H&K Group Meets Highway Challenge

Scott Haines, CEO of the H&K Group, likes a challenge. So when the New Jersey Department of Transportation asked if his company could cut in half the time to refurbish a 12-mile stretch of I-295, Haines immediately got to work. At stake was a $99 million contract with bonuses for timely completion and late penalties of $100,000 a day. The job was daunting: reconstruct three lanes of I-295 in Burlington County from Mount Holly to Route 130, comprising 63 lane-miles of work in one year, all while minimizing traffic disruptions.

To achieve that, H&K’s New Jersey Division in Bellmawr formed a joint venture with Intercounty Paving Associates of Hackettstown and started reconstruction of both north- and southbound lanes in February 2010. It ran its quarries and asphalt plants around the clock. It dedicated 100 of its 453 Mack® trucks to the job and ordered 10 new EPA’10-certified Granite® models to guarantee a smooth operation.

The work included turning the existing concrete roadbed into rubble, pavement removal, subgrade, subbase, concrete slab repairs and the application of multiple asphalt layers. The asphalt shoulders were reconstructed, including 276,000 underdrains. Areas under bridges were undercut to maintain or increase vertical clearances. In all H&K moved more than 1.3 million tons of aggregate — and earned its bonuses.

The biggest challenge came at the quarries, which had to run around the clock, said John B. Haines IV, Scott’s father and one of the company founders. “That meant double shifts and moving people.”

Project manager Tony Leotta agreed. “If you don’t have the capability on the material side, it doesn’t matter if you can man-up on the project.”

“It was also our first time working with a JV partner and we had to mesh the two teams together,” said Scott Haines, who added they couldn’t have finished on time without the help of that partner, NJDOT and Mack Trucks, Inc.

H&K’s 10 new Granite models are an important part of the project. Eight are triaxle dump trucks with 455-HP MP8 engines, six-speed Allison® automatic transmissions and Mack 20,000-lb.-capacity front and 46,000-lb.-capacity rear axles. The ninth sports a Mack T310M transmission with 18,000-lb.-capacity front and 46,000-lb.-capacity rear axles. The tenth is a lowboy tractor with a 505-HP MP8 engine and 18,000-lb.-capacity front and 46,000-lb.-capacity rear axles. All run EPA’10-compliant engines with Mack ClearTech™ SCR systems.

Scott Haines said he likes Mack trucks because they’re easy to maintain and supply with parts. Fleet superintendent Dan Alderfer said they can stand up to a tough jobsite and don’t give him problems. “I’m not saying we abuse them but we work them hard,” Alderfer said. “I don’t know if there’s another truck out there that will take that kind of a beating.”

Alderfer also said that, like the truck, the dealer, Bergey’s Truck Centers of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, is always available. “We work around the clock. We need a truck that does the same. Mack stands behind its product.”