Producers meet aggregate demand with new impactors

By |  February 8, 2016

Twin impact crushers are keeping a West Texas road contractor supplied with all the stone it needs to serve customers in the economically active Permian Basin.

“Oil patch” construction and the infrastructure required to support crude oil extraction – along with the personnel and families involved – has driven business activity in the Midland-Odessa region to new heights. And while the lower price of oil recently has somewhat cooled the local economy, the demand for stone continues.

In fact, demand has been a boon to Jones Bros. Dirt & Paving Contractors Inc., a road contractor in Odessa, Texas.

Jones Bros. undertakes projects from major highways to subdivision streets to parking lots, and everything in-between in West Texas. The firm provides pavement preservation services such as seal coats. And its two Mobirex MR 110 ZS EVO impact crushers from Kleemann are providing the stone it needs to build local infrastructure and even market stone to other customers.

“Jones Bros. began in 1952 doing parking lots in Odessa,” says Danny Wallace, crusher superintendent for Jones Bros. “Now we’ve got over 200 employees and cover most of West Texas, north to Lubbock and south to Big Bend National Park. We work on state projects, but with the oil boom, our real estate development and commercial work in the area has really grown in the last two to three years.”

A growing need

While Jones Bros. does not build oilfield road and drill pads, much of the stone it produces winds up as base material in the oil patch roadways and pads.
“Concrete rock, typically minus 1-in. size, is another big seller around here for all the concrete work in the oilfields,” Wallace says.

Wallace has noticed a growing need for crushed aggregate for oil patch roads and pads, versus the pit run material used conventionally. These usually unpaved roads typically have been built with 8 to 10 in. of pit run placed on a bladed right-of-way. Now, oil companies find crushed, screened aggregates result in a longer-lasting road.

“Some of the oil firms are requiring crushed material now because it lasts a whole lot longer than the pit run,” Wallace says.

Typically, Jones Bros. extracts caliche, a layer of immature limestone that rests beneath a thin veneer of soil. The friable caliche layer ranges from 3 to 6 ft. deep, to as much as 40 ft. of good, strong material. The caliche is drilled and shot prior to crushing.

To this end, Jones Bros. began using two MR 110 ZS EVO crushers in June 2014.

“We had so many jobs that our existing equipment wasn’t going to be able to get everything done,” Wallace says. “Knowing Kevin Taylor, our Kirby-Smith Machinery Inc. territory manager, he came up with a good plan and we got what we needed.”

Mobile crushers can be complex pieces of equipment, and the service Kirby-Smith provided was a major reason Jones Bros. went with the Kleemann equipment.

“Service was important because we are far removed from larger population centers,” Wallace says. “The other distributors weren’t able to do what they said they were going to do.”

Electric versus hydraulic

Kleemann’s electric-driven platform – as opposed to hydraulic drives – was another plus for Jones Bros.

“We were having a bunch of trouble with the hydraulic sides of the other machines,” says Danny Vasquez, crusher superintendent. “Hoses were busting all the time, with leaks everywhere. Because the hoses were metric design, the hydraulic shops here in town did not have the fittings. We struggled to get parts and wanted to go with electric-driven machines.”

Electric-driven crushers are more dependable, Vasquez found.

“Overall, electric is more consistent,” he says. “There are fewer leaks and fewer hoses to deal with. The system runs more efficiently.”

Adds Chris Cisneros, crusher foreman for Jones Bros: “We’re using an average of 50 to 60 gallons of fuel less per day than we’d use with the hydraulic machines, about $200 a day per machine. When you add that up over an eight- to 10-day run, it’s quite a bit.”

The economy of less fuel consumption improves the company’s bottom line substantially, especially over a year’s time, Wallace adds.

When visited, the twin Kleemanns were operating at Jones Bros.’ Cooper and Church pits. Both machines were producing between 250 and 280 tph, making all minus 1-in. aggregate.

In both pits, Jones Bros. feeds the plants once a minute using a 42-in. bucket on a Komatsu PC 360LP-10 excavator. Chunks as large as 40 in. are fed to the crushers. A vibrating prescreen keeps the fines out of the impact crusher and combines them into the main feed.

“It keeps the units from excessive wear, and saves fuel as well,” Wallace says. “It’s a good selling point.”

Built-in secondary screen

The “S” in the nomenclature MR 110 ZS EVO indicates a full-function secondary screen that’s installed on Kleemann’s load-out conveyor.

“It’s great for us because it keeps us from having to get another secondary screen,” Vasquez says. “We have everything in one package, and that’s a plus. This is the first time we’ve had this feature.”

When relocation of the crusher within a quarry is required – for example, opening of a newly blasted shelf – Jones Bros. staff moves it using the crusher’s remote control.

“It’s very simple and is one of the advantages of these portable crushers,” Vasquez says. “Once we’re done in one location we can pick up in another and begin crushing. With a stationary crusher you were stuck where you were.”

The mobile, tracked crushers pose a work environmental benefit as well, Vazquez says.

“Back in the day, we ran a lot of stationary crushers,” he says. “When the wind kicked in, we had to be sent home. It could get so bad that the loader operator could not see the crusher. With the tracked crusher, you can reposition it so the wind blows away from the operation, and we can keep things running and there is no downtime.”

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