Customer Profile: Founded in 1965, Buesing Corp. is a specialty contractor with a broad range of services that include earth moving, mass excavation, dirt brokering, aggregates, shoring, shotcrete, crushing, recycling and foundation drilling, with a niche service area of basements and below grade podium garages. The company is licensed in several Southwestern states, but performs a majority of its work in the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Business Challenge: Model and build complex underground systems in challenging conditions.
- Trimble Earthworks Grade Control Platform
- Trimble GCS900 Grade Control System
- Trimble Business Center
- Competitive advantage
- Operator satisfaction and productivity
- Safer jobsites
Founded in 1965 by then 21-year-old Jerry Buesing, Buesing Corp. has grown from a small Northern Minnesota-based material transport company to a top-rated, Phoenix-based regional specialty contractor with a broad range of services. The company self-performs mass excavation, concrete and asphalt recycling, structural excavation and shoring, trucking, mass and site grading, shoring and earth retention, foundation drilling, soil import and export, aggregates, crushing and screening.
The company works in a variety of market segments including commercial, retail, industrial/warehouse, multi-family, residential, healthcare, hospitality, higher education, public works, flood control and heavy highway for public and private entities in Arizona, California, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Texas. High profile projects have included Bank One Ball Park (now Chase Field), America West Arena (now US Airways Arena), and Marina Heights and the Liberty Center at Rio Salado in Tempe, Arizona.
Key to the company’s success on these projects has been an emphasis on skilled crews, continuous training and technology. In fact, Buesing was one of the early adopters of machine control in 2006.
Rio Byman, GPS Manager of Buesing Corporation, said, “A decade ago, the technology was pretty rudimentary, which limited adoption. That’s changed a lot in recent years, particularly in the ease of use and flexibility.”
Today, grade control is an integral part of the company’s ability to build ever more complex solutions in even more challenging site and soil conditions. That demand sparked a shift in technology provider. “Around 2018, we started converting all of our equipment to Trimble because of its reliability and integration with other office and field-based solutions,” said Byman, who is responsible for building 3D models and managing the maintenance, calibration and updates for the company’s machine control solutions.
The company started with the Trimble GCS900 Grade Control System on single mast and dual mast blade scrapers and dozers. More recently, the company has moved to the Trimble Earthworks Grade Control Platform along with Trimble Business Center for managing 3D models.
When asked about the shift, Byman noted, “We found that Trimble is more user friendly and more dependable. The product is top of the line and helps us achieve our end goal of getting a good product to our client.”
Working closely with SITECH Southwest, Buesing has gone from six machines with grade control to 20 in just five years—and the benefits are readily visible on the job and in the office.
The company relies on grade control solutions on its excavators, dozers, motor graders and scrapers, and it’s used on projects of all scope and scale, though it’s the urban high-rise excavation that provides readily visible value.
“A large percentage of our work is on commercial grading and residential, which includes tasks such as soil retention for layout and setting grade, cut grade on wall lines and bottom grade for walls,” Byman said. “But it’s the basements of commercial buildings that are positioned in tight urban conditions where we really excel because of our extensive experience working in challenging soil conditions and assuring structural integrity.”
In many cases, Buesing crews might work on a high-rise basement with zero lot line.
He continued, “Tight conditions and deep excavations require considerable planning and timing to manage excavated dirt, ensure schedules and budgets are met and coordinate with other on-site project partners. With our skilled team and the Trimble workflow, we have confidence to take on the most complex underground challenges.”
Buesing is also working with DNG Construction to replace a below-grade exhibition hall shoring wall for the Phoenix Convention Center, which includes tie-backs and soil removal down to 45-feet. The biggest concern is compromising adjacent structures.
Byman says the 3D modeling and Trimble Business Center are invaluable on projects such as this. “We have structural engineers on staff who design shoring and retention, determine beam sizes, soil retention loads and structure support requirements. It takes a lot of 3D modeling to get to a final solution, and we are extraordinarily cautious, because we have operators in those deep holes working. Once that model is approved, it goes into the machines in the field to cut to defined depths,” he said. “We’re more precise on excavation and also on design issues. The 3D modeling gives us a much better perspective and a more comprehensive design, so there’s less chance of issues on the job.”
Byman believes that improved productivity in the field comes with trust in the technology.
“It takes time for operators to gain faith in the data, and that the machine will excavate efficiently and accurately whether building pads or cutting basements,” he adds.
As well, when they have to change design or grade changes in the field, Byman and his team can update models and get the machines working quickly; there’s very little downtime.
Part of the confidence is Byman’s emphasis on continuous training and taking advantage of learning opportunities. Early on, every new operator spends 3-5 days in the field going through basic operations. “Once they get the basics, we let them run,” Byman said.
The Trimble Earthworks “Autos” or automatics mode is one such feature. Earthworks controls the boom and bucket while the operator controls the stick for consistent, high accuracy finished grade in much less time.
“On any jobsite, the operator has to be aware of everything around them, as well as what’s going on with the blade or scraper,” Byman said. “With Autos, they’re able to focus on what’s going on around the job, plan for watering and other environmental conditions with confidence that the machine is digging to grade. Besides productivity, our jobsites are safer and more efficient.”
Training is ongoing because there are always software updates. Byman continued, “As they gain experience, we’ll show more features and functionality. We keep lines of communication open all the time. If we’re onsite loading models, we’ll answer questions or show them new features. The more training I give them, the more trust they gain.”
He noted that that trust is evident in the field and there’s considerably more job satisfaction. Byman concluded, “With confidence, comes huge efficiencies in that every job is a little faster. We have happier operators who are excited to come to work with newer piece of equipment.”