In hydroseeding projects, it’s not only critical what product is applied, but the equipment used to apply it.

Time is of the essence, and having equipment with the power to cover large areas in a small amount of time is necessary not only in emergency jobs, but also in day-to-day projects that enable contractors to gain time and financial efficiencies.

The nation held its collective breath in February 2017 during the failure of the main and emergency spillways of the Oroville Dam in the Sierra Nevada foothills east of the Sacramento Valley, leading to the evacuation of 188,000 nearby residents.

The incident created an immediate erosion emergency. Selby’s Soil Erosion Control Co. was called in at the request of general engineering contractor Syblon Reid for the client, the California Department of Water Resources.

One of the largest erosion control companies on the West Coast, Selby’s Soil Erosion Control primarily serves an area north of Fresno, CA, to the Oregon border with 40 to 80 people and a fleet of nine hydroseeding machines. The backbone of the company’s work is for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and for residential and commercial development.

The company has been involved in a number of high-profile jobs in California over the years, including post-fire hydroseeding in San Diego, the Valley, Butte, and Clayton. The company assisted another hydroseeding company in Idaho following a small fire there.

In the Oroville Dam project, the approach was to apply as much Rainier Bonded Fiber Matrix as quickly as possible to stabilize the area and reduce loss, notes Brandon Coppedge, the vice president of Selby’s Soil ­Erosion Control. That portion of the job was executed over three days in March with four hydroseeding machines and a crew of 10, he says.

One of the key pieces of equipment for the job was an Apex hydroseed applicator, purchased through Fiber ­Marketing International.