Awarded ‘Best Field’ 15th Straight Year

For the 15th time in as many years, Haymarket Park – the home of the Saltdogs – was selected ‘Best Playing Field’ in the American Association, as voted by American Association league managers and media.  Josh Klute has been the Athletic Turf Manager at Haymarket Park since 2006. In addition to the 10 American Association titles, he also helped earn the ballpark ‘Baseball Field of the Year’ in the College/University division by the Sports Turf Management Association in 2007 – the second time Hawks Field at Haymarket Park earned that national award.

“Each year I appreciate this award more and more as each year brings a new set of challenges,” Klute said. “There are some really good playing surfaces in the league so we definitely don’t take this award for granted.”  As a member of the Northern League, Haymarket Park garnered the award from its inception in 2001 through 2005, and has continued the title reign through all 10 seasons of American Association play.

Klute is assisted by Jeremy Johnson, Jen Roeber, Marcus Laible, Tyler Lutz, and the game day turf crew.

October 16th, 2015|

OL&B Purchases New Locomotive

OL&B recently added a new locomotive to their fleet. The new locomotive is a GP38-3 and is numbered OLB 47. The old locomotive, previously numbered OLB 47, will now be identified as OLB 12. OLB 47 was rebuilt similarly to how BNSF and Union Pacific rebuild their 4 axle locomotive fleets so that knowledge on repairs and parts availability will be much better than OLB 12, which was on year 24 since it’s rebuild. OLB 47 is equipped with a rebuilt motor, traction motors, and received new electronics upgrades that are the latest in the industry. The new improvements increases adhesion (tractive effort) and improves diagnostics. OLB 12 will live on in the OL&B fleet but will be used primarily as a backup.

The new locomotive is rated at 2,000 horsepower and 87,000 lbs. of tractive effort which is how railroads measure pulling effort. OLB 47 is a 500 horsepower increase over OLB 12 and its new electronics provide approximately 20,000 lbs. increase over OLB 12. The new locomotive is FRA compliant and will be capable of operating on BNSF and UP lines if it is ever needed.

September 1st, 2015|

Watkins Receives Plant Upgrade

Watkins Concrete Block Company is nearing completion of the construction of their block plant expansion and equipment upgrades. The plant construction began in November 2014 and is set to be completed in April.  The upgrade included a building expansion, new curing chambers and a new pallet transport system. Equipment that was nearly 35 years old has now been replaced and the size of the block plant that houses the curing chambers and the maintenance shop were expanded. A 16 chamber block kiln was also installed and a pallet transporter system that includes a new elevator, lowerator and transfer car.

The new curing chamber is phase two of a major plant upgrade that began in late 2013 and consisted of new splitting, cubing and packaging equipment.  The expansion and equipment upgrade should increase productivity, efficiency and capacity while also improving product quality. The upgrade provides greater versatility for producing specialty products for both the hardscape and masonry markets.  The plant upgrade progressed quickly which limited the plant’s down time. The dedicated team of employees responsible for production have demonstrated their commitment to the company by working long hours and many weekends for the last 5 months. Their hard work and determination have been key factors contributing to the successful completion of the upgrade.

April 1st, 2015|
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