Replacing the athletic fields at William Fremd High School Athletic Fields in Palatine, Illinois, has progressed smoother with the use of a Topcon dozer control system.
"It's increased our production exponentially," says Rick Mancini, President of R.A. Mancini of Lakemoor, Illinois, general contractor for the project. "It's eliminated the need for staking."
Work began when school ended this spring. The scope entails demolition of the existing ball fields, diamonds, fences, goal posts and practice fields. R.A. Mancini is installing an underground detention and drainage system and then will grade and replant grass for the fields.
The Township High School District 211 decided to improve the drainage and overall field quality for its baseball, football, lacrosse, soccer and softball teams, which serve nearly 400 children. Drainage issues had placed the student athletes at a disadvantage, said Kurt Tenopir, Principal of the school. Weather often forced cancellations of practice sessions and games. The school district began planning for the project in fall 2016 and hired Manhard Consulting engineers of Vernon Hills, Illinois, to design the new fields, with suggestions from coaches.
In addition to solving the drainage issues, the school wanted to configure the new fields to meet current and future needs as the school's population grows. The new layout will add to the fields and allow every sports team to practice on site.
Additionally, Mancini says, the surfaces had become hard, increasing the risk of injuries. The replaced fields will have softer sod and base. The detention system will wick the moisture away from the surface.
Topcon Speeds Construction
R.A. Mancini is using the Topcon 3D-MC2 dozer system mounted on a John Deere 750 Dozer. The system works with a Topcon HiPer lite base rover GPS system. Mancini purchased the base and rover last year and then added the dozer system with this job in mind. He tries to keep pace with technological advances.
"The 3D-MC2 is the top of the line, the mac daddy," Mancini says. "This was definitely the right project to use it for."
R.A. Mancini received CAD drawings from the engineers on the project. Those drawings are uploaded to a computer on the dozer and a model of the site is produced. Topcon Solutions met with Mancini and showed him how to use the system.
"Within an hour, I was up and running, and within a couple days, I could make changes," Mancini says. "It's easy to use and user friendly. I really like it."
Mancini adds that the Topcon Store and Topcon support are a telephone call away and have been helpful as he learned the system. He anticipates the unit will become even more valuable as he learns how to use even more of the Topcon features.
Topcon reports that the 3D-MC2 dozer system can double production and is four times faster than a standard dozer. Grading accuracy is similar to motor graders. Fewer passes are needed, so the dozer operates using less fuel and with less wear and tear on the machine. The MC2 sensor and software provide position updates 100 times per second. The sensor measures X, Y and Z positions; roll; pitch yaw; and dozer acceleration.
The HiPer base receiver unit provides seamless connection between the base and rover. Topcon's GPS systems provide optimal uptime by tracing multiple satellites, so the signal stays available no mater the weather.
Mancini explains that using traditional methods would have required surveyor to come to the site several times to lay out and stake the right locations.
"The Topcon GPS station is allowing us to do this work without the need for staking, because it is in front of me on a digital screen," Mancini said. "It has helped production and the job to go smoother."
Family Owned for Seven Decades
R.A. Mancini was founded more than 75 years ago and has been family owned and operated ever since. Mancini is the third generation to manage the underground utility and site contractor, which works in the Chicagoland area. The company also provides directional drilling, pipe fusing, deep connections and hydro excavating services for local municipalities, counties and private developers.
The company prides itself in maintaining long-standing relationships with clients and subcontractors. It offers a guarantee on all projects and anticipates the company will be around for the long haul. Safety is also a priority for Mancini, with the company offering incentives to employees who perform work safely.
R.A. Mancini is a founding member of I Build America, an organization committed to generating pride in the construction industry and to sparking young people's interest in heavy and civil construction. R.A. Mancini offers internships to students wanting to gain some experience in the field.
Mancini also recognizes that the right equipment makes a job go smoother and more efficiently. Topcon helps with accuracy and helps his firm meet tight deadlines.
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