Whether it is a seabed adventure, a post-apocalyptic city or aliens invading from outer space, the magic of movies wouldn’t happen without the support of a huge studio infrastructure of stages, sets and enclosed water tanks. With filmgoers flocking to cinemas around the world, investment is flowing back into the movie industry. One of the biggest film companies, British firm Pinewood Studios – producers of the iconic James Bond and Superman blockbusters – is building a 288 acre studio in Georgia, just south of Atlanta in Fayetteville.
When completed, Pinewood Atlanta Studios will be a full service film and entertainment studio complex comprised of five giant sound stages. The project will become a world-class studio for the production of film, television, music and video games. The construction process began in summer 2013 and the first phase is due to open later this year.
Pinewood Studios commissioned general contractor Brent Scarbrough & Company to undertake much of the site preparation work on the project. Brent Scarbrough founded his eponymous company in 1985 – while still in his junior year of college at Southern Polytechnic State University. In the intervening three decades the company has graduated into new specialisms and its ambitions show no sign of slowing.
Before any new work could begin existing buildings needed to be demolished and a considerable amount of earth moved. To tackle these jobs Brent Scarbrough & Company used three different types of Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) machines, including a fleet of L70G-Series and L70 E-Series wheel loaders, an EC480DL excavator and A40F-Series, A25D-Series and A40E-Series articulated haulers.
“The Volvo wheel loaders are bulletproof,” says Glenn Nasworthy, equipment manager at Brent Scarbrough & Company. “They are powerful, stable and our operators prefer the Volvo wheel loaders over other brands. They hold up really well and I think our recent purchase of 10 new L70G-Series machines is a testament to how we feel about these machines.”
The Volvo wheel loader features a comfortable cab, allowing the operator to focus on the job and work confidently. Outstanding lift capacities both in height and reach expand the capabilities of the machines and an extensive range of attachments turn this powerful machine into an adaptable tool carrier.
With various phases of construction underway, Scarborough & Company had to work within the confines and schedule of the project. As walls were going up, excavators and trucks continued the demolition and grading work.
“We think Volvo’s articulated haulers are the best on the market,” says Nasworthy. “We’ve been using them for 20 years and have found that they’re very reliable. Some of the machines even clocked more than 16,000 hours and all we have done is routine maintenance.”
Operators of the A40 F-Series articulated haulers sit comfortably in – a centrally positioned operator station that offers a spacious work environment, high visibility and safety. Equipped with Automatic Traction Control (ATC), the machine detects and engages the right drive combination required, reducing tyre wear, fuel consumption and increasing off-road mobility and traction. Unique self-compensating articulated steering provides excellent stability and steering force for control and precision.
Volvo EC480DL excavators load the haulers with overburden material at the site. “We had 200,000 yd3 of material to move,” says Wilkes Barnett, superintendent at the contractor. “The excavators are very versatile so I can use different operators on different tasks every day. I can switch someone over from a dozer to an excavator with no problems, which shows how intuitive the machines are to operate.”
Added features such as a rear-view camera and color I-ECU monitor also makes the machines easier to operate and when it comes to power, Volvo engines are designed with exceptional peak torque so the machine can operate at a medium rpm and still supply sufficient power and pump flow for good performance and fuel efficiency.
Over the years, local Volvo CE dealer, ASC Construction Equipment in Atlanta, has played a leading role supplying Brent Scarbrough with parts and technical support to ensure machine uptime.
“Volvo has evolved its machines over the years and they definitely burn less fuel,” says Nasworthy. “Saving money on fuel adds to the company’s profit margins and fueling less frequently translates to more up time and productive hours in the day.”