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Portable plant gains without reinventing the wheel


A leading heavy equipment supplier explains why using wheeled portable plants is advantageous for quarrying. Matthew Voigt, of Superior Industries, spoke to Quarry.

In a quarry, the convenience of mobile plant and equipment can go a long way to maximising both time and profits on site.

Wheeled portable plants, for instance, offer a simplified but capable alternative to fixed plant and equipment that can be transported from site to site.

Superior Industries offers bespoke portable plant solutions that focus on peak production, reliability and convenient set-up.

The US-based company has a 50-year history of chassis manufacturing and produces approximately 95 per cent of the materials used in its wheeled portable plants, which boast key benefits for crushing, screening, washing and feeding applications.

A key aspect of Superior’s expertise is that the company can provide multiple plant configurations that enable customised solutions.

Superior Industries product manager for portable plants Matthew Voigt told Quarry that Superior supplies the majority of its components rather than using original equipment manufacturers (OEM), making it a one-stop-shop for portable wheeled plants.

“When you look at a portable plant, we are one of the few manufacturers that can supply everything – the structure, the idlers, the pulleys, the belting. Everything on there is from Superior, minus a couple of reducers that come from Dodge and some wet motors but everything else would be a full supply of Superior components,” Voigt explained.

Superior is also capable of offering custom solutions that are compatible with other brands of equipment.

“We do custom plants so we have our standard, cookie cutter price designs but we can sit down with a customer and start from a blank slate,” Voigt continued. “You can design anything you want as long as it will work within the means. We will design any custom plant you want, which also includes mounting competitive equipment.

“We often mount Terex equipment, Deister equipment, Metso equipment, you name it, we’ve probably put it on a chassis at some point.”

Superior Industries originally mounted other companies’ plant and equipment before developing its own but its commitment to its customers has not changed.

“We just want to service our end user customers as much as we possibly can, whether it’s with our gear or not, and give them a solution that they will be happy with,” Voigt said. “Whether it’s a fleet, custom or ground-up design, we’ll do that.”

Superior Industries product manager for portable plants Matthew Voigt.


Superior Industries has always provided wheeled portable plants rather than tracked machines.

While tracked machines make up a significant portion of the global market, Voigt said wheeled plants are less complex and are easier to move around sites.

“The advantages would be maintenance access, which tends to be a big differentiator. There is a lot more open air to be able to maintain these units,” he said.

“They are less complicated, there is not as much electrical or hydraulic items to worry about. To move them, you don’t need a specialised trailer, you just hook it to the back of a vehicle and then just ‘grab and go’.”

Wheeled portable plants are generally powered by electricity which also lowers carbon emissions and the upkeep associated with machines that only include a diesel engine, Voigt continued.

Superior’s wheeled portable plants can be powered in three separate ways.

“There are three different ways you can look at it,” Voigt said. “There is full on-line power, where they’re obviously hooked up to line power. In many cases, they will bring a full-on big generator, like a big MCC trailer with a big gen-set that powers the entire plant, and then there is an on-board diesel that powers what is on that trailer.”


The most popular portable wheeled plant in Superior’s portfolio is the Aggredry plant. It is capable of washing and drying fine material through a singular portable configuration, and is capable of producing material with a low moisture content.

“It’s the 6’ x 20’ (1.8m x 6m) Guardian horizontal screen with a twin 36’ (11m) AggreDry dewatering washer or a twin 44’ (13m) Aggredry washer,” Voigt said.

“That will screen and make three aggregate products, and then make a completely dewatered sand down to eight to 10 per cent moisture, so that’s instantly saleable.

“That unit is a very, very popular one, especially for some of these guys moving around. They don’t have to wait a week or two weeks for their material to dry before they can sell it, they want to get it in there, get it done and get it out. Especially if you’re doing a road project, you don’t want to have to wait two weeks before you can use that sand, you can use it right out of the Aggredry washer.”

A Superior truck takes a dual screen plant on the road.

Other popular machines include the Patriot cone circuit plants and Liberty jaw plants, Voigt said.

