Geeleher Enterprises Preps Rocky Site with Assist from Grade Control Technology
Faced with removing tons of rock to make way for a senior living facility in Hebron, Connecticut, Geeleher Enterprises relied on its Topcon equipment to accurately grade the site.
"The Topcon equipment was crucial to the success of this project," says Ryan Geeleher, President of Geeleher Enterprises in Southampton, Massachusetts. "It saved a lot of time. We did not have to worry about drive stakes. We could get grading control within minutes on the sections we were working on that day."
General contractor Western Builders of Granby, Massachusetts, is constructing the new 110,365-square-foot, 113-room Hebron Senior Living facility, with 35 independent living units, 56 assisted living units and 22 memory care units when it opens in spring 2018. Amenities feature a movie theater, dining room, chapel and fitness center.
Geeleher began the site preparation this winter and finished in the spring. The work entailed excavation, backfill for the foundations, and installation of new water, sewer and drain pipes.
"It was a fresh site with good earth [on one half of the site]," Geeleher reports.
On the other half, crews removed and repurposed 20,000 cubic yards of rock from the 5-acre site. The rock was so prevalent and close to the surface, crews could not drive a grade stake into the earth.
"We blasted, excavated, processed and made gravel for on site," Geeleher says. "The Topcon system was key as part of the blasting and lay out to have control of the grade. It was stake-less excavation."
Using the System
Geeleher Enterprises has been using Topcon equipment, including lasers, since it started in business more than 21 years ago. Geeleher praised the people at Topcon Solutions Store in Berlin, Connecticut, their knowledge of the products and the construction industry, and the support he gets from them. "I trust them," Geeleher says.
Geeleher Enterprises purchased its first Topcon GPS system three years ago and has used it on numerous jobs. The company has a Topcon GR-5 base and rover GPS receiver, and a Tesla data collector, with pocket 3-D software. Even though Geeleher was inexperienced with GPS technology, crews were up and running the system comfortably in a single day.
The ergonomic and rugged GR-5 base and rover offers universal channel tracking to automatically select and track available signals from GPS and GLONASS constellations and will support new satellite systems in development now. Topcon GPS systems track multiple satellites to ensure maximal uptime. The signal remains available all over the job site and in rainy weather. The unit's fence antenna provides superior reception and clearer signal tracking even in difficult environments.
The Tesla data collector features a large screen and can display vertically or horizontally. It is lightweight, waterproof and four-foot drop proof and comes with dual hot-swappable batteries for up to 16 hours of run time.
Pocket 3-D software for grade management is a powerful yet easy software to learn. IT allows for verification of grades and for locating utilities on the site. It also can calculate the quantities of dirt moved.
"Our first GPS system purchase paid for itself on its first project," Geeleher says.
The project manager uploads a CAD file and the equipment follows those plans. The on-board system provides the operator with an overview, so he or she can most efficiently and accurately complete the job. Geeleher operators call the system easy to use.
"With a partner like Topcon, it speeds up efficiency, and time is money," Geeleher says.
Good Employees Help Business Grow
Geeleher started the company while still in high school and continued to operate it through college at UMass Amherst. He credits his employees with helping to grow the business. The company now employs about 35 people. Throughout his career, Geeleher has recognized the importance of quality equipment and reliable and trusted employees.
Geeleher Enterprises specializes in commercial site work and utility placement. It maintains a high-capacity bonding program and performs work in the public and private sector, including fine and rough grading, concrete curbing, and installing block retaining walls, underground fuel tans, and erosion control systems. The company works in western Massachusetts and Connecticut. In the winter, it offers snow removal services, sanding and salting for public and private sector customers.
Other recent projects include site work for the Veterans Affairs Medical Center Campus in Northampton Massachusetts, and the Pleasant Street Mills revitalization project for the city of Easthampton, Massachusetts. At the mixed-use mill project, Geeleher Enterprises installed 4,000 feet of 12-inch water main, several fire services, large capacity backflow preventors, a 1,300-foot long concrete block retaining wall and lighting fixtures.