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Soil mixing equipment addresses in situ soil remediation challenges

Posted by Chip Kogelmann

Dec 8, 2014 10:32:00 AM

Every individual worksite comes with its own set of complications.


One challenge that can increase the complexity of your project is the presence of pollution or contaminants. When a site is known to be contaminated, it may be required to go through a process of remediation by law.

Remediation is the act of restoring soil to a safe, stable, and consistent state that is ecologically friendly. This can often be an expensive and time consuming process that adds difficulty to your project depending on the type of contaminant in the soil and the proliferation of contamination.

These factors influence the severity of contamination and can help you determine the best course of action to remediate the soil so that development can proceed.

Alpine provides a wide variety of soil remediation equipment that is designed to simplify the neutralization of contaminants. Our soil remediation equipment comes with options and customizations that provide you with the ability to select exactly the tools you need to complete the job.TM-D_mixer_ext_web

If your project is a small one and you do not anticipate the need for your own soil remediation equipment, we also offer rentals. Whether you are looking to rent or buy, Alpine has the solution to your soil remediation needs.

One standard set of soil remediation equipment Alpine provides are powerful rock and concrete cutting tools that have been repurposed for soil mixing, remediation, and stabilization. These powerful tools are extremely useful for soil mixing which can help neutralize even some of the most volatile organic compounds.

These soil remediation mixing tools eliminate wasted time and make the process of soil mixing more efficient.

One of the best features of our soil remediation equipment is its level of customizability. Whatever your situation calls for, Alpine provides a variety of options and customizations to meet your needs. From transverse mixers and axial mixers, to drum lacing and mixing paddle layout, Alpine has it all.

Our company also has equipment for specific problems, such as container mixing or work in lined ponds or work areas where puncturing could be an issue. If puncturing needs to be avoided, soil remediation equipment can be paired with depth limiters and bumpers to ensure that puncturing does not occur.

Another special circumstance could call for the use of wet amendments. We provide soil remediation equipment with additive injection piping that is suitable for both wet and dry amendments.

The use of Alpine soil remediation equipment can greatly reduce your project cost by keeping soil remediation on-site. By removing the need for transportation, your project can proceed efficiently and cost effectively.

The majority of Alpine equipment can simply be attached to standard excavators, backhoes, and skid steer loaders which prevents the need to purchase any other special equipment. If your worksite is contaminated, contact Alpine today to find the right soil remediation equipment to take care of your contamination in situ.



Topics: Soil Mixing, Soil Remediation

How to Boost Rock Trenching Precision and Efficiency with a Transverse Cutter Head

Posted by Chip Kogelmann

Dec 4, 2014 10:30:00 AM

boost-rock-trenching-efficiencyTrenching and rock excavation projects are always tall tasks. The inherent uncertainty and variability of rock strength (measured in psi or MPa) and quality (degree and spacing of fractures) makes bidding these projects a challenge and predicting production rates even more so.

These projects involve a substantial amount of preparation and diligent attention until completion. Project managers have to constantly monitor progress because each situation is different and provides its own unique set of challenges.

In addition to making sure the project is completed as efficiently as possible, project managers are also worried about the inherent dangers that accompany trenching.

If you’re looking to improve your process for digging precise trenches for utility lines, here are a couple reasons Alpine’s cutterheads and RockWheels can provide a more precise and efficient solution.

Cutterheads Increase EfficiencyAlpine_trenching_hiprod

Alpine cutterheads have higher production rates than hammers in most applications. In general, hammers afford operators less control which can create unstable trench walls and unintended overbreak resulting in more costly excavation. This excess material often needs to be transported off site to be crushed even further, not to mention needing more backfill for the overbreak, which is a costly practice that quickly adds extra expenses to your project.

Transverse cutter heads equip you with superior control creating narrower, safer trench walls. Cutter heads can also eliminate up to 50% of excavation volume by cutting only the needed trench width, where a hammer needs a "V" shaped opening (see diagram). Cutterheads have the ability to grind crush rock to a consistent enough size that it is able to be used as fill matter on site. This creates an increased level of efficiency that can pay huge dividends for your trenching project.    

Transverse Cutter Heads Have Unmatched Precision

Transverse cutter heads provide you with surgical precision maximizing your control of the project. If you’re digging a utility line, a transverse cutter head will allow you to safely work around any existing utilities. This precision cut is controlled enough to leave the surrounding rock mass intact, unlike the shock force of a hydraulic hammer which can cause force fractures in the surrounding rock.

