At the moment the biggest inland windfarm in Europe, built by a JV of Morrison Construction and Balfour Kilpatrick, for the client Scottish Power.  There was a talk about it in the Teacher Building in St Enoch square last night. I wasn't there but it prompted me to google "whitelee windfarm" to see how we were beating our chests at having nearly completed this huge prestigious project. Ten pages later in google, nothing, nada, ziltch. Every man and his dog is featured including a video of a quarry blast on U tube. My involvement (unknown to me at the time)  started as a boy wandering those moors, before tax breaks put bloody mono culture trees all over it. By age 16 earned some pocket money by grouse beating, beats tattie picking let me tell you. So many years later when tendering for the project I knew where I was except in those blasted trees, we subsequently shredded thousands of them 🙂  We obtained preferred bidder status and I supervised a trial of a floating road, we used various products in various ways and gained enough knowledge to refine the price. It may help readers to gain a grasp of the scale of the project to say outside Glensanda quarry we operated the biggest quarry operation in Scotland. At peak we had 70 plus articulated dump trucks, I say plus because I am not sure of the total, but I did count 73 when they where all parked up through red diesel shortages in mid late 08. We had an on site brand new Cemex batching plant with backup from East Kilbride, well done guys, a good job. The main mix was a C28/35  using Phoenix cement. A PFA replacement cement, not air entrained so no carbon content issues. Delivery by non licensed (mainly) truck mixers, they took a bit of abuse on the aggregate roads, constant jiggling. We had our own pump most of the time with a great guy called Colin Reid as operator. Colin has operating tickets for most plant and is just one of those guys you need in your team. For instance we bought 16 Santana 4x4s for site use and when the concrete techs santana kept stopping, Colin opened up the fuel tank cap heard the in rush of air and had got the fault in one, blocked fuel tank breather. You just need guys like that on site who solve problems instead of raising them without solutions.  And for any santana users on aggregate roads let the tyre pressures down to 25 psi or prepare for all your organs to be where your bladder is. I wanted to say something about working next to a public water supply source and biodiversity. Imagine the anxiety on one side of the site (Loch Goin) with most of those articulated dump trucks running, plus the backactors feeding them, and the fact that a couple of gallons of diesel would have covered the public water supply!! Loch Goin, where I have singularly failed to catch a decent trout, in days past. Eaglesham to Loch Goin is a serious cycle, especially before bikes with 21 gears plus, so I did not fish it much. So back to this anxiety, not imagined, absolutely real, we had a team completely devoted to spills and how to deal with them, if starter phone numbers failed you ended up with Tony Windle our project manager. Through separate inductions and a vigilant team led on the ground by Alan Chesney (a works manager) we not only prevented pollution we (Alan) invented anti pollution solutions. To biodiversity, we had an ecological clerk of works on site working for the client. So me being a birder we had a rapport, the highlight for me was our designer (Donaldson associates) spotting a merlin breeding next to an excavation  and an agreement put in place to stop work till the juvs fledged. Now that is partnering. That is taking care of schedule 1 birds (well you have to by law). So not a lot about the construction but the hoops to jump through, deep peat is a singular problem, especially when you have to expose and test the sub-strate below it, turbines are not static beasts but move and impose said impulsive loads on the sub-strate so it has to be exposed and tested. This post is to hopefully embarrass Galliford Try our parent company to create posts get the message out there and keep up our page rank in google, I mean who searches to ten pages anyway?

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