In a ceremony today at John Deere’s Dubuque Works, NPL Construction, a national infrastructure services contractor headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, received the keys to John Deere’s 250,000th backhoe, a decked-out commemorative 310SK.
NPL’s commemorative 310SK, featuring silver-skinned loader and backhoe buckets plus decals commemorating the 250,000th designation, won’t see dirt anytime soon. The company is planning to feature it in a series of kick-off meetings for employees taking place throughout the country, plus give Deere the opportunity to feature it at their ICUEE booth in Louisville this fall.
In accepting the backhoe, Jim Kane, president and CEO of NPL Construction, referred to a time when NPL faced a daunting task. About three years ago, several incidents in the natural gas industry prompted new government rules on pipeline replacement, “which resulted in a virtual doubling of NPL’s workload, and our need for equipment.” he said. “In point, we needed 75 backhoes in 60 days.”
Kane says Deere immediately responded to the request for additional machinery and support. “What you probably don’t realize is that your actions made a good part of America safer,” Kane added in remarks before an audience that included company executives, product engineers and production workers. “The pipe we were replacing had long outlived its useful life. You had big hand in improving the safety of communities across the country.”
During NPL’s 13-year relationship with Deere, Deere has provided NPL with 1,700 machines, including 1,000 backhoes, said Kane.
Mike Mack, Deere’s Construction & Forestry president, told the group the 310SK represented a “long line of backhoe models that have evolved right here in this factory.”
The 310SK is part of Deere’s K-Series, the latest in more than 50 models the company has produced in Dubuque since 1971.