One great aspect of cutterheads is that precision does not come at the expense of power. Cutterheads are fully capable of cutting through several layers of hard surfaces including rock, pavement, and concrete. The additional precision helps your company limit expensive backfill and surface patching costs. The ability to provide sufficient power while greatly increasing precision makes transverse cutterheads a great solution for your trenching needs.

Here is a video of the Alpine TC-E transverse cutter head in action digging a precise trench in Las Vegas, Nevada.



As you can see, transverse cutter heads are extremely efficient and can help you dig your desired trench exactly the way you want while crushing rock, concrete, and pavement to a size that allows it to be used as fill matter. Transverse cutter heads also provide an unrivaled level of precision in their cuts that can gently grind to a matter of inches instead of crushing with brute force like a hydraulic hammer.

Thanks to these benefits cutter heads provide a compelling alternative to hydraulic hammers. When in the process of digging a precise trench for a utility line, a transverse cutter head could prove to be just the tool you need to make your project successful.




Topics: Cutter Heads, Trenching

Using a RockWheel for Limestone Scaling

Posted by Ryan Leech

Dec 1, 2014 9:54:00 AM

Alpine 150hp Rockwheel in Limestone quarryTrenching and mass rock excavation projects come complete with a unique set of challenges. Each surface has certain qualities that make different cutter drums better equipped to accomplish the task.

Some situations call for smaller and more precise attachments, others call for large heavier options. One specific scenario that can be challenging for excavation projects is the cutting and removal of limestone.

From a technical definition, limestone is a sedimentary rock that principally consists of calcium carbonate. Due to the many forms limestone can be found in, it is known to vary in hardness. In most of our local applications, the limestone that is found is incredibly hard. The greater hardness levels in these limestone deposits call for heavy duty excavators with large attachments that provide enhanced stability.

Another challenge associated with limestone is that it is commonly found in shallow water.

This means that you need a drum cutter that is durable enough to handle the hard limestone and is equally efficient underwater. Alpine drum cutters and cutter heads are specifically built to not only handle the difficulties of grinding and cutting, but to also be easily fitted to perform in underwater scenarios.

Our fully waterproof systems are guaranteed to perform at highly effective levels in either fresh or saltwater. We are also able to offer some custom solutions if your situation calls for extraordinary equipment applications.

Alpine drum cutters are extremely helpful pieces of machinery that make the entire drilling and cutting process easier. Our broad footprint of cutter drums, power, and large number of teeth make them highly effective options.

One of the more difficult stages of excavation projects involves scaling. Scaling is the finishing step in a drill or blast project when all loose rock and debris is removed to make the interior of the tunnel or room safe for thoroughfare and further work.

This process is a critical step in ensuring a safe work environment. Our smooth, vibration-free machining action effectively completes the job without disturbing the foundation or creating micro-cracks. This results in a smooth wall that is consistent and durable. To have the smoothest scaling possible equip yourself with an Alpine drum cutter.

Limestone provides a variety of challenges for excavation projects, but we're happy to help you with everything you need to handle the job.

Our drum cutters are used in high-production underground limestone quarries across the United States and are also being operated for scaling in underground storage facilities.

Alpine drum cutters have even been used successfully in the removal of limestone in underwater applications.

Our wide variety of drum cutters include heavy attachments that work with large excavators that produce a more stable, less bouncy effect. If your next project involves the removal of limestone, check out ALPINE’s drum cutter selection to find the attachment you need to complete the job.

Learn everything you need to know about our cutter heads:download-rock-and-concrete-grinding-brochure


Topics: Cutter Heads, Rock Scaling

How a rock grinder can boost efficiency and reduce cost.

Posted by Ryan Leech

Nov 13, 2014 9:30:00 AM

cutter-head-trenchingEach construction project provides a unique set of circumstances and challenges that calls for creative solutions to meet your goals and deliver on your objectives. The most successful projects are the ones that strike the delicate balance of finding solutions that lower cost without making concessions on quality. For excavation projects that confront you with the toughest rock and concrete structures, rock grinders can be a useful tool to help reduce your cost while increasing efficiency.

Rock grinders, which can also be referred to as cutter heads, are a precise and efficient way to grind and crush rock. They attach cleanly onto the end of existing excavators and operate by employing the hydraulic lines of the machine to which it is attached.

When configured correctly, the cutter head makes quick work of grinding and crushing rock. Rock grinders offer incredible precision. Designed to make powerful even cuts, rock grinders are also capable of cutting with a high degree of accuracy. This gives you greater control over your operation and allows you to cut until your exact specifications are met.

Rock grinders are the ultimate precision tool to allow you to work within precise dimensions without collateral destruction.

