Oxford Plastics News & Events

September 7, 2017

Balkan Plumbing avoids $1200 fine – thanks to Oxford LowPro Trench Cover

The Customer

Established in 1952 – built on $900 savings from quitting smoking – Balkan Plumbing’s founding principles of quality and service have supported the business’ growth to become the largest sewer and water service contractor in the five boroughs of the NYC metro area.

Performing over 2,000 sewer and water service installations a year city-wide, Balkan also carries out repairs, replacements and upgrades.  A family business, Balkan has grown to become large enough to handle all the potential sub-surface plumbing needs of its customers, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

With the most experienced field and support staff in the industry – all Balkan plumbing foremen have a minimum of 10 years of experience – Balkan provides round the clock support to NYC and its surroundings.  Specializing in rapid emergency responses to home and business sewers and water service lines, an experienced engineer is usually on site within 90 minutes.

Whether managing DEP notifications and violations, service line disconnections or sewer alarms and spill monitoring, all work is carried out by Balkan personnel – including in-house paving and cement crews for rapid reinstatement.

The team is supported by the latest digital technology including GPS and mobile devices to ensure that service is optimized – and the right equipment is always on site, available from the 48,000 square foot facility.

Goals & Needs

With a reputation built on quality & service, Balkan Plumbing needs worksite infrastructure that will exceed its customers’ expectations and enables the on-site team to deliver a rapid, reliable, robust solution – while ensuring that the site is safe and compliant.

Around the clock support is vital to Balkan plumbing and its customers; by integrating the latest GPS technology it is possible to provide exact arrival times and job status reports that are accurate – not estimated.  Safety is improved as real-time speed rates and instantaneous corrective messaging ensure that all vehicles maintain 50mph or less.  In turn, this pinpoint location accuracy and rate of speed keep insurance costs – and customer costs – down.

Maintaining fair and uniform pricing structures are front and center for Balkan – particularly as many customer requirements are driven by emergencies and unforeseen circumstances.

The nature of the operation means that Balkan Plumbing frequently operates outside of usual office hours, and needs to identify and deploy solutions with the minimum of downtime in order to keep worksites open – while also protecting profits.

The Solution

Oxford Plastics’ composite, modular road plates, and anti-slip crossing ramps can be placed on highways to cover trenches, reduce traffic delays and ensure safe passage for vehicles and pedestrians.

Popular with utility companies working on gas, water, electricity and communication services, contractors are finding the Oxford products much easier and safer to lift into place than heavy steel plates – and much more stable and durable than plywood.

Furthermore, there is a reduced cost of deployment – no more materials and labor costs associated with painting plywood.

With the strength of steel in a light, safe and user-friendly package the Oxford Plastics range is also compliant with HS20-44.

Advantages Of The Solution

These composite covers from Oxford Plastics – deployed worldwide for the past decade – are now making street works easier and safer for contractors in the USA, and keeping the public moving.

When Balkan Plumbing received a notice from the Department of Transport late on a Sunday night, advising of a 28” deep washout, owner David Balkan was able to deliver an easy – and immediate – fix.

David Balkan comments; “The notice was clear – if we didn’t respond within 3 hours, we would incur a $1200 summons.  Historically, there would have been virtually no way for us to fill the hole, tamp, and blacktop within 3 hours when our facilities are closed after hours on a Sunday.  Working with Oxford Plastics’ composite products, however, we are now able to provide a rapid response to these Dept of Transport notices.”

Downtime is minimized

Quick and easy to deploy, composite road plates and trench covers minimize downtime as no heavy lifting equipment is required.  Composite plates are, on average, one third the weight of a steel alternative and can be installed in minutes by two people – when not in use they can be stowed easily in a standard truck.

Designed with pedestrian safety in mind, composite covers feature a slip-resistant surface and chamfered edges.

With no need to close sidewalks, the covers are ideal for urban areas as the composite material and soft leading edge eliminate any noise pollution – and liability is minimized in terms of both noise pollution as well as slips, trips, and falls.

Maintenance costs are reduced – permanently

Maintenance costs are reduced; the permanent anti-slip surface and hi-vis yellow composite material mean that there is no ongoing maintenance usually associated with the reinstatement of anti-slip surfaces. Time-consuming and costly paint jobs are a thing of the past.

Profits are protected

The delivery and collection costs of steel plates are no longer a problem as composite products attract significantly reduced transportation costs.  Site security issues are eliminated, as the new generation of covers has zero scrap value – another way to protect profits.

Balkan continues; “One man picking up a plastic plate, placing it in his car, and delivering it, took about an hour. Needless to say, the solution was improved safety, no summons, and no more sinking through very heavy rains overnight.  Win, win, and win.“