What if a city engineer had the power to reduce manhole and catch basin ring costs by 50%, while dramatically reducing installation time and effort? Bryan Houle, president of contracting firm C.W. Houle in Shoreview, Minn., says he has the experience to know that’s an option. “They just need to specify HDPE rings in the construction documents,” he says.
Houle’s crews have installed LadTech rings in more than 1,000 manholes, which gives him the breadth of experience to back up such claims. While LadTech has been producing lightweight manhole products for more than 20 years, many of its innovations have quietly impacted the processes and products that bring efficiency and longevity to the industry. “It takes time to change hearts and minds, even when the facts bear out the value,” says LadTech CEO Dwight Wiedrich.
“Since the LadTech HDPE rings do not deteriorate like concrete, our products are specified more frequently, leading to the placement of hundreds of LadTech rings in manholes throughout Canada.”
—Dwight Wiedrich, CEO, LadTech
For example, Wiedrich says that one sewer system client in Windsor, Ontario, explained that his team could install the LadTech rings much more quickly than typical concrete rings since they are lighter and don’t rely on mortar and shims. “Windsor has to deal with significant truck traffic and with the freeze and thaw cycles in that geography so traditional concrete rings were having to be replaced frequently,” Wiedrich says. “Since the LadTech HDPE rings do not deteriorate like concrete, our products are specified more frequently, leading to the placement of hundreds of LadTech rings in manholes throughout Canada.”
Houle backs that perception. “During cold weather especially, you don’t have to wait for the concrete to set up,” he says, “leading to quicker completion and far less time and labor.” In California, a municipality found LadTech rings to be the right solution to some of its challenges as well. “A supervisor at a sewer utility told me that our rings are easier to work with versus the standard concrete rings, and repair crews have told him how easy the various sizes are to use,” Wiedrich says.
Extension Ring Adapts to Changing Surface Issues
Extension rings are another LadTech product that bring added value to the HDPE rings. A molded plastic extension ring can be used to increase the height of manholes or catch basins when surfacing or resurfacing a roadway. Development of this concept resulted in a patent for Wiedrich.
“Contractors and department of transportation engineers had complained to me that they often needed a fraction of an inch more to match a finished grade,” he says. “In response, we created spacer rings to use on top of LadTech adjustable rings that raise the chimney heights in quarter-inch increments to match the finished grade.”
The system also provides a wedge to adjust the angle of the catch basin support frame or the manhole cover support frame. The extension includes a pocket for reducing the total surface area of the molded plastic member and provides a shoulder that interlocks with either the manhole cone, the catch basin cone or other stackable molded plastic members. The extension also contains a planer support surface, which provides rigidity as well as a surface where caulking can be applied to create a watertight seal.