A great example of this is the TC-D cutter head with a cutting force of nearly 18,000 foot pounds. In one case it was employed for a water line trenching job in soft rock of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The cutter head replaced a hoe-ram attachment that was simply poking holes in the rock, and wasn't making good progress. The TC-D exhibited excellent trenching efficiency and cut vertically into the desired width. 

In addition to effectively cutting rock and concrete, rock grinders are also efficient when it comes to cleaning up the debris. When using a rock grinder, rock rarely needs to be hauled off site to be crushed further. The grinder produces a much more consistent waste product than traditional methods like hydraulic hammers. Rock grinders are also exceptionally precise, meaning that one only grinds as much rock as he or she needs. The condensed waste translates directly into saving you both time and money.Rockwheel_foundationexcavation

The efficiency provided by rock grinders does not come at the price of power. Each individual rock grinder is composed of tough carbide teeth that are fitted on rotary drums. This fitting makes them extremely durable.

Rock grinders are exceptionally resistant to wearing out. Unlike some other applications, rock grinders can be counted on for more than one project before needing to be replaced. Being able to use a rock grinder for multiple projects that involve a variety of surfaces makes rock grinders a valuable investment. Alpine rock grinders provide an unparalleled combination of efficiency and durability.

If you are searching for a versatile tool that can increase the efficiency of rock or concrete removal in sensitive areas, then an Alpine rock grinder could be just what you need. Alpine offers a full line of rock grinders that are sure to be suited to your unique situation.

Grinders can be selected on the basis of size and horsepower to ensure that you receive the best option available.

Our dedicated team of experts is readily available to provide you with assistance every step of the way. Lower the cost and increase the efficiency of your next project by calling today.



Topics: Cutter Heads, Concrete Grinding, Trenching

Cutterheads for Safe and Effective Scaling on Bridges and Dams

Posted by Ryan Leech

Nov 10, 2014 9:30:00 AM


NYstate_damscaling2Cutterheads are used primarily for trenching, tunneling, and scaling applications. In scaling, the use of a cutterhead offers both a safe and effective method of scaling large structures like man-made bridges and dams. Through the use of a transverse cutter head, areas that are normally tough to access like bridge abutments and structural areas of dams can be rehabilitated effectively. Let's take a look at some of the cutter heads uses.

Scaling Uses

More specifically, cutterheads use an impact angle placed between the tops of the bits on a cutter, or what we often refer to as “picks.” It is truly amazing how precise and delicate such a forceful piece of machinery can be.

The cutterhead has a very smooth action that is entirely free of any significant vibration, and has a relatively low amount of noise, especially for such a powerful machine. In application, the cutter head scales a surface, but its bits manage not to destroy or create additional structural problems, such as micro-cracks in the concrete.

Beyond the scaling of large structural masses, the cutterhead can, and is used for scaling debris after blasts. For instance, most often, an attachment is used to knock out chunks of concrete after any drilling and blasting is performed, which is just another example of how versatile a cutter head can be in terms of scaling objects of all sizes.


The performance of a cutter head is most synonymous with large structural operations, for instance, a municipal dam, or an interstate bridge. These are the jobs that a cutter head thrives on. In the process, the cutter head will operate at a relatively low speed, somewhere between 60 and 120 rpm. However, the machine's high amount of torque gives it incredible precision and effectiveness. Many cutter heads also have a big drum, which allows them to cover a large surface area when scaling a tall structure.


Using a cutter head for scaling, it is especially crucial to keep the machine's maintenance up. Things like greasing the drum once or twice a day is critical to the performance of the machine when meeting the rigors of a scaling job. Drum greasing, along with daily gear oil, bolt, and hydraulic system checks will ensure that the cutter head is able to consistently scale and perform on the most challenging bridges and dams.

Find out everything you need to know about rock grinding with a cutterhead


Topics: Cutter Heads

Long-reach concrete scaling with a Rockwheel

Posted by Ryan Leech

Nov 6, 2014 3:21:36 PM

We get this question a lot: "how far can these things go into the ground" or "will the Rockwheel work on a long reach excavator?" 

Answer: Yes! There is no depth restriction, heck we've even had cutterheads working several thousand feet underwater. And this photo below shows a very long reach excavator running an Alpine Cutterhead on a recent job concrete scaling in a canal rehab project. The concrete was drilled at the maximum depth of the removal, as a stopping indicator. Next, the majority of the concrete was removed with a hydraulic hammer. Finally, the cutterhead scaled the remainder down to tolerance. This gave the wall face a solid, clean finish that could easily resurfaced.

