‘Largest ever’ diameter HDPE pipe installation in the US

By Andy Brown16 February 2023

Two Rokbak RA30s are working on a large pipeline project in the US

Utah-based contractor BHI has won the contract to enclose a 78” High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pipe across a vast portion of the Steinaker Service Canal – said to be the ‘largest ever’ pipe installation in the US State of Utah.

To complete the contract on a three-mile stretch of canal essential to the irrigation extensive excavation and backfill is required.

The existing channel is being converted into a pressurised pipeline to provide a firm water supply, with the aim to minimise and even eliminate loss of water through seepage and evaporation, maximising the amount of water available for irrigation purposes. Upon completion, the canal enclosure will be the largest diameter HDPE pipe installation in the US.

BHI is self-performing the project, which includes site preparations, excavation, pipe installation, back-fill and restoration of the canal. To handle the large-scale earth-moving, BHI needed articulated haulers that would be up to the challenge in an intense six-month timeline.

Rokbak dealer Rasmussen Equipment, of Salt Lake City, supplied two RA30s to BHI on a rental-purchase option in September 2022. The haulers were received so positively on site that the purchase was completed before the end of the year.

The RA30s are tasked with transporting rock and rubble to excavate the area in order to install the pipe, later they will support with the subsequent backfill. The equipment has a capacity to transport a payload of up to 30.9t, a maximum engine power of 276 kW (370 hp), a heaped capacity of 17.5m3 (22.9yd3), and a maximum torque of 1880Nm @ 1400rpm.

“The RA30 is a top-performing machine,” says BHI operator Reese Shultz, who has already clocked up over 2,000 hours alongside colleague Dustin Gardner in the two RA30s since work commenced in September.

“It’s fuel efficient, powerful and with features like the tailgate helping to maximise load retainage as well as multiple reverse gears enabling quick cycle times, it’s been designed for productivity. It also has excellent mobility, it’s relatively narrow, which is hugely beneficial in confined job site spaces.”

The Steinaker Service Canal Enclosure Project is due to run until April 2023. 

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