On-call contractor doing it all

Being on-call means being ready to respond – and to gain a competitive edge in the contract crushing business, rapid response is an imperative. Today?s contractors are aiming to remain profitable by covering larger territories and tackling a range of applications at an ever-quickening and cost-efficient pace. The savvy contractor wins this game by maximising mobility and minimising mobilisation costs.

Dave Soiland is a contract crusher operating out of Sonoma County, just north of San Francisco Bay in California. He and his family are aggregate industry veterans. However, as the global economy slowed, Dave decided to diversify and expand into recycle crushing. He ultimately purchased a KPI-JCI closed-circuit FT4250 horizontal shaft impact crushing plant, an all in one model comprising a vibrating screen package and recirculating conveyor.

?The machine is very heavy duty compared to other models, and importantly, it contains domestic components, hydraulic lines and rollers, and uses SAE-standard bolts,? Dave Soiland says.

The FT4250 is part of the Fast Trax series of mobile processing plants, which features jaw plants, impact plants, cone plants and screen plants. Each track-mounted model is designed to drive off the transport trailer and start processing. Able to produce up to three products simultaneously, the FT4250 features an Andreas series impact crusher and provides a 1067mm x 1270mm (42 inch by 50 inch) feed opening. It is coupled with a 1.5m x 3.6m (five foot by 12 foot) vibrating screen.

Dave Soiland has recently been processing at the site of a major waste management corporation where the FT4250 recycles concrete and asphalt. The plant is paired with a 24m (80 foot) radial stacking conveyor for high volume stockpiling. The processed material is used as base for the landfill?s access roads. ?The customer loves the productivity of this machine. We crushed 13,500 tonnes on our first project here, and now we are back to handle an additional 25,000 tonnes,? he says.

He says that the FT4250 accepts larger feed material. ?This reduces my prep time. It?s not just the larger feed opening but the makeup of the crusher itself with its heavy duty rotor and crusher box. It?s a bit overbuilt and it needs to be, as we?re processing in a very abrasive application.?

Dave also stresses that the ?beefiness? of the FT4250 extends into its hydraulic systems, notably a rotor that eliminates the stretching, breaking and misalignment issues typically associated with impactors driven by drive belts. The plant is also engineered with larger and more durable coolers and pumps, and larger radiators and fins.

With the entire Sonoma Valley to service, Dave says he has a lot of work for his machine. ?We?ve made a host of specialty products, as I have a screen media range that goes all the way down to 9.5mm (3/8 inches). For example, we?re working with some local tile manufacturers on a new recycled tile product. By targeting the recycle industry, I think we have a very bright future.?

?The single track-mounted unit, such as the FT4250, is able to roll onto a site and put down a specification product. These are units that can go into markets where others can?t,? says KPI-JCI product manager Ron Griess.

?You can haul a track-mounted machine on the flatbed, just as you would an excavator, back it off the trailer and, in five minutes, be crushing material. Now those 5000 tonne to 10,000 tonne jobs are not a problem to handle cost-effectively,? he says.

This ability is in stark contrast to the days when on-site crushing demanded projects of 50,000 tonnes and up, and the only option was a machine on a traditional chassis, he adds.

As to how an impact crusher performs against a jaw crusher, Ron suggests that the impactor tackles the broadest range of applications. ?Contractors can handle more jobs with an impact crushing plant while achieving a higher material reduction ratio, so from a capital cost standpoint, it is the better choice.

?With the FT4250, which is self-contained and packaged with a screen, you?re able to process from one end to the other and come out with a base product that is ready to be used on-site. You sacrifice some tonnage, but you lower your capital expenditure by acquiring one processing piece versus two and operating on a smaller footprint.?

Ron Griess stresses that savvy contractors want as much utilisation from their track plants as possible to reach the most markets.
?Regarding the track-mounted plant, it?s interesting to note that once you have a product defined, there are those who want to redefine it and often that means making it a little bigger,? he says.

Some contractors want track-mounted units to copy features common to wheel-mounted units, he explains. ?They may want bigger hoppers, extended end-delivery conveyors, or folding wings. We can customise a track-mounted unit to a certain extent. For instance, they may want that ?large charge area? for efficiency, so that they can use a loader. They want to move to track-mounted plants, but they still like the big ?target areas? of the portable plants,? he says.

New track-mounted processing plants deliver recycle readiness by allowing contractors to handle more jobs more profitably, quickly and cost-effectively. On-call crushing is a new way of doing business, and those who are ready to respond will capture new markets and meet new demands.

Source: Astec Industries

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