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H.I. Stone & Son utilizing new spread that enhances its mobility

By |  May 7, 2020
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Served by John Deere excavators and front-end loaders, H.I. Stone & Son’s spread at its quarry in Beacon Falls, Connecticut, includes a Mobicat MC 110 Zi EVO jaw crusher, an MCO 9Si EVO closed-circuit cone crusher in a secondary position, and a three-deck Mobiscreen MS 16D. Photo: Tom Kuennen

With tremendous flexibility built into its new spread, Connecticut’s H.I. Stone & Son has the ability to move its three portable units where needed in a matter of hours.

A fourth-generation, family-owned aggregate and construction business is finding its new mobile crushing and screening plant is giving it the mobility and flexibility it needs to process stone at multiple sites in central Connecticut – including that of its future headquarters.

Served by John Deere excavators and front-end loaders, H.I. Stone & Son’s new 250 to 300-tph Kleemann spread at its quarry in Beacon Falls, Connecticut, includes a Mobicat MC 110 Zi EVO jaw crusher, an MCO 9Si EVO closed-circuit cone crusher in a secondary position, and a three-deck Mobiscreen MS 16D.

“In October 2019, H.I. Stone was making four products off the Mobiscreen – one off the prescreen conveyor belt under the jaw, and an additional product off of the cone crusher,” says Seamus Loftus, technical sales manager for the Northeast at Kleemann. “The MCO 9Si cone has the ability to swing the return conveyor out using the remote in a matter of minutes to manufacture an additional plus-size product that would otherwise return to the cone to get re-crushed.

“The side product from the Mobicat jaw independent prescreen is 1.5-in.-minus base product,” Loftus adds. “By removing fines and a 1.5-in. minus product, we save a lot of wear on our jaw crusher, and at the end we get a more fuel-efficient operation, as well as better shape to our stone.”

Kleemann’s exclusive material feed concept, in which each stage of feeder/conveyor is larger than the one that precedes it, expedites movement of material through each of the two crushers and screen.

“The prescreen on the MC 110 Zi EVO is 40 in., with the jaw itself at 44 in. wide and its belt is 48 in.,” Loftus says. “But the equipment also is interlinked, aided by Kleemann’s continuous feed system. Both crushers have systems in place that monitor the infeed at the hopper. They intelligently adjust so that the units do not bury themselves and keep a constant feed to the units right when and where they need it.”

The hopper and feeder on the MC 110 Zi EVO are separate units that run off each other’s speed, according to Loftus.

“As the prescreen is constantly running at 1,000 rpm, it will pull out that dark fines product that can be sold as a saleable product, typically used as a base or structural fill,” Loftus says. “By keeping it out of the jaw crusher, it prolongs crusher life while saving fuel.”

Typically, John Deere excavators feed 24-in.-minus shot stone to the jaw. The MC 110 Zi EVO primary jaw processes the tough New England granite/gneiss down to a 4- to-6-in.-minus.

“The Mobicone MCO 9 Si EVO secondary crusher brings it down a final step to a cubical 1.5-in.-minus size,” Loftus says.

“Everything is sized to 1.5-in-minus because it’s a closed-circuit unit,” he adds. “The secondary Mobicone has its own 14-ft., 9-in. x 48-in. screen, which ensures everything that passes 1.5 in. goes ahead to the 16D screen, and the material that is bigger than 1.5 in. is recirculated back into the cone. The MS 16D screen setup with the top deck is 1-in. size, the middle deck is 3/4 in. and the bottom deck is 3/8 in.”

Essential mobility

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John Deere excavators typically feed 24-in.-minus shot stone to the jaw. Photo: Tom Kuennen

The ease of mobility of the crushers and screen plays a big role in how H.I Stone & Son utilizes them.

“These three units are moved to different locations, but primarily in Waterbury (Connecticut) and Beacon Falls,” says Carl Roderick, sales representative at W.I. Clark Co., an equipment dealer based in Wallingford, Connecticut.

H.I. Stone & Son plans for its future company headquarters to be at the Beacon Falls site, which will also serve as a source of stone moving forward. The equipment will be moved around the site as mining continues toward implementing the final site plan.

“When we blast, we move the equipment away from the face, blast, then in a couple of hours we are back and running again,” says Chuck Stone Jr., vice president and third-generation owner of H.I. Stone & Son. “And when we want to move our equipment to our other quarry or to a construction site, we can have all three units on their way in two hours. The conveyors swing up and out of the way, and remote controls let us ‘walk’ the equipment onto the flat bed.”

According to Roderick, mining at the Beacon Falls site span a 10-year period. While all three units are highly mobile around the quarry, the Mobiscreen 16D was the right size for hauling around Connecticut.

This factored into H.I. Stone & Son’s purchasing decision.

“Moving large equipment in Connecticut can be a little bit trickier than some of the other states,” Roderick says. “Because H.I. Stone is a contractor with multiple quarries, [the company] wanted the equipment to be as mobile as possible. The 16D was right for matching up with the Mobicat jaw and Mobicone cone crushers in terms of production, while giving them mobility that’s necessary for them to conduct business in Connecticut. It was the right choice.”

