Mary Linda Miller
The Author
Mary watched Terry and his friends everyday while they worked on the construction site near her home. She was happy to see them make progress as the reclaimed water pipes went into the ground under the street. One day she saw three excavators ・or diggers or trackhoes as they're often called ・sitting side-by-side. One was huge and bulky, one was medium-sized with soft round curves, and one was small and cute as could be ・like the Three Bears - Papa, Mama, and Baby. She was so excited that she went home and wrote a story about a family of trackhoes.

Carmelo Louis Monti, AIA emeritus
The Illustrator
When Carmelo "Mel" Monti read his wife Mary's story, he was so excited he began drawing cartoons about the Trackhoe family. Soon Mary and Mel decided to make a book, but Mel needed pictures of the equipment so his drawings would be just right. They took their camera to the construction site and shot all of these (and many more) photographs of Papa, Mama and Terry as well as Fred and Frieda Front-loader and other things.

Terry Trackhoe™
Terry Trackhoe began as a Volvo® Compact Excavator, Model EC55B-Pro. He weighs about six tons (12,000 pounds), has a 4-cylinder diesel engine, and has 16-inch wide rubber tracks.

Terry's arm can reach out 20-feet and his bucket can dig a hole 13-feet deep. His cab stands just over 8-feet tall but he's only 6-feet wide. If he swings his arm high, it will reach 19-feet in the air. Terry isn't as little as you think he is.

Terry Trackhoe likes the dirt.
Watch out for flying mud!

Terry Trackhoe can change his bucket. He can wear a small one only 14-inches wide - or he can have a bigger one that痴 3-feet wide. Big hydraulic pistons move his arm and bucket up and down.

Reclaimed Water Pipe
The purpose for the construction project where Terry and his friends worked was to install reclaimed water pipes under the street. The pipes will carry water from the wastewater treatment plant to customers who use it to sprinkle lawns, golf courses, and crops. Reclaimed water pipes always have purple on them (notice the stripe) so that everyone can recognize what they are. Notice the big forks that are used by Fred Front-loader to carry the pipes.

Papa Trackhoe™
Lifting pipes is hard work. Papa Trackhoe has a very strong arm and can easily move them around. He's the biggest machine on the site.

Papa Trackhoe began as a Hyundai® Crawler Excavator. He weighs twenty-four tons (48,000 pounds), has a six-cylinder diesel engine, and has 28-inch wide tracks. His arm can reach out 31-feet and his bucket can dig a hole 20-feet deep. His cab stands almost 10-feet tall and he's equally wide. If he swings his arm high, it will reach 31-feet in the air. Papa is really big and looks monstrous.

Mama Trackhoe™
Mama began as a Komatsu® Excavator Model PC138-US and she weighs nearly seven tons (14,000 pounds). She has a turbo-charged 4-cylinder engine and her tracks are 20-inches wide. Her arm can reach out nearly 28-feet and her bucket can dig a hole 18-feet deep. Her cab stands 9-feet tall and she's just over 8-feet wide.

Because her cab is short and rounded, she can fit in many places and still swing around, where Papa would be far too wide. If she swings her arm high, it will reach 31-feet in the air, the same as Papa's. Mama looks smaller than Papa but she's very powerful and surprises everyone with how much she can do.

Dewatering Pipes
The soil in Florida is very sandy and the water table is high. When a hole is dug, it quickly fills with water seeping out from the sides of the hole. If Papa digs a hole for the reclaimed water pipe, he doesn't want it to fill with water before he can install the pipe. About two weeks before he begins, crewmembers like Merry Mica and Lazy Larry install a dewatering system alongside the area where Papa will be digging. In this picture, the gray flexible tubes connect to long thin pipes called wellpoints that are stuck down in the soil. The gray tubes also connect to a big white pipe that goes to a pump. When the pump is turned on, it sucks water out of the soil into the slotted wellpoints and up through the gray tubes. It's like sucking on a straw in a milkshake cup ・the liquid comes up slowly. The water trickles through the gray tubes, travels into the big white pipe and moves to the pump.

Dewatering Pump
The white pipe carries the water into the pump, which expels it out into the red hose. The hose goes to a storm sewer inlet or over to a pond ・someplace where the water is taken away from where the trackhoes will be digging.

Ladder for Merry Mica™
Papa Trackhoe is digging; the dewatering pipes are moving water out of the soil; and Merry Mica is down in the hole with her shovel. She'll need that ladder to get out before Papa turns around to dump dirt into the hole.

Mama Tidies Up
Mama is always busy cleaning up after Papa digs a hole.

The Potty Stop
Maybe Lazy Larry is inside.

Stanley Steamroller™
Stanley is busy flattening dirt after the hole has been filled in.

Willie Watertruck™
"No dust! That's the rule. No dust!"

Fred Front-loader™
Fred has forks today instead of his usual bucket because he's been moving the big reclaimed water pipes over to Papa.

Frieda Front-loader
Frieda is carrying sand with shovels over to Merry Mica.

Mary with Terry
Terry isn't so big after all, when you see Mary standing next to him.

The road is closed and Terry and Papa say, "Goodbye! Come visit us again."

The Terry Trackhoe series and the above photographs are copyright ©2010 Mary Linda Miller and Carmelo Louis Monti, AIA emeritus
Terry Trackhoe, Papa Trackhoe, Mama Trackhoe, Merry Mica, Stanley Steamroller, Willie Watertruck, Fred Front-loader, Frieda Front-loader, and all other characters in the Terry Trackhoe series are trademarked, Mary Linda Miller.

© Copyright 2010 Mary Linda Miller. All rights reserved.