P&Q Profile: ‘In The Aggregates’ author Andrew Haumesser

By |  May 16, 2023
Andrew Haumesser


Now retired after a 42-year career in the aggregate industry, Andrew Haumesser is the author of a 368-page book (“In The Aggregates”) that’s available from SME. Haumesser recently connected with Pit & Quarry from his home near Boise, Idaho, to discuss the book, why he wrote it and his time in pits and quarries.

What did you enjoy most about your career in the industry?

The constant challenges and the fact that things change on a daily basis. You’re dealing with personnel problems one day and mine planning another, and two days later you’re giving a presentation at a zoning meeting.

Tell us about the process of putting ‘In The Aggregates’ together.

It took about a year to write it. COVID came around, and the whole world pretty much shut down. We were sitting in a beautiful spot in Idaho with nothing to do. We didn’t travel. So, I started on it a few months into the pandemic.

What ultimately inspired you to write the book?

This was a bucket list project for me. The industry treated me well. I loved it, and the work was always stimulating.

Before I retired, one of the things I saw was the lack of young people coming into the industry. Ours is an industry where you have to get your hands dirty, and you work hard. You’re in all different weather conditions, and the industry didn’t seem to be attracting many young people.

What themes did you aim to get across in the book?

Photo:Andrew Haumesser

Andrew Haumesser, whose career in the aggregate industry began in the 1970s, wrote ‘In The Aggregates’ in about a year. Photo: Andrew Haumesser

When I went into the industry in the early 1970s, there were no reference books. There was no place where you could look things up. When you came into the aggregates industry and you knew nothing about crushers, there was no place to find anything. There was no Google. I always wished I had a reference book to show me how to do things.

I changed jobs after I was six or seven years into the industry. At the time, I was in a geology position. With my first project, the company wanted me to do a mine plan for a property. They wanted me to design a rail line where you have to move the rails every so often, chasing the deposit while doing this. I thought to myself: ‘I’m a geologist, and I don’t know anything about railroads.’

I had to learn about the maximum grades and curve on rails, as well as all of the specifications on our draglines. Unfortunately, there was no reference book to figure things out.

So, my purpose was to create a reference book of sorts. The book has a lot of simple engineering formulas and rules of thumb designed to help newcomers to the industry.

Why should somebody pick up your book?

Aggregates is a huge industry. Most people just think of it as there’s an old gravel pit down the road and a lot of dirty trucks. I stress a lot in the first couple chapters about the importance of the industry and the economic effect it has on the country. I would hope it might entice some outsiders to want to learn more about the industry.

Also, some of the book is technical, touching on crushing, screening and underground mining, because I wanted to get a technical reference out there.

Featured photo: P&Q Staff

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