Make a Difference Employee 2017

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Each year, Coblaco’s management team selects an employee who has “made a difference” to the company and their fellow employees in the areas of professionalism, customer focus, work quality, team spirit and innovation.

While several nominees were considered, the Make-a-Difference employee chosen for the year 2017 is James Myers.  James has been employed with Coblaco Services since August, 2014.  He has not only proven himself to be an exemplary employee by exhibiting all of the above-noted traits, but is successfully moving into more of a leadership role with the company.  Some of the managerial comments regarding James’ work performance include: 

“(James) practiced clear and concise communication with customers and crew which led to the successful completion of several projects.  His efforts were not unnoticed by management nor our customers.”

 “James has demonstrated professionalism with his work and is always looking for more.”

Congratulations, James.  Well deserved!

Coblaco Services Celebrates 40 Years in Business!


Coblaco Services recently surpassed a significant milestone, celebrating 40 years in business!

Colorado Blasting and Painting started in 1978 with a two-person crew, including the company founder, Phil Davis.  At that time, the company offered mobile equipment sandblasting and painting services.   Moving to Henderson, Colorado in 1984 allowed the company to build a  production facility which helped grow the business and plan for future expansion.

In 1996, two paint shops were added to the Henderson site, including one of the largest climate-controlled enclosed paint facilities in Colorado at the time.  Through investments in equipment and partnerships with other companies, the company’s customer base and the diversity of its capabilities grew.  In an effort to create a national brand, Colorado Blasting Company was ultimately renamed Coblaco Services, Inc. 

With the acquisition of American Pipeline Services in 2006, Coblaco Services was able to segue into the pipeline maintenance market.   In addition to ultra high-pressure surface preparation and industrial high-performance protective coatings, Coblaco Services now offers pipeline internal and external lining and coating, grouting, maintenance as well as NACE certified inspections. Its employee base has grown to over 70 strong, including well-trained and experienced technicians.  Coblaco has also mobilized crews around the country to complete jobs that require various industrial coating needs.

Coblaco Services also has a new President, Steve Davis, Phil’s son:

“I am very blessed and extremely proud of our heritage and our employees.  We are all recipients of Dad’s vision and planning, and look forward to many more years in business.”



A New Opportunity on the Lake Texoma Pipeline

The Texoma 72” Pipeline Improvement project was something new for Coblaco and American Pipeline Services. To retrofit this concrete-mortar lined pipe with cathodic protection, the steel needed to be exposed at each joint so that copper wires could be welded from one pipe to the next. But an even greater challenge than the complicated process of installing the wires was the huge amount of work within a very short time frame. An absolute minimum of 900 joints needed to be fully completed in two weeks. However, Coblaco’s expectations were set on accomplishing much higher numbers.

Tremendous amounts of research were devoted over the months leading up to the project to find practices and procedures that could be used inside the long stretches of pipe. Cordless tools were purchased and tested, new pipeline carts were designed and fabricated, and new trailers and generators were added to the fleet.

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A convoy of trucks carrying a crew of 24 left the yard on March 8th and arrived in Texas ready to begin work. But on our first day onsite, the pipeline was still largely full of water and we could not safely perform work. More than 2 full days were lost waiting for the pipe to be drained.

Once the pipe was dry and ventilated, the long stretches from one manhole to the next and the short battery life of the new tools caused need for adjustments-on-the fly. But crews kept at it, and began to gain efficiency with each day in the pipeline. We reached the critical 900 joint mark four days ahead of schedule. Working 12 hour days, 7 days a week, it became clear that Coblaco could complete the entire stretch of 2,400 joints within the shutdown timeline. Crews battled long hours, failed tools and materials, wet sections of pipe, drenching rains and bogging mud.

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Our customer and the engineer testing the cathodic installation were greatly impressed by the pace and quality of Coblaco’s work. This project was an incredible display of excellence by everyone involved from planning to the execution.  


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A New Look for the South Boulder Diverter in Eldorado Canyon

Located in Eldorado Canyon, the South Boulder Diversion Structure channels water into Denver Water’s treatment system. Constructed over 75 years ago, this site was due for some upgrades and Coblaco Services was selected to perform the industrial coatings portions of this rehabilitation.

