Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 65

RONALD LANE INC.

WINTER 2016

E
M
I

we believe in giving them a good product and having satisfied landowners.
Landowners are our best advertising;
we've got a good reputation."
RLI specializes in steep slope pipeline construction. They pay careful
attention to weather conditions, knowing that it makes a difference in daily
operations. They do things differently
than other contractors. They pride
themselves in being environmentally
friendly and appreciated by landowners. They believe in cross-training
their employees for efficiency. Safety is
always of the utmost importance, also.

STEEP SLOPE EXPERIENCE
Operating bulldozers on the steep
slopes of the Appalachian Mountains
to bury pipelines in the rocky red clay
of West Virginia is a special skill that
Ronald Lane Inc. has developed over
its 36-year history. "You get in West
Virginia - what some people call pipeline hell - we call it pipeline heaven,"
President Ronald Lane declares.
It's heaven because working there
is one of Ronald Lane Inc.'s competitive advantages. "The average
pipeline contractor lays pipe, welds
it together in strings and then they'll
take equipment and they lift it into
the ditch," Lane explains. "What we do
differently is we lay our pipe one joint
at a time in the ditch. That allows us to
use smaller equipment, and keep our
cleanup close behind."
Lane points out that it is easier
to hold a 40,000-pound excavator
on a 35 to 40-degree slope than a
100,000-pound one. "The less equipment and less people we have on a
steep hill, the less chance of error or
somebody getting hurt," Lane notes.
"We've never had a fatality in our company." On steep slopes, Ronald Lane
Inc.'s operators and their equipment
are secured by winch lines for safety.
Lane says the ditch tends to be 25 per-

RLI carefully manages the amount of equipment and people on a job to maintain safety.

cent rock with a heavy concentration
of red clay, which can turn slippery in
adverse weather conditions.
"For five months out of the year,
you've got changing weather conditions all the time, and that impacts
the ability to lay pipelines here," Lane
remarks. "You can have five days below
25 degrees and the ground freezes hard,
and all of a sudden, there's sunshine
and 45 or 50 degrees. That makes
two inches of red clay grease on top
of frozen ground. It's a recipe for an
accident." RLI has always made safety
a top priority. They started requiring
drug testing in 1988, long before it was
an industry standard. "We want our
employees to return to their families
safe every day."

LESS IS MORE
The advantage of Ronald Lane Inc.'s
techniques of using fewer workers and
less equipment is that the pipeline
ditches are backfilled and cleaned up

quickly so the environment and landowners benefit.
"It's environmentally the best and
safest way to do it," Lane asserts. "It's
also the most cost-effective way to do
it. We've had companies that kept our
man-hours on a job, and compared
to other contractors, I was told our
average man-hours on a job are about
half our closest competition, and the
average is 2.5 times our man-hours on
a job. We run a pretty tight ship with
just enough qualified people and the
right equipment to get it done."
Fewer pieces of equipment also
means local roads are tied up less
when they have to be moved.
"In West Virginia, you've got all
these small roads," Lane points out.
"When moving equipment, you impact
the local traffic. Our equipment is on
the right-of-way. It's not being moved
around excessively compared to larger
contractors. They're always moving
equipment.
emi-magazine.com 65


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016

Contents
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - Cover1
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - Cover2
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 1
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 2
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - Contents
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 4
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 5
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 6
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 7
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 8
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 9
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Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 12
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 13
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 14
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Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 17
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 18
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 19
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 20
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 21
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 22
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 23
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 24
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 25
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 26
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 27
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 28
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 29
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 30
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 31
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 32
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 33
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 34
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 35
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 36
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 37
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Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 65
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Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - 80
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - Cover3
Energy & Mining International - Winter 2016 - Cover4
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