Advanced Dozer Streamlines Operations and Increases Profit
Ranch owner Art Guttersen turned a blizzard into a business. “Nobody could get to work, and there were oilfield companies installing wells on the property. I leased a motor grader to move the snow and open the roads for them. I think I moved the same snow every day for three months,” he recalled.
Guttersen saw an opportunity to provide additional resources to the oil and gas companies working the 32,000 acres that comprise Guttersen Ranch, and that was the catalyst for Gusher Oilfield Services. It now offers drill pad, road and tank battery construction; grading; heavy hauling; and reclamation services, among others.
To streamline operations, Gusher Oilfield Services GPS Technician Luke Leonard builds topographic maps using a data collector and rover. Then, he makes a design file that can be plugged into the company’s Komatsu intelligent Machine Control D65PXi-24 and D39PXi-24 dozers and used for pad construction and reclamation.
“Our operators let the machines do the work; they’re simple and have led to greater efficiency,” shared Leonard. “We love the integrated system, which eliminates wasted time or additional expenses that come with the masts and cables of traditional aftermarket GPS.”
“The D65PXi pushes and carries a sizeable load; and with the six-way blade, operators can do all the mass dirt moving, slope cutting and finish work for pads with one machine,” added Construction Superintendent Joey Timco. “Previously, depending on pad size and the amount of material to move, construction could take five to 10 days. Now, with the D65i, we’ve cut that time in half. The smaller D39PXi is perfect for reclamation, because it involves working in some tight areas that are close to well heads.”
Gusher Oilfield Services mounted a permanent solar-powered GPS base station with Virtual Reference Station control in the middle of the ranch at a height of 27 feet. A Technical Solutions Expert with the local Komatsu distributorship assisted with setup and calibration.