New Tools Help Ideal Landscaping ‘Make the Grade’ : CEG

Cody Byrd (L), assembly manager for Ideal Landscaping, and Bob Hendrick of SITECH Precision in Raleigh.

One thing is certain Ideal landscaping Project at Hoover Road Park in Durham, NC: Triangle is using some of the best tools on the market to conduct its evaluation project at the 50-acre football park.

The 30-year-old commercial landscaping company is based in nearby Holly Springs, southwest of Raleigh.

Ideal Landscaping is currently working in Durham to install irrigation systems under four football fields. The family-owned landscaper is a sub-contractor to Skanska USA, along with Fred Smith Construction of Raleigh, the sub-floor supplier for the project. Skanska is the prime contractor for the $ 9.5 million park upgrade with the aim of making it a tournament-grade facility.

“What we had to do was bring in all of our subterranean irrigation, 6” main line that opens into 2.5 “valves, from which lines of various sizes from 2.5” pipes to 1- Customs lines are running, “said Cody Byrd, the install supervisor for Ideal Landscaping. “And when digging out the substructure, we also have to maintain the substructure because there is so much drainage in this field. That means we all use our machines to bring everything back to the starting point after the pipes are laid where we started irrigation and drainage, I have to add 6 inches to this sub-base for the playing area. “

He added that in addition to installing the irrigation system, the drainage was also sized to be 12 inches. Trunk line was positioned around the soccer fields, along with 2-in. Pipes placed every 10 ft. In the center.

“We put artificial soil on it, which also drains very well, about 8 inches of water per hour,” said Byrd. “The idea is that the teams can play on these fields after heavy rain.”

According to the Durham City website, the Hoover Road Park improvement project is due to be completed this fall.

Combining systems makes Byrd’s job easier

With a view to the precise leveling on the construction site, the main device of Ideal Landscaping is a Caterpillar 299D3, the manufacturer’s latest compact track loader with a high-flow XPS hydraulic system. The contractor acquired the Cat loader through its longstanding partnership with Raleigh’s Gregory Poole cat Distribution partnership.

Byrd’s new machine is also equipped with a Cat BB124 box sign on the front end of the loader for grading and grading. Operators can use the box label both manually and automatically with the use of laser or GPS grading systems.

This last option is key to the overall operation of Ideal Landscaping at Hoover Road Park, Byrd said, having also used the services of the Raleigh office SITECH precision to equip him with the kind of technology that guarantees almost absolute accuracy when his teams are installed with irrigation.

SITECH is a leading provider of construction technology in North Carolina. Its experts can assist contractors using GPS systems in solving many of their on-site problems Trimble Machine control solutions for heavy industry. As an Authorized Trimble Dealer, SITECH offers Trimble products that can set up accurate grade control and location positioning systems, machine monitoring, construction software, and wireless and internet-based infrastructure.

“I have a Trimble Zephyr 3 base station that we placed near the gate on the job site,” said Byrd. “The single mast on the Cat’s Box Blade is equipped with Trimble’s GCS900 3D system and is also used to bring my slope back down to the ground.”

The Zephyr base station receives GPS data from orbiting satellites and sends it to Byrd’s equipment in the field. The Trimble kit he bought from SITECH also gives him a lightweight SPS986 Zephyr rover mounted on a mast so he can walk the job site to check the slopes and submit his field plans for irrigation and drainage create. Byrd also carries the Trimble T7 handheld, about the size of an iPad but much thicker, he said, and is connected to each of the other Trimble systems on site.

“The mast on the box shield on the Cat loader works in conjunction with the Trimble Zephyr GPS system to determine the orientation of the machine, while a tilt sensor mounted on the box shield determines the slope of the blade,” said Bob Hendrick, Byrds Point Man with SITECH Precision in Raleigh.

Once the Cat 299D3 is in the field and the human operator approaches the slope, usually within 4 to 6 inches, he or she turns on the Trimble automatic machine controls to override its controls and the technology to override the loader to complete an exact note.

“The operator is still driving the machine but has no control over the slope and depth of the blade,” said Byrd. “At that point, just let the machine do its thing.”

Trimble system reduces post-processing levels

After shopping and talking to SITECH and other companies, Ideal Landscaping decided that the technology package received from SITECH best suited their needs.

“We didn’t need a huge system because we’re not building big highways,” said Byrd. “For us as landscapers, SITECH and Trimble were the right people.”

According to Byrd, Hendrick was invaluable in guiding Ideal Landscaping on how to get the most out of the Trimble system.

“Although I’m still learning how to use it, I’ve seen how easy it is to understand,” said Byrd. “Bob was with me from the start, from sales to training and calibrating my site, base station and machine.”

He added that before he had access to Trimble technology, “while I was doing my as-builts for the irrigation systems, I was out here with a set of blueprints, a pen, and my memory. So I know exactly where everything is, and I can easily record my points without having to get into CAD. Making sure my subsurface is exactly where it needs to be will save me a lot of money because the sand we put down is expensive. “

The great benefit of Trimble technology for Byrd’s company is that they likely only have to touch the dirt once and the irrigation system can be installed as efficiently as possible.

“Usually when we have a subsoil that’s nearby and we irrigate there is a lot of spoil, so we backfill and tamp – all the time hoping it won’t rain because if it breaks we have to come back and we’ll do our final sand lift and put grass on it, “said Byrd. “We’d be out here for two or three days trying to get a good grade and it still won’t be as perfect as it needs to be.

“With the Trimble system, I only sweep this area once. If I walk up and down the construction site alone, I can do everything in one day. I don’t have multiple machines and people on site trying to get it back to perfection. “

Landscaper loves what Gregory Poole Cat offers

It appears that Byrd and Ideal Landscaping, who belong to his father Larry R. Byrd, have developed a close working relationship with SITECH Precision and Trimble, and they hope these relationships will remain as fruitful as Ideal Landscaping’s partnership with Gregory Poole Cat , the Raleigh-based construction equipment dealer and exclusive distributor of Caterpillar equipment in eastern North Carolina.

Ideal Landscaping has several Cat machines nearby, including six skid steer loaders, from the 246C to the new 299D3. Cody Byrd also listed a Cat 304CR mini excavator, D3 dozer, and 320 excavator among his hardware.

“We’ve been with Cat for over 20 years,” said Cody Byrd. “We’ve tried other machines in the past, but we keep coming back to Cat. We also prefer Gregory Poole’s great service department and the convenience of being close to us in Raleigh. If one of these machines breaks down I can call them and you will be out quickly and make the necessary repairs.

Ideal Landscaping Inc. is known across the Triangle for its commercial, design-build, and large-scale residential projects. For more information, call 919 / 567-3325 or visit

For more information on Gregory Poole Cat in Raleigh, call 800 / 451-7278 or visit

For more information on SITECH Precision, call 919 / 876-3666 or visit CEG

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