Utility contractor Crain Construction, located in Clarinda, Iowa, specializes in water and sewer mains, sanitary and storm sewers, directional boring, concrete foundation, and flatwork. They are not afraid to get their hands dirty; in fact they relish the opportunity. Recently, they took on a high profile job and a tall task for a company of 20 employees. The project was in Cumberland, Iowa and required Crain Construction to replace and install an entire town’s water main and all of their services.
The company, which was established in 1962, does business the old fashioned way. You won’t find their website online, but if you’re anywhere near Clarinda, it’s likely you have heard of them. Everything they do is about helping customers in need and solving infrastructure problems. Clarinda, located in Southwest Iowa and hugging the line of both Nebraska and Missouri, is a small town with a population of less than 6,000. When you do good, quality work, word travels quickly through a small community. There hasn’t been a shortage of work for Crain Construction who pumps out projects throughout the Southwest corner of the state. They are well known and respected amongst their peers.
For a construction company to succeed, it needs good equipment to get the job done. Crain Construction goes to RoadBuilders Machinery and Supply Co., Inc. in Omaha, Neb. for all of their construction equipment needs. RoadBuilders sells and rents construction, aggregate, concrete and scrap handling equipment. The dealer has many different types of customers from sewer and water, concrete, land improvement, and farmers. They feature the entire Takeuchi Manufacturing line of excavators, skid steers, track loaders and wheel loaders and have had great success with the line, including six machines sold to Crain Construction.
“We haven’t had the Takeuchi line for very long, but we have already noticed the reliability that the machines offer,” said Dave Meyerring, sales for RoadBuilders. “Takeuchi is doing a lot of really good things right now and our customers have been very happy with the product they are getting.”
Crain Construction recently purchased the brand new TB240 compact excavator. Their fleet also includes the TB175 compact excavator, two TL12 track loaders, and a TL150 and TL250 track loader. Crain Construction originally bought the TB175 and TL150 as a pair in 2006. Justin Walter, owner and manager of Crain Construction has utilized and appreciated Takeuchi equipment since purchasing that time.
“We did a lot of testing and trial runs and we found those two machines to be the work horses of everything we tried between track loaders and excavators, so we went with those two pieces of equipment,” said Walter. “We liked the TB175 and TL150 so much that it eventually led us to a few additional Takeuchi machines. We still use the two original machines to this day. They feature so much power and dependability. To put it simply, we feel like these machines are bullet proof.”
The city of Cumberland, located about an hour north of Clarinda, was in desperate need of major utility work throughout the entire city. Their water main was rapidly deteriorating, delivering low water pressure to the houses and buildings throughout the city. Facing a highly expensive need, Cumberland applied for financial assistance through the State Revolving Fund loan program, to which they received approval. After looking at their options for contractors, they decided to go with the highly reputable Crain Construction, who has plenty of expertise in the area.
The plan required constructing a new water main throughout the city to replace the existing one, in addition to putting in several new fire hydrants, valves and service connections. They built the new water main within 10 feet of the existing one, which was abandoned in place, cutting costs considerably. Part of Cumberland was without a water main, so the goal was to lay water main in the areas that previously were without it, which would prove to be one of the toughest challenges that faced Crain Construction during the project. The zones without the water main had existing buried utilities with a sanitary sewer, gas, and telephone cable that they would have to be extra careful around.
“Installing the water main throughout the entire city of Cumberland was a great project for us and certainly provided a few challenges along the way, but overall the whole process went pretty smoothly,” said Walter. “It was something that really needed to be done and the Cumberland people were very gracious and really appreciated everything we did for them.”
In total, the project included 10,000 feet of water main. Replacing that much water main means a lot of digging and tearing up the ground throughout the city. For digging, Crain Construction used their Takeuchi fleet.
“Our Takeuchi equipment dug every single foot of that project,” said Walter. “We utilized our fleet a lot throughout this entire project and had no issues with them. It’s exactly why we buy Takeuchi, because of their dependability and the power that they provide on the jobsite.”
A sense of normalcy has since come back to the city of Cumberland who now has a clean water supply along with strong water pressure. It was another job well done for Crain Construction, whose biggest advocates are their customers. When you treat your customer’s right, word tends to travel quickly, especially in the small community of Southwest Iowa.