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Due to Denver Water’s storage and capacity needs, a rigid schedule was set. Three periods were identified during which the water levels at the Diversion Structure could be lowered. But before the project began, Coblaco was asked to make every effort to complete the work utilizing only two of the shutdowns, one running from October 2017 through December 2017, the other, January, 2018 through February, 2018. Our sites were set on executing this tall order.

Accessing the Diversion Structure can be difficult on the one-lane road through the Canyon.  In addition, site staging was an element of the project that had to be carefully considered by Coblaco’s Operations team in order to effectively position the large equipment required.  Full containment and dust collection would be needed for surface prep on the largest and most complex components of the Diversion Structure.


The two trash racks and two tainter gates receiving coating are complicated structures with edges and angles that command diligent use of good painting practice in order to coat adequately. The winds that howl down the canyon tugged at the containment setups and drove temperatures down. Tarps and scaffolding were reinforced and heaters were utilized to ensure proper application conditions.

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Top-coat application was conducted using plural component equipment, all while the shutdown windows dwindled. Despite the difficult conditions and complex nature of the project, Coblaco was able to complete all of the work requiring shutdowns without performing work during the 3rd shutdown window.


Check out the attached link for more information about the project and the history of this unique facility.




Closing out 2017 on a Charitable Note

December is often a time of year to consider those in need and how to help.  At Coblaco, an employee-based committee was charged with researching, nominating, and voting on the charitable organization(s) Coblaco would donate to for 2017.

Seven different non-profits were nominated, based on their services offered and company history.   After discussing the benefits of each group and taking a vote, the committee selected Mount St. Vincent’s Foster Home to receive $2,000 and St. Jude Children’s Hospital to receive $1,000.

As for the remaining nominees, Coblaco’s President, Steve Davis, announced that he would match the contribution from any other employees who wished to donate.  As a result, Coblaco was able to generate $744 to send to each of the other nominated organizations:  Disabled American Veterans Organization, A Precious Child, Susan G Komen Foundation, Children’s Hospital Colorado, and, Crusaders Equestrian Team.

In all, a total of $6,720 was donated to very worthy causes.  We are proud of everyone’s efforts towards making this happen!

Coblaco Stays Within the Pinnacol Circle of Safety for Second Year

For the second year in a row, Coblaco Services, Inc. has been honored as part of the Pinnacol Circle of Safety group.  This is a distinguished designation that recognizes our efforts towards providing a safe work environment for our most important asset, our employees.  As safety continues to be a paramount concern in our industry, Coblaco Services maintains its commitment to safety awareness through various measures, such as monthly safety training, weekly meetings conducted by Zero in on Safety committee, and our SOR (Safety Observation Recording) program.  Further, Coblaco’s employees all share in this honor, whether they are working offsite, within our facility, or in our corporate office, as each of them contributes to keeping a safe working environment in his/her own way.

It is with great pride that our company has maintained its standing within Pinnacol’s Circle of Safety!

Lower Woodmen Valley Tank

Colorado Springs Utilities partnered with Coblaco Services to repair the coating system on the interior and exterior of the Lower Woodmen Valley Water Tank. This steel tank, nestled in the residential community of Woodmen Valley, measures 146 feet in diameter, 16 feet in height, and holds 2 million gallons of water.

As part of the interior coating process, a door-sheet was cut in the tank walls to allow access for the high-reach equipment used to blast and apply coating to the upper reaches of the tank.  Coblaco’s crew ended up filling the tank with nearly 160 tons of blast media in order to achieve the proper cleanliness of the steel. The interior coating was then applied, and the tank was back in service in the fall of 2016.

Coblaco returned to the jobsite in the spring of 2017 to complete the exterior repairs, successfully overcoming a few schedule delays due to spring storms.  The tank is now fully operative and looks brand new!

Make-a-Difference Employee of the Year - Jaime Rangel

Coblaco's management continues the tradition of recognizing an employee every year who has "made a difference" to the company and their fellow workers, based on demonstrated professionalism, customer focus, work quality, team spirit, and innovation. 

