Veteran-led disaster response organization Team Rubicon began the heavy equipment operations of “Operation Hard Hustle” with equipment and onsite support personnel provided by Case Construction Equipment. Initial heavy equipment operations included debris removal and home demolition near Rockport and Arkansas Pass, Texas, where the eye of Hurricane Harvey made landfall in August.

Sonsray Machinery of California shipped compact track loaders in for the operation, and Michelin North America donated sets of its Tweel airless radial tires to outfit skid-steer loaders working in demolition applications.

“This is the most severe disaster the heavy equipment operators at Team Rubicon have been deployed to since the inception of the equipment operation training program in 2015,” said Scott Harris, vice president North America, Case Construction Equipment. “What Case staff saw in Rockport and surrounding areas were communities coming together to lift each other up and rebuild, and Team Rubicon is there at the forefront. It’s that sense of community and civic responsibility that drove us, and dealers like Sonsray, to step up and join them in Texas.”

“You can’t understand the devastation leveled by a hurricane until you’re standing at the point where the eye made landfall and see the damage,” said John Dotto, brand marketing manager for Case, who was on the ground with Team Rubicon in Texas. “We’re inspired by the spirit and resiliency shown by Texans, and are committed to doing what we can in conjunction with Team Rubicon to start rebuilding the community.”

Nueces Power Equipment, based in Corpus Christi, Texas, is providing on-ground equipment support to the operation in Rockport.

Since Hurricane Harvey made landfall, Team Rubicon has deployed 768 volunteers to Texas in support on the ongoing relief efforts with debris removal, damage assessments, muck outs, expedient home repair and chainsaw operations. Strike teams on the ground have conducted more than 5,000 damage assessments and serviced 135 homes to date.

The heavy equipment competency within Team Rubicon was created to train volunteers in the safe operation of equipment to support disaster response operations since the beginning of the heavy equipment program in November 2015.

Team Rubicon is continuing to establish operations throughout Texas and Florida in response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and will deploy additional heavy equipment teams as needed. To contribute to Team Rubicon’s relief efforts, visit TeamRubiconUSA.org, and to learn more visit CaseCE.com/TeamRubicon.