How Lightle Sand & Construction is simplifying aggregate processing

By |  October 30, 2023
Lightle Sand & Construction installed a McLanahan classifying tank-based sand plant in 2019. Photo: McLanahan

Lightle Sand & Construction installed a McLanahan classifying tank-based sand plant in 2019. Photo: McLanahan Corp.

Lightle Sand & Construction is a family-owned aggregate processing business located in Hennessey, Oklahoma. The company has been operating since 1954, mining and processing various types of sand and gravel – including concrete sand, mason sand, golf sand, pea gravel and native rock.


When Lightle Sand developed a new mine site, company leaders wanted a wet processing plant to make the sand products.

Plant manager Clint Cooper says Lightle Sand shopped around for two or three years when it was thinking about building the new plant. Ultimately, Cooper says Lightle Sand chose to work on the project with McLanahan because of its customer service.

“Our experience with McLanahan has been the best support,” Cooper says. “If I call them, they answer, or like three people will call me back and start sending me text messages. That’s why we chose McLanahan. [It] was for the customer support.”


In 2019, Lightle Sand installed a McLanahan classifying tank-based sand plant. It included two hydrocyclones for desliming and dewatering the incoming feed to the sand classifying tank, as well as two Ultra Sand Plants for dewatering final products.

The sand classifying tank features 11 stations for separating various sand particle sizes as the feed slurry moves from one end of the tank to the other. Successively finer material settles out. When the material in each station reaches a certain level, valves open to release the material into collecting flumes for blending the various particle sizes into primary and secondary products.

Dewatering screens dewater the primary and secondary products, discharging a drip-free sand that’s ready for immediate transport via conveyor belt. Water and any fine material passing through the dewatering screen fall into a sump. A pump then feeds the slurry to a Separator, which recovers any product-sized fines back to the dewatering screen and into the product pile.

Lightle Sand also purchased McLanahan’s new InSpec software to monitor activity in its sand classifying tank and control operations enough to provide desired sand specifications.

The InSpec software is an add-on to McLanahan’s standard Sand-Manager control system, allowing the operator to visualize real-time production data and station activity. It features centralized calibration tools and PLC diagnostics to simplify system troubleshooting.

Cooper says the InSpec helps Lightle Sand keep track of the fineness modulus (FM) values of its sand. FM is a measure of how coarse or fine a material is. A higher FM value indicates a coarser aggregate, while a lower FM value indicates a finer aggregate.

“The McLanahan InSpec program basically gives us live updates constantly on what our FMs are, which is a huge thing when our customers want the best concrete sand they can get,” Cooper says. “If we have any change in our pit or anything, we can adjust the FMs. That way, we always have perfect concrete sand.”


According to Cooper, Lightle Sand is pleased with the McLanahan classifying tank-based sand plant. He says the equipment is working perfectly.

“The McLanahan sand plant has been awesome,” he says. “Maintenance has been super easy. [With] everything that is just wear and tear that you have to change out, one person can do it. Every part or piece has little adjustments you can do by yourself.”

With its modern graphical user interface and intuitive dropdown menus for site, tank and product configuration, Cooper’s favorite part of the sand plant is the InSpec software.

“The McLanahan InSpec machine makes running a sand plant 1,000 percent easier,” Cooper says. “It’s extremely, extremely easy to use. The hardest part is knowing a sand plant. Once you know what FMs are and your grades, your 30s, your 50s, the McLanahan InSpec is about as easy as can be.

“It’s made my life so much easier,” he adds.

The InSpec software simplified Lightle Sand’s processes by reducing the amount of time and personnel needed to monitor the quality of final sand products.

“Before we had the McLanahan InSpec program, we had to take a hand sample every two hours, which took about 30 minutes,” Cooper says. “It took like five or six people to constantly be on the FM. Now, it just takes me on a machine, and I can constantly see it all day.

“It’s been a complete game changer,” he adds.

Information for this article courtesy of McLanahan Corp.

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