“Our closed circuit cone plant – whether that be with a 200 or a 300 size cone, and a 6’ x 20’ triple-deck screen – is a very popular unit. Being able to have the cone and the screen all on one chassis and deal with a mix of several products in a closed circuit arrangement is a very popular one.”

The Patriot cone plants feature a closed circuit with rear, front and side discharge, while the Liberty jaw plants offer a jaw/screen combo that is capable of crushing feed up to 1194mm (47”).

“So the Aggedry wash plant, the cone plant and our newer jaw plants are certainly our most popular at the moment,” Voigt said.

A Liberty jaw crusher at work in the Normal Wells site in Canada’s Northwest Territory.

Due to the extensive range of options offered by Superior, customers are satisfied with the user-friendliness of the wheeled portable plants, Voigt continued.

“The feedback that we get is that they are very user-friendly,” he said. “We don’t try to skimp on maintenance access, walkways, platforms, etc.

“We give them plenty of options that they can have and they are customisable after the fact too. So if they want something else afterwards, there are the options to do that as well. The biggest thing is how easy it is to get at everything. It looks like it’s designed to work together, it all flows how it should.”

Guarding is an area that Superior pays close attention to, which its competitors do not include.

“We tend to go a little bit overboard on guarding,” Voigt added. ‘And we have had many customers who have had said the guarding that we put on as standard tends to exceed those of our competitors.

“They get a unit in and they know they are going to spend a day or two putting in their own guards, whereas they see our plant and know they don’t have to touch that, they can just bring it in and get to work.”

A Guardian plant distributed by 888 Screening & Crushing Equipment in an Australian setting.


While Superior may be a US company, its presence is recognised throughout the Australian extractive industry.

To save on freight costs to Australia, Superior offers containerised options for its machines rather than shipping them completely assembled.

“We have the same problems that everyone has in getting machinery to Australia – there’s not a lot of manufacturers in Australia, so it’s going to have to come on a boat at some point, so if it comes on a ro-ro (ie roll on/roll off ships that carry wheeled cargo) or in a container,” Voigt said.

“If you can get it into a container, you have a really big advantage there. With our ability to do containerised designs for that market, it has definitely created more interest.”

The company’s Shanghai facility has also been successful in reducing freight costs.

Voigt said Superior’s largest Aggredry plant model has also been purchased in Australia. Two such machines have been installed in quarrying operations on the Australian east coast.

“We actually sold a 6’ x 20’ Aggredry plant – our biggest Aggredry plant running in Australia – not that long ago,” he said. “The Aggredry washer has been so popular for us because it can dewater your sand right away and have a nice, saleable end product immediately. That is a huge benefit.

“As far as the rest of the equipment is concerned, we can send it to an Australian customer either ro-ro or we have containerised options that can save on freight and the general capital expenditure. It comes shipped in containers versus completely assembled.”

Superior’s equipment arrives with a two-year warranty, while its wheel-mounted chassis have a five-year warranty and its Patriot cone crusher offers a lifetime warranty.

“If you buy a piece of equipment, you’ll know that will be covered for many, many years – not just the crusher or the screen, but on the structure itself – and it’s a full one-stop-shop solution,” Voigt said.

“If anything happens, you have one phone call. You don’t have to call one guy for the vibrating grizzly feeder, or another for the jaw – one single phone call can solve all your problems.”

Superior’s machines are also shipped to comply with Australian safety and road safety regulations.

“We have to customise our lighting packages to match with the Australian standards, for instance, the use of extra amber lights,” Voigt said.

“So we definitely keep that all in mind when we are sending to Australia, that we have to comply with the national codes, transport laws, whether that’s weights per axle, lighting, kingpins and such.”

Superior’s adaptation to compliance laws in different states and territories within Australia is made easy due to the customisable designs of the Superior units.

“We have engineering on just about every single unit,” Voigt added. “For us, it’s not a big deal because that’s what we do. They are all a little custom, so that’s easy for us.”

For more information about Superior Industries’ range of portable wheeled plant and equipment, visit

Superior Industries distributors in Australia include 888 Crushing & Screening Equipment (, Tricon Equipment ( and Rivergum Industries (

The most popular portable wheeled plant in Superior’s portfolio is the Aggredry plant.
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