Custom Stone Slinger Completes the Avertex Solution
for Wind Farm Project


In Jack Kottelenberg’s mind, the last hurdle would be to deliver more sand into the cut quickly, without wasting material.

With that piece in place, Mr. Kottelenberg would have what he was looking for: a faster, more cost-effective solution for laying down power and ground cables on his customers’ wind farms.

His family-run firm, AVERTEX Utility Solutions Inc., was already established as one of Canada’s top specialists in underground cable contracting for electrical and communications utilities. AVERTEX is known as an innovator in horizontal drilling technology, and its team has a knack for making new ideas work. Conventional wisdom said they should use open trench methods for laying distribution lines into these wind farm grids, but Mr. Kottelenberg was convinced that significant cost savings were achievable with the right plow and back up equipment in place.

The plow system he devised was doing the job, but he still needed a way to deliver a bed of sand in tandem with the plow so he could cushion the cable against any possible backfill damage. For AVERTEX customers, any compromise on the integrity of the installed cable was a deal breaker.

By the time he contacted W.K. Dahms Mfg., makers of the Stone Slinger™ truck conveyor system, time was becoming critical. He reached Scott Nelson, the manager of W.K. Dahms. “We had purchased our equipment on spec for an upcoming project,” Jack Kottelenberg explains. “I took the idea to Scott and he looked at me a little crooked – then he said, ‘Yeah, I think we can do this.’ And we just started to draft something up.”

The first AVERTEX plan for the plow system relied on a bucket line of backhoes to move sand to the trench. However, they were unable to keep up with the rapid pace set by the plow. Even in open trench applications, they poured out too much material.

AVERTEX Utility Solutions Inc.
Building on more than 25 years construction experience, AVERTEX Utility Solutions Inc. specializes in utility and network installation services. A recognized leader in horizontal directional drilling technology, AVERTEX has served the nation’s top broadband communications providers, electrical utility companies, government agencies and municipalities as well as railway companies, environmental services, developers, and general contractors. Since 2007, AVERTEX has been developing new cable-laying systems utilizing rubber-tracked haulers with high-speed conveyors to greatly increase productivity and reliability in the installation of new underground power lines. AVERTEX deploys its cable-laying system and crews throughout Canada, and also offers its equipment and training to other contractors for lease or rent. With offices in Grimsby and Orangeville, Ontario, AVERTEX employs a work force of over 125 full-time staff supported by a wide network of suppliers and subcontractors.

The original Stone Slinger system places various types of aggregates with a high speed conveyor that can project stone accurately into foundations and trenches at distances up to 30 m away. For the AVERTEX application, Scott Nelson and his team needed a new version that could move higher volumes of material, but with equal precision.

It would also need the right power unit to carry the conveyor system. Scott Nelson and Jack Kottelenberg undertook a search together, leading them to the Morooka 3300 carrier, a 19 t tracked hauler with a standard dump capacity of up to 5,6 m3. “For the wind farm projects, we need something that will float anywhere, on mud and swamps, and that can run on roads as well. The ground pressures on the Morooka carrier are minimal, even when it’s fully loaded, and the rubber tracks will go wherever we need it,” says Mr. Kottelenberg.

To fit the Morooka platform, W.K. Dahms had to completely reconfigure his standard Stone Slinger assembly. The result is very satisfying.

“I can’t say enough about this organization and its adaptability,” says Jack Kottelenberg. “The project proved to be very successful for us.” Since the prototype unit first rolled out, AVERTEX has completed several wind farm projects. Mr. Kottelenberg estimates he has put a total of 1.5 million meters of cable in the ground. The company has deployed the Morooka Stone Slinger to other projects as well, including gas lines for a landfill site and placing granular into trenches along railroad beds.

Source: W.K. Dahms Mfg. Ltd

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