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G45 Rockwheel takes 14,000 psi rock to task in New York wastewater treatment plant construction

Posted by Chip Kogelmann

Nov 1, 2016 9:51:49 AM

Two 200-hp G45 Rockwheels installed on CAT349 excavators have helped the contactor complete a challenging rock excavation project in New York state.  Geo technical data indicated rock to be in the 14,000 psi range.  Because they were excavating next to an operating treatment plant, hammers and explosives were too risky because of possible collateral damage.  In addition the rock excavation went right up to newly set caisson walls and concrete support pillars.  The G45 rockwheels were favored because of low disturbance to surrounding structures and becasue of their ability to cut continuously.  In additon to the two G45 Rockwheels a smaller AX20 and D10 were used where even more precision was required.  Excavator mounted rock cutting tools from Alpine Rockwheel are available world wide.  www.alpinecutters.com




Topics: Excavation, Rockwheel

Alpine D10 Rockwheel Cutting Potash

Posted by Chip Kogelmann

Oct 6, 2016 4:23:26 PM

The Alpine D10 Rockwheel is the tool of choice for cutting potash.  Here you see the tool working in the Canadian potash mines for scaling, floor leveling, and trimming the back (roof) of the tunnel network.  This 40-hp (30-kW) cutter is part of the Rockwheel product line that ranges from 13 to 300-hp.

Topics: Tunneling, Rockwheel, Mining

High precision rock removal with D30 Rockwheel

Posted by Chip Kogelmann

Aug 9, 2016 7:10:33 PM

The Rockwheel D30 is getting some great press from down under.  Extremely precise rock grinding with minimum disturbance to the adjacent material.  The same applies to tunneling work and concrete removal on sensitve structures. Alpine stocks the full line of Rockwheels for excavators in every size class.  Rental rock grinders are always available as well so you can try them on your equipment at your jobsite.  The Rockwheel will prove its worth!Australia.jpg

Topics: Roadheaders, Tunneling, Excavation, Rockwheel

Alpine Rockwheel in Construction Equipment Magazine

Posted by Chip Kogelmann

Jun 14, 2016 10:58:45 AM


The word is getting out. See our recognition in Construction Equipment Magazine.   Alpine Rockwheels are the go-to tool for rock removal when conditions are too hard for ripping with a bucket yet not so hard that heavy hammer is needed.   Rockwheel rock and concrete grinders are the right tool for the job between 1000 and 15,000 psi rock.  In fracutred rock, they are exceptionally effective.  





Topics: Rockwheel

Precision rock removal with Alpine Rockwheel

Posted by Chip Kogelmann

May 31, 2016 4:57:16 PM

An interesting project is underway in the State of Indiana in the USA.  The contractor is using an Alpine D30 Rockwheel installed on a CAT336 excavator to precisely remove 4-ft of hard limestone shelf rock in order to place 96-ft long concrete box culverts in a river tributary.  The job required rapid and precise rock removal as well as a smooth, flat finished surface.  The D30 rock grinder was the ideal tool for this job.  Hydraulic hammers were not an option because of the rough irregular surface they create and inability to cut accurately within inches to get the final grade right.  A further benefit was the generation of ground rock which can be reused onsite rather than hauled away.  Alpine Rockwheels are the go-to tool for rapid and precise rock cutting.  See video:  https://youtu.be/a1PdLC_feac 



Topics: Excavation, Rockwheel

Alpine D20 RockWheel for Rock Trenching: When is a RockWheel the best call?

Posted by Chip Kogelmann

Jun 12, 2015 3:08:27 PM

With regard to trenching in rock, a frequent question I get from customers and equipment dealers is "When do I use a RockWheel vs. a hammer or ripper bucket?"  The answer is somewhat simple, the RockWheel is the best option when the ground is too hard to rip with a bucket yet not so hard that a heavy hammer is required.  There is a wide range of rock strength that falls within this RockWheel Zone as the figure below illustrates.


Of course we live in a world of nuances and gradients where the choice isnt always so easy so here are a few other pointers on when a RockWheel should be the tool of choice for a rock trenching job:

  • If the hammer is just punching holes in the rock, a RockWheel is a better option.
  • If noise and seismic disturbance (e.g. in residential area or near sensitive structures) is an issue, the quieter, smooth cutting RockWheel is a better option.
  • If you want to create reusable fill (2" and smaller rock cuttings) and not bring in a crusher, a RockWheel is a better option
  • If a flat trench bottom is required, the RockWheel is a good choice.  Even if you option to break out the rock with a hammer, the RockWheel can be used to trim the walls and trench bottom.
  • If the rock is highly fractured, the RockWheel is an excellent choice because the many teeth on the drums will act as multiple rippers and excavator very rapidly.
  • If a slot cut it desired, not the "V" trench one gets with a hammer, a RockWheel is an excellent choice.

