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Inside a Wm. D. Scepaniak contract crushing operation

By |  November 30, 2021
Wm. D. Scepaniak manufactures some of its own equipment, including feeders like the burnt orange one seen here. Photo: Wm. D. Scepaniak

Wm. D. Scepaniak manufactures some of its own equipment, including feeders like the burnt orange one seen here. Photo: P&Q Staff

John Scepaniak is bundled up on this frigid November morning in Rollag, Minnesota.

The temperature cracks 30 degrees as the sun finally makes an appearance in the 8 o’clock hour. The weather has been cooperative for this time of year, presenting yet another day for Wm. D. Scepaniak to run the spread at its contract crushing operation 30 miles east of Fargo, North Dakota.

In this part of the U.S., there are only so many good crushing days left. So contract crushers like Scepaniak absolutely must make hay while the sun shines.

“Right now it’s early November, so there are going to be some good days left,” says Scepaniak, the mining project manager at Wm. D. Scepaniak, when visited in Rollag. “It’s chilly, but once the sun’s up the belts get hot.”

Wm. D. Scepaniak staffs two crews at Rollag that run around the clock in 11-days-on, 3-days-off cycles because the weather is unlikely to be in the company’s favor every day.

“So the more uptime we have, the better we can push and get product on the ground,” Scepaniak says. “That builds us a buffer for spring, because we’ll be back here next year.”

Flagship crushing site

John Scepaniak says about 60 percent of the conveying power Wm. D. Scepaniak utilizes is made by Superior Industries. Photo: P&Q Staff

John Scepaniak says about 60 percent of the conveying power Wm. D. Scepaniak utilizes is made by Superior Industries. Photo: P&Q Staff

Wm. D. Scepaniak, which is based in Holdingford, Minnesota – about 90 miles northwest of Minneapolis – has been contract crushing for a local producer in Rollag for about eight years. The site is Scepaniak’s highest-volume location, trending this year between 1.5 million and 1.75 million tons.

“The standard always was every plant should get 1 million tpy,” Scepaniak says. “That’s a good target for us.”

Companywide, Wm. D. Scepaniak will finish 2021 around 7.5 million tons. The company runs 10 or 11 spreads at any given time during the production season, Scepaniak says, with some of its smaller jobs in the 30,000- to 40,000-ton territory.

Wm. D. Scepaniak takes on a range of jobs each year that collectively add into the millions, with crews transitioning from site to site as opportunities arise.

“These guys started this year in Kansas on a project supplying for a wind farm,” Scepaniak says of his crew in Rollag. “They did right around 200,000 tons for that project before moving straight to a project about 45 minutes from [Rollag]. They did 900,000 tons there, and then we brought them here to do a targeted 800,000 tons.”

Part of the spread Wm. D. Scepaniak has in Rollag was utilized on the Kansas wind farm project. The company pulled in other key pieces from a Wyoming job, Scepaniak says.

Moving equipment from site to site is no simple exercise – especially when a spread is as elaborate as the one in Rollag. This particular spread features dual screens that run in conjunction with a Cedarapids MVP450X cone crusher, as well as a series of mobile conveyors that work in tandem to transport material away from the plant.

“We’re at a processing speed of about 800 tph on the sand and right around 200 tph on our rock product,” Scepaniak says.

Wm. D. Scepaniak utilizes Fab Tec carriers on its cone and screens in Rollag, but it can look internally for other equipment solutions.

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is the editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry magazine. Yanik can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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