Since opening his own construction company in 1998, Bryce Ricklefs has always looked outside the box to find a hidden niche to help his company, Boomerang Corp., thrive.
More than 20 years later, Ricklefs continues to search for those advantages, which is why he selected a Komatsu intelligent Machine Control PC490LCi excavator with integrated GPS technology.
“We were one of the earliest adopters of GPS because we knew it would help save time and money, and it’s a strategy that continues to work,” shared Ricklefs. “For us, it was a no-brainer to add the PC490LCi to our fleet.”
While most PC490LCi owners use the excavator in mass grading applications, Ricklefs believed the machine also offered advantages on Boomerang’s utility-installation projects.
“Using the PC490LCi for utility applications has improved our efficiency,” reported Ricklefs. “It’s quicker and more cost effective because we can hit grade without a person in the hole guiding the operator; the machine does that step for us. Plus, the plans are right there on the screen in the cab, so the operator doesn’t have to get out or stop to ask as many questions. We can get on grade, switch to pipe and move to the next cut faster.
“We reduce the amount of material because the excavator prevents overdigging, which also saves on rock as the bottom of the cut is always uniform,” he added. “In addition to material savings, it enables us to provide a quality finished product with consistent bedding throughout the project.”
Komatsu was on-hand to assist Boomerang in unlocking the advantages of the system.
“They came here for training and helped us set up,” noted Ricklefs. “It was quick and easy. Right now, we are about 10 percent more efficient and regularly within one-tenth of a foot of grade. As we get more comfortable, I’m confident we will see both of those numbers improve.”
Boomerang recently expanded its investment in intelligent Machine Control technology as it also acquired a PC360LCi excavator and two D51PXi dozers.
“The purchase of the PC360LCi is a direct result of our experience with the PC490LCi,” stated Ricklefs. “They are the first of what I envision as many Komatsu i-machines for us.”