Working together

While equipment is important to the success of any operation, perhaps equally important is support from the dealer. The long-term relationship between H.I. Stone & Son and W.I. Clark Co. proved vital when the Connecticut-based producer sought to upgrade equipment.

“We’ve had a long relationship with this customer and we understood what he needed,” Roderick says. “We showed him the merits of our jaw crusher, such as the independent prescreen; the diesel-electric drive versus the hydraulic drive as being more fuel efficient, economical and easier to service; plus it’s easier to move than the previous equipment he used.”

For optimal efficiency of H.I. Stone & Son’s new spread, the company leans on W.I. Clark Co.

“Dealer support is huge because if they’re down, product doesn’t get made and it doesn’t go out the door if it is not on the ground,” says Douglas Hansen, president of W.I. Clark Co. “Regular construction sites have much more flexibility when equipment goes down, but quarry life is different.”

Stone says he has a few people on staff who can do routine maintenance, but he relies on the dealer to do anything above that.

“That’s really critical for him to have the personnel on site who are knowledgeable, and can handle the little problems because they’re going to occur,” Hansen says. “In quarry life, ongoing maintenance is essential to a good operation to minimize surprises. It’s just a question of when something will happen, not if.”

Managing maintenance

To stay up to date on the equipment, Hansen sends his service staff to Kleemann service schools held at the Center for Training & Technology on Wirtgen America’s corporate campus in suburban Nashville, Tennessee.

“The Center for Training & Technology is critical for our staff,” Hansen says. “We send them to all the classes we can. We want them to be as on top of their game as they can possibly be.”

Employees sent to Wirtgen America’s Center for Training & Technology include staff based at W.I. Clark’s two physical locations, as well as those assigned to mobile equipment service trucks.

“Wirtgen America does a great job of educating our guys with all the hands-on opportunities it provides there,” Hansen says. “When we need their expertise, they’re there for us. Our Kleemann customers even have a number to call during the limited times we might not be available. Customers have used it and found it very helpful. It’s very expensive for us as an equipment distributor to maintain that level of staffing, but that is what we need to do to add value to the customer beyond the iron.”

This level of expertise is needed because of the advanced technologies available on Kleemann products.

For example, the independent prescreen – which enables fines and dirt to bypass the jaw crushing chamber, lessening wear on equipment while creating a saleable product – is an important attribute for contractors’ equipment, according to Hansen.

“When you want that in-spec, clean product at the end, getting rid of the dirt in the beginning makes all the sense in the world,” Hansen says. “And depending on the size screen you put in, it can become a saleable product off the side.”

Working in the New England region also presents one particularly unique challenge to H.I. Stone & Son: the abrasive granite the company mines.

“It makes a nice product,” Stone says. “It’s a hard rock, with an L.A. abrasion rating in the 20s. It’s very abrasive and causes extreme wear, resulting in extensive maintenance on wear surfaces.”

In this tough crushing environment, jaw plates take a lot of abuse.

“They’ve held up great,” Stone says. “For a mobile plant on tracks, this is a very deep jaw. It’s the deepest jaw I’ve ever seen on a tracked machine, which is important to have. The design lets us get more crushable material to cycle through that jaw.”

Another key component of H.I. Stone & Son’s spread is the equipment’s interlink technology. This smooths loads throughout the two crushers and screen, automatically keeping the Mobicone choke-fed for optimum product cubicity and productivity.

“With the interlinked system, the cone tells the jaw either to speed up or slow down,” Stone says. “That way, the operator doesn’t have to constantly check the amount of material going into the cone. It helps us maintain a higher level of productivity with an even feed, less jamming and fewer stoppages to dig out. Choke-feeding optimizes wear in the cone, keeping costs low.”


Fourth-generation businesses

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H.I. Stone & Son’s Chuck Stone Jr., with his daughter, Tess Stone. Photo: Tom Kuennen

A unique similarity between H.I. Stone & Son and W.I. Clark Co. is both companies are in their fourth generation of ownership.

H.I. Stone & Son was launched by Chuck Stone Jr.’s grandfather, Harvey Irving Stone.

“After the Second World War, he started a trucking company with a backhoe and began doing odd jobs, and it grew from there,” Stone says. “We have two quarries: one in Waterbury and our new quarry in Beacon Falls.”

Stone is the third-generation owner of H.I. Stone & Son, working closely with his father and company president Chuck Stone Sr. In addition, Chuck Jr.’s daughter, Tess, works for the family business as dispatcher and office manager.

“We’ve been in business for 75 years, and Tess represents our fourth generation,” Chuck Jr. “We have four divisions: aggregates, utility construction, highway and heavy civil work, and nonhazardous liquid waste hauling. We produce our own materials for our own projects, so the aggregates division supports our utility and highway and heavy work. “It all works hand-in-hand.”


Tom Kuennen is principal at expresswaysonline.com. Information for this article courtesy of Kleemann.


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