The Make-a-Difference employee for the year 2016 is Jaime Rangel. Jaime came on board in 1996, starting as a washer. He then moved up to Shop Foreman, and is currently a Project Manager. Some of the comments by his peers regarding Jaime's work performance include the following:


“Jaime used to work for B&C Trash as a collector.  B&C collected our trash at the RBI facility in Platteville, and we used to paint their dumpsters.  When we came across a need for a washer, I asked Jaime if he was interested in working for Coblaco.  We paid him $7.50 an hour.  That was 21 years ago.

Jaime has come a long way!  Through his willingness to take on challenges and learn new skills, he moved up to Shop Foreman, then Project Manager.  He is a great guy and a real asset to the company!  Congratulations, Jaime!”


“Jaime is the ‘the face’ of Coblaco on almost all of Coblaco’s high profile and most technical projects.  His knowledge, experience and adaptability continually lead to successful completion of the work and his personality and charisma leave customers 100% satisfied not only with the work, but also the professionalism of Coblaco.  As a Project Manager, Jaime has continued to set himself apart within the industry. Jaime’s abilities to interpret project requirements, manage customer requests and define scopes of work consistently lead to successful project outcomes.  Jaime is well respected by not only our customers, but by all of his peers for his leadership, experience and his willingness to jump in wherever and whenever needed. 

Jaime’s contributions to the company make a difference every day and make him my first choice for the ‘Make-a-Difference Employee.’”   


“One of my favorite things about Jaime is his ability to take a problem and find a solution.  He may not take a conventional approach, but in the end, we know that he will find a way to get it done. He thinks outside the box and considers all options when attacking a job. He has proven to be an effective trainer and interacts well with customers and inspectors alike.” 


Jaime joins an elite team of previous winners, including Angel Zermeno, Juvenal Zermeno, Rich Valdez, John Garcia, Chris Sartwell, Jon Holzer, and Jim Eckelberry. 

Congratulations, Jaime! Thank you for your contributions and years of service! 


An old water tower gets a new facelift!

Coblaco Services recently completed work on a historical landmark, the Olde Town Arvada Water Tank.  Built in 1910, the tank is a piece of history rising 152 feet above the city below. Though no longer serving the city’s demand for water, the tower is visible for miles in all directions. Coblaco Services, Inc. began the project in October of 2016 to refresh the look of this landmark by repairing the weathered coating and halting the corrosion that had begun to deteriorate portions of the steel.

Working 15 stories up created many challenges and safety concerns. Crews utilized various personnel lifts and rigged suspended workstations from the top of the tank. But even with such tools in place, the legs, trusses and guywires made areas underneath the tank accessible only through careful and continuous repositioning of the lift equipment.

An additional complication to the coating operations was the tank location, situated in the center of a residential complex. Sandblasting was unfeasible due to the disturbance caused by migrating dust. In order to prepare the steel and removing existing rust, a Vapor Blasting unit was used to keep blast media contained and keep the surrounding areas clean. Once the surfaces were adequately prepared, the zigzag pattern of flatbar running up each leg made for tedious application in order to ensure proper coating of the interior channels of each leg and of these criss-crossed pieces of steel.

An updated color scheme and careful repainting of the logo were the final elements that brought new life to the Olde Town Arvada Water Tank.  It now stands out even bigger and brighter than before!

Please check out the video below for more details about this project!

Coblaco is Awarded Pinnacol Assurance’s Circle of Safety Award

Coblaco is honored to be selected as a recipient of the 2016 Pinnacol Assurance Circle of Safety award.  In any given year, typically less than 1% of Pinnacol’s policy holders receive this recognition. 

The award was created to acknowledge policyholders for their exceptional risk management in four areas – safety, loss prevention, financial management and claims management.   In order to be nominated, organizations have to meet the award criteria for a specified four-year period, including, but not limited to:

  • having an Experience Modification Rating of 0.85 or less for each year;
  • maintaining a four-year combined loss ratio of 25 percent or less;
  • audits that do not reveal non-compliance;
  • an approved return-to-work program; and,
  • a current State of Colorado’s Cost Containment Certification

The award honors the efforts of Coblaco’s employees and their continued emphasis on safety first.  We are proud to be part of such a prestigious circle!