An Alpine D20 RockWheel was rencently employed for sewer line trenching in upstate, NY.  The very hard shale was not rippable with the CAT 345 bucket with Tiger Teeth and becasue it was in a residential zone with concerns about noise, a hammer was problematic. Alpine installed a D20 RockWheel on a new LinkBelt 250X4 (Tier 4).  The LinkBelt was easily programmed to allow three speed & torque settings for the RockWheel and the customer made rapid headway in the trenching job.  When the rock was softer he went for faster drum RPMs and when  harder rock was encountered, they went for lower RPMs but more torque in seconds.  The result was a trench cut to the excact cross section without any overbreak or extra width at the top as is often the case when trenching with a hammer.  Moreover, the milled rock made for perfect pipe bedding and backfill, saving the cost of bringing in this material.




Here are a few photos:IMG_7800





Topics: Cutter Heads

How to: Do's and Don'ts of Rockwheel Operation

Posted by Ryan Leech

May 29, 2015 11:00:00 AM


Operationally, the Rockwheel is a simple tool: push the button and the drums spin, rock is engaged and it starts cutting. To help operators get optimal work out of a Rockwheel, we made a short video on how to hit the "sweet spot" while cutting. Check it out!









Topics: Concrete Grinding, Rockwheel, How-to

Does your Hoe Ram do this?

Posted by Ryan Leech

Apr 21, 2015 1:30:00 PM

This is debris direct from a RockWheel G5 cutting on a concrete block. 

Quick cutting + usable backfill = $$$ saving




Topics: Concrete Grinding, Rockwheel

Watch the RDC 22.20 Working in 60" Headroom

Posted by Ryan Leech

Apr 16, 2015 11:00:00 AM

RDC Demo Robot with Rockwheel G5Alpine RDC Robot equipped with G5 RockWheel excavating hard ground beneath a sensitive structure.

The RDC Robot was a zero emission solution and was the only machine suitable for working in the confined space that was limited to 60-inches of headroom.




Learn More about the RDC


Topics: Demolition Robot

How Deep into Rock Will a RockWheel Cut?

Posted by Ryan Leech

Apr 14, 2015 10:30:00 AM

deep_cutterheadWhen you are placing a bid on an excavation project there are an abundance of factors that you are taking into consideration.

There are concerns about the geographical location of the project site and the conditions you will potentially face and what equipment and manpower will be necessary to complete the task to the customer’s highest level of satisfaction.

One piece of equipment that is extremely useful in a variety of excavation applications is a cutterhead.

Like most tools, cutterheads come in a variety of options, including specialized custom cutterheads available for particularly challenging or unique situations.

Cutterheads offer numerous advantages over simpler excavating products such as hydraulic hammers.

The enhanced functionality of a cutterhead will give you more precise control over the quality and structure of your Rockwheel_foundationexcavationexcavation projects.

In addition to better overall performance, cutterheads also have the ability to lower costs and improve the efficiency of your project as well.

How deep will a cutterhead cut?

Today we’re going to look specifically at one aspect of cutterhead performance that is important to excavation projects, namely, how deep will a cutterhead cut?

The short answer is that cutterheads theoretically have the ability to operate at any depth, but they are dependent on the excavator or carrier machine they are attached to for reach and depth.

The power and rate at which a cutterhead operates should be constant, so the biggest restriction to a cutterhead’s ability to cut is how far the carrier machine can physically put the cutterhead into the ground.

This means the machine type will obviously have an impact on how the cutterhead performs. Knowing what excavator or carrier machine you have will affect the scope of your project.

Know beforehand what type of excavator or carrier machine you will be attaching your cutterhead to and you’ll be able to determine how deep your cutterhead will be equipped to cut.

Different machines have different capabilities, and even factors such as the machine’s weight and dimensions will change the way a cutterhead performs.

If you have any specific questions about an attachment or need help installing a cutterhead, feel free to contact one of our team members here at Alpine.

There are a few other factors that will directly impact the depth at which a cutterhead will perform.

These include the specific type of cutterhead you select as well as the surrounding conditions of the project site.

The soil type and the surrounding landscape such as the presence of fault lines, utility lines, and any other obstacles will have a direct correlation to how deep the cutterhead can safely excavate.

Cutterheads have the capability to operate at any depth you need to get the job done, and most scenarios will need to be evaluated on a case by case basis.

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



Topics: Cutter Heads, Trenching, Excavation

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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