Summer 2010

Geosynthetics: cooperation in the value chain

TenCate Geosynthetics operates globally with suppliers, distributors and installers. With a view to improving existing products and developing new products and systems, developing new markets and targeted end-user marketing. One of the customers and distributers of TenCate Geosynthetics North America is R.H. Moore & Associates in Tampa (Florida).

The company of founder Ronald H. Moore specializes in (systems for) soil stabilization and erosion control. Cooperation with TenCate Geosynthetics dates back to 1986 and the company is particularly impressed by the customer service and technical assistance. ‘We pride ourselves on representing the leading manufacturers in the geosynthetics industry,’ says Larry Larson (director operations at R.H. Moore), ‘and, when it comes to geotextiles and geogrids, that’s TenCate.’

Aerial view of the installation of TenCate Mirafi® HP770

R.H. Moore attach particular importance to good relationships with the manufacturers. ‘As a distributor in Florida that has been in this business for over 27 years, we could get products from many different sources. However, we have found that many of the manufacturers in our industry are short-sighted, sell directly to customers, and are concerned only about an order today and not about building for the future. TenCate has always been loyal to us, and without that type of relationship I don’t think we would have enjoyed the growth and success that we do today.’

Rolls of TenCate Mirafi® HP770 being installed on phosphate pits

R.H. Moore buys geotextiles, geogrids and TenCate Geotube® containers from TenCate. Although the company sells a tremendous amount of non-woven commodity types of geotextiles, its focus lies elsewhere. ‘In Florida we have many areas that are now being developed which are in swampy terrain or in poor condition. We have found that the TenCate Mirafi® HP series of geotextiles has worked exceptionally well in Florida when it comes installing our transmission line roads and construction access roads. In the past 20 years we have sold almost a million square metres of Mirafi® HP570 for these types of projects.’

A large sludge capping project carried out in Florida. Spreading dirt over seamed TenCate Mirafi® HP770

‘The construction market in Florida, whether concerning the housing market, highway construction or the underground utility market, has been struggling the last few years due to the downturn in the economy. Companies like ours that have learned to diversify in many markets have been able to survive. We also believe you need to stick with the industry you know, and we do that well. We’re very excited about 2010 and beyond; it seems like the industry hit bottom in 2009 and is now on the upswing.’

Increasingly the US market has an eye for durability and quality. ‘The products that TenCate makes and we sell must be certified and constantly tested to ensure that we meet the standards that we publish and which are specified for each project. We have been approached many times in the past by smaller manufacturers to sell their geosynthetics, with promises of lower pricing. Pricing is an important issue but it is not nearly as important as product quality, availability and durability. Supplying an inferior product to a project would hurt the reputations of both TenCate and R.H. Moore & Associates, which far overshadows saving a few pennies per square metre.’

Aerial view of Central Florida phosphate mine after the installation of TenCate Mirafi® HP770

Speaking of loyalty, one of the reasons for the long-lasting partnership with TenCate Geosynthetics is ‘that the company always seems to be working on new products or on ways to change and improve their current products’. For R.H. Moore, research and development is the key to the future. Larry Larson himself has been involved in a number of TenCate R&D projects. ‘The R&D department at TenCate in Pendergrass is one of the best.  When looking at new lines and products in the past, TenCate has regularly asked our opinion as to whether we feel it would be appropriate for our product line and whether we would be interested in distributing it in Florida. Personally I’ve been working with TenCate for over 20 years, and without their support I know our company would not be in the position it is today.’

Blue fabric (Tecawork Blue 65287)