Machine Match Makes a Difference

Many Benefits from Newfound Efficiency

On its own, a project to improve the water and sanitation systems in booming areas of Saudi Arabia represents a critical undertaking. The project is a crucial step toward protecting the public health for generations to come.

Ali Qarni Al-Rizqi Contracting took the improvements many steps further by thoroughly assessing their construction processes—particularly their method for removing asphalt. The firm then made adjustments that reduced cost, consumption of resources, and exhaust emissions. Two keys to Ali Qarni Al-Rizqi’s efforts were finding a creative solution, and their willingness to implement that solution during the project.

The result was a win for all involved. Ali Qarni Al-Rizqi Contracting found an improved, more efficient process. The Saudi Arabian government saw the work completed more quickly, limiting the interruptions to businesses and citizens. The government’s costs were reduced as well.

The people of Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, received significant upgrades to their water and sanitation systems—with limited interruptions and reduced emissions in their neighborhoods.

The Project

Ali Qarni Al-Rizqi Contracting is a national Saudi company established in 1979. Its primary work is infrastructure projects, including water connections and sanitation, in all regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Clients include numerous governmental agencies—most notably the Ministry of Water and Electricity and the National Water Company.

Those governmental entities saw the need to install new systems in Riyadh—specifically the Azizieh, Bader, Faisaliah, Dar Baidah and Erejah areas. It was a significant undertaking, with a cost of 135 million Saudi Riyals.

The project consisted of removing a layer of asphalt from existing roadways so that pipe could be placed below ground. The asphalt had to be cut at a depth of 5-15 cm but the real challenge—and ultimately the found efficiency—lay in the width of the cut.

The pipelayers needed a cut only 1 m wide. However, the work required a straight edge. This left Ali Qarni Al-Rizqi with few desirable alternatives.

First, it could use a wider cold planing machine that removed more material than necessary. But this approach meant material would have to be unnecessarily removed, transported and replaced. Most milling machines in the country work at a minimum width of 2 m, meaning twice as much material would be removed as necessary. Spending and waste would be increased significantly.

The First Choice

Ali Qarni Al-Rizqi realized the costs of using a wider cold planer were too much. This led the contractor to utilize a skid steer loader with a cold planing work tool attachment.

That is how the project began. The skid steer loader and attachment made a pass, removing the asphalt. A small wheel loader then loaded the material onto a truck, which transported it from the jobsite.

This process created several problems. First, the skid steer loader did not provide adequate production. The machine would have worked adequately, for a limited time, on a smaller project. But the pipelaying project was a tremendous undertaking in many areas of the city.

Loading created another challenge. A small wheel loader was the machine of choice because of its size, and the fact it didn’t further inhibit traffic on the crowded city streets. Also, a large wheel loader simply wasn’t necessary to keep pace with the slow-moving skid steer loader and cold planer attachment.

However, the small loader couldn’t reach over the sides of larger haul trucks. That meant multiple, smaller trucks had to be utilized—which increased cost, fuel consumption, engine exhaust and jobsite congestion.

The contractors were well aware of what they had: A slow project with many moving parts.

A New Approach

Ali Qarni Al-Rizqi is an innovative contractor always looking for ways to improve processes. An ongoing project evaluation led the contractor to explore the use of a Cat® PM102 Cold Planer.

Ali Qarni Al-Rizqi learned the PM102 is capable of working at a width of a single meter. Yet its power of 168 kW meant the machine could move at a much faster pace than the skid steer loader and attachment.

The PM102 leaves a straight edge, meeting that requirement. But what about the loading challenges?

An on-site demonstration of the machine caught the attention of the leaders of Ali Qarni Al-Rizqi. The cold planer removed the materials and its conveyor delivered them directly to a haul truck. The conveyor easily reached over the side, where the small wheel loader couldn’t.

Now the contractor saw the possibilities: Cutting and loading could be integrated into a single step. There would be no reason for a wheel loader, and the project would move much more quickly than with the skid steer loader. The contractor could achieve production that equaled a larger cold planer but at a fraction of the operating costs and waste.

Training was provided to the operators of the PM102, ensuring its potential was realized. The project proceeded at a much more rapid pace.

Among the benefits of the new approach:

  • A safer public because of improved water and sanitation systems
  • The improvements relieve pressure (and eliminate costly failures) on stressed water and sanitation systems
  • Efficiencies reduce costs, enabling the completion of more work at a cost-effective price
  • Improved timing reduces costs and enables more work to be completed on the stressed systems
  • The need for a wheel loader is eliminated, saving on transport costs of the machine; wear on the machine and its components; eliminating fuel consumption; and reducing jobsite congestion
  • When considering use of a 2 m cold planer, only half the materials are removed—saving on the cost of removing and hauling away materials, as well as hauling in twice as much replacement material
  • Emissions from the PM102 were less than those produced by a larger cold planer
  • Utilization of larger transport trucks created additional efficiencies and reduced jobsite congestion since smaller trucks matched to the skid steer process were no longer required

The Implications

Many infrastructure improvements are occurring in Saudi Arabia as the country experiences tremendous growth. That growth also tightens timelines. Streets are conduits of commerce, and interruptions impact many.

The growth also puts tremendous demand on the existing systems, meaning projects need to be completed quickly to relieve pressure.

These challenges are being met head on by a contractor that will consider new methods and take advantage of available machinery that perfectly matches the project requirements.

The water and sanitation project in Saudi Arabia proves, once again, that found efficiencies have far-reaching benefits. In this case, the time savings provided quicker relief to the stressed systems, helping prevent unhealthy failures. Cost-savings, meanwhile, helped officials fund new improvements ahead of schedule.

The time and money saved have been well spent. The ultimate beneficiaries are the generations of Saudis who will realize improved public health—and ultimately a better quality of life.

A Cat PM102 Cold Planer