Coca-Cola Distribution

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PROJECT: Coca-Cola Distribution

LOCATION: Gaines Twp., MI

INDUSTRY: Industrial Warehouse


During the summer of 2020, Thornapple Excavating, Inc. undertook their largest project to date.

The project itself featured two large industrial buildings—a 218,000 square foot main building and a smaller “truck maintenance” building.  TE crews moved nearly 200,000 cubic yards of dirt onsite by the time the job was done.  Thornapple’s pipe crew installed almost 10,000 linear feet of underground utilities and 41 precast concrete structures of various sizes.  Crews also imported and placed about 41,000 tons of 21AA limestone under more than 16 acres of paved surfaces.  Overall, there were roughly 26 total acres of disturbed ground.

A portion of the unpaved area consisted of a two-acre retention pond surrounded by a gravel access road.  Thornapple’s crews mined additional structural fill material out of the bottom of the pond and in other green areas, replacing it with excess topsoil stripped onsite.  By reducing the job’s overall import / export, TE was able to complete the job as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible for the customer.

Of course, a project of this size does not come without its challenges.  While Mother Nature provided a hot and sunny summer, perfect for moving and placing large volumes of clay like this project required, crews found themselves battling unsuitable material throughout the job.  Crews completed about 12,000 cubic yards of undercuts to keep the job moving.

Above all, the largest challenge Thornapple Excavating faced was meeting the project schedule.  The company dispatched the best their Caterpillar fleet had to offer in order to do so.  

At its peak, the project had two D6Ts, three 330 or larger-sized excavators, four six-wheeled off-road trucks, and several other dozers and smaller pieces of equipment working 12 or more hours per day on various phases of the job.  Thornapple had also outfitted every piece of equipment they could with industry-leading Trimble GPS systems allowing them to not only meet the project schedule, but also exceed it, completing everything discussed above in about six months.