Long reach excavator concrete wall scaling

Long reach excavator concrete scaling2


Find out everything you need to know about rock grinding with a cutterhead


Topics: Concrete Grinding

How-to: RockWheel Installation and Excavator Flow Testing

Posted by Ryan Leech

Oct 21, 2014 2:40:00 PM



Rockwheel installation, like any hydraulic attachment installation should include a flow test and adjustment on the excavator, backhoe or skid steer loader. This assures that the attachment is receiving the correct amount of flow and that the relief pressure is set accordingly. These numbers will be different for each and every Rockwheel model and will ideally differ according to the application. Alpine always recommends flow and pressure settings for each RockWheel that goes out the door. 

This video takes you step-by-step through the flow test and installation process, which is pretty easy with the right tools. Check it out here:

Resources: Flo-Tech meters
Horsepower Calculation: Here and Here




Topics: How-to

Bedrock Excavation with Adjacent Sensitive Structures

Posted by Ryan Leech

Oct 13, 2014 11:27:00 AM


Excavation of bedrock adjacent to aging or historic historic structures on problematic foundations is not a task for the faint of heart. Blasting is definitely a no-go and large impact hammers can cause seismic waves that propagate and cause micro or macro fractures well away from the work zone, potentially weakening the existing foundation leading to cracking or in the worst case, collapse. Moreover, hydraulic hammers are not suited for such “dental work” where precision rock removal is required. Unintended overbreak is also a significant risk. 

This is a case where Alpine rock grinding attachments (aka RockWheels) are often the tool of choice. 


Through a high-torque (up to 41,400 ft lb),  low-speed (60-120 rpm) cutting action rock grinders attack the shear strength of the rock by “raking” at a 45°-50° angle with conical carbide tipped teeth (picks). Cutting drums typically have 50-80 picks depending on width. Picks are arranged in a spiral fashion with successive picks offset laterally.  As the rotating drum cuts, picks overlap the fracture zone created by the ones ahead. 

The result is an excavation mechanism vastly different from hammers (cutting vs. breaking) and much lower vibrations compared hammers. Smooth, continuous cutting keeps disturbance to surrounding rock and structures to a minimum. Rock can be removed rapidly and with a precision simply not possible with hammers. Tight corners can be milled and walls and bottoms can be made smooth.  Another benefit is the usability of the cuttings. Instead of hauling off large rocks and crushing and disposal, the milled rock (typically 1”-3”) can be reused on site as bedding or back fill eliminating costs associated with transport.

Recently an Alpine TC-E (190-hp) was successfully on a Komatsu PC390 in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania just across the street from the historic courthouse built in 1805. Limestone bedrock with a strength of 15,000-20,000 psi was successfully cut without disturbance to adjacent historic brick buildings or the underlying rock. 



Topics: Excavation

Alpine+Penn State R&D collab seeks to optimize soil mixer efficiency

Posted by Ryan Leech

Oct 8, 2014 11:40:00 AM

Alpine's partnership with researchers at the Pennsylvania State University continues into 2014 as we continue to improve our soil mixer designs.  

Using numerical modeling and particle tracing, the research team at PSU has simulated the complex interaction between fluid-solid mixtures and mixing tools in order to evaluate torque demand, mixing quality, and drum geometry.

The images on the right show a time-lapse animated model at different views, which indicate how particles move within a substrate with a specific soil pick configuration. These models are run with different drum configuratuions to compare how the particles move and disperse.

What this means for you: we're still digging into complex models to provide the most efficient, cost-effective and thorough mixing tools on the market.

See Alpine's Mixing equipment >HERE



Topics: Soil Mixing

Custom Extension Brackets for Mixers and Grinders

Posted by Ryan Leech

Aug 25, 2014 10:25:00 AM


Alpine Mixer w/ 8' extension bracket

In addition to providing industry-leading rock & concrete cutting attachments and soil mixing equipment, Alpine offers customized extension brackets to accommodate tough applications such as underwater cutting, deep mixing or extra-deep trenches.

We have designed and built a variety of extension brackets of different lengths for different applications. Most recently, we designed an 8' boom for a soil stabilization project. The 8' bracket for our TM-B2 mixer has internal hydraulic housing to reduce interference, dry mix delivery piping for stabilization medium (cement or similar) and easy-access portals that opened into the water-tight boom and mixer motor compartment.

This system offers clients a clean, easy-to-service mixer and boom attachments for applications such as in situ drilling mud stabilization and solidification.

Alpine TM-D Mixer with 6' extension for mixing in barge containers





About this blog

This blog is a resource for research, how-to's, and general news regarding rock grinders, transverse cutter heads, roadheaders, and alternatives to hydraulic hammers. 

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