock and more than three hundred cubic meters of ditch cutting.

The project also requires the installation and relocation of about 3,000 meters (10,000 ft) of municipal utilities, including more than 1,981 meters (6,500 ft) of storm drain piping, 12 box culverts, 68,562 square meters of rubble, 19,507 meters (64,000 ft) of right-of-way fencing, 36,576 meters (120,000 ft) of drains and 3,500 trees need planting.

There are 48 machines on site, including 22 Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) A40F-Series articulated haulers. Of these, 13 are Full Suspension (FS) models and nine are units with standard suspension. While both models can be fitted with an articulated hauler body, Bloomsdale uses the FS units with a 25.2 cubic meter scraper – manufactured by Canadian K-Tec Earthmovers Inc. – to move loose dirt. The company uses its standard units for other tasks, such as rock hauling.

Volvo articulated haulers, Bloomsdale

A smooth ride

Volvo’s unique full suspension system creates free-flowing hydraulic fluid to be supplied to the cylinders. The suspension cushions the impact of the K-Tec hitch and the automatic cushion ride on the scraper itself makes for a formidable combination in terms of speed, operator comfort and productivity – while minimizing the risk of equipment damage. The Volvo hauler also has more rimpull than competitor models, which can struggle during loading and uphill travel. The short turning radius tires and a 28 inch (71 cm) minimum clearance from ground to cutting edge, provides maximum maneuverability and mobility.

Bloomsdale has a track record of completing projects quick and efficiently thanks to its Volvo articulated haulers. “Productivity on site has increased as the machines never need to stop,” says Drury. “Our operators work 10 hour shifts and the Volvo haulers clock about 2,000 hours on average a year.”

Overall Bloomsdale is satisfied with the performance of its Volvo machines and recognize the worth of its FS units. Local Volvo dealership, Rudd Equipment, has been supporting the customer and maintaining machines on site since the project began.