Put to the test

By and |  February 3, 2015

A massive portable cone crusher helps a West Coast producer maintain production while moving from site to site.

Few producers ever get a chance to work closely with a manufacturer to help research and develop a product.

J.L. Storedahl & Sons Inc. was recently given this chance, specifically to test the largest cone crusher one manufacturer makes. The opportunity was too good for the producer to pass up.

J.L. Storedahl, which is located about three hours from KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens’ Oregon manufacturing facility, first considered a partnership with the manufacturer when it began searching for a portable, heavy-duty, 500-hp cone crusher in 2013. After meeting with Astec AggReCon West, a KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens dealer based in Eugene, Ore., J.L. Storedahl determined it would test one of the company’s new Kodiak Plus K500+ cone crushers in exchange for providing feedback on the machine’s performance.

Although the arrangement was initially intended to last four to five months, the company is still using the cone crushing plant today – nearly two years later – and has installed a second Kodiak Plus K500+ cone crusher on site.

“It’s been a long learning experience and it’s been great,” Kimball Storedahl says. “The factory has been wonderful to work with – very energetic, very conscientious, very engaged. I don’t think we could have partnered with anybody that could have been more pleasurable to work with on a day-to-day basis.”

Collaborative effort

J.L. Storedahl & Sons’ relationship with KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens stems back to 1999, when the producer purchased its first screen from a distributor in Portland, Ore.

J.L. Storedahl currently uses four screens from KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens. The models it uses are a 7-ft. x 20-ft. triple-deck finish screen; a 6-ft. x 16-ft. triple-deck medium-duty scalper; a 6-ft. x 16-ft. double-deck medium-duty scalper; and a 6-ft. x 16-ft. triple-deck finish screen.

Because J.L. Storedahl was satisfied with the performances of those machines, as well as its relationship with the manufacturing facility, Kimball says a logical move was for his company to turn to KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens when it sought a high-production portable cone crushing plant.

At the time, KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens was searching for a nearby producer to run additional testing on its new Kodiak Plus K500+ cone crusher. J.L. Storedahl offered an assortment of sites processing a variety of materials, so it was a natural fit, says Jeff Schwarz, president of KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens’ Oregon manufacturing facility.

“With the Storedahl family being just three hours north of the manufacturing facility, we were able to interact with them quite a bit, understand their operation and know that the K500+ was going to be successful in their portable setup,” Schwarz says. “It’s really been a unique situation where we’ve been able to interact with them on a day-to-day basis and be really involved with the Storedahl family that’s out in the plants running the machines every day. They’re truly exceptional operators and some of the best crushing people we know.”

The equipment

According to KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens, the K500+ is the latest addition to the Kodiak Plus cone crusher family, which previously consisted of three models: the K200+, K300+ and K400+. The K500+ model features a precision roller-bearing design and fills a demand for larger secondary and tertiary cone crushers that high-production aggregate producers and mining companies use, Schwarz says.

Some of the refinements implemented into the product line are a new hybrid cast/fabricated base frame design; the MILO (machine-interface-logistics-operation) automated control system; a new liner retention system; a thread-locking ring; and an anti-spin cone brake. Other features of the Kodiak Plus cone crusher line are replaceable brass thread inserts, internal counterweights, a heavy-duty tramp iron system consisting of pressure relief valves in lieu of accumulators, and brass v-seat liners.

Kimball has experience operating cone crushers that use the roller-bearing design, as well as crushers that feature the bushing design, which provided him with a unique perspective when operating and servicing the equipment.

“One thing we do like with the roller-bearing design is that typically with a bushing crusher, you’re always putting money into it,” he says. “With the roller-bearing crushers, we don’t pour that steady stream of money into the crusher. With bushing crushers, every time you go into that crusher, there’s something that you’ve got to put money back into, and it’s just a nickel-and-dime thing.”

Kimball says regular maintenance tasks such as changing manganese liners are quick and easy with the K500+, saving the company time and money.

“It’s very easy to work on and doesn’t consume any odd parts when you get in there,” he says. “We can go in and out of that crusher, change the manganese on it and have it back together, ready to run, typically in about three hours.”

Since installing the K500+ on site, the Storedahls have operated the crusher using liners varying from an extra-coarse liner to an extra-fine liner in both secondary and tertiary applications.

The first K500+ cone-crushing plant was installed in a tertiary application crushing primarily base aggregates of 1 in. and 3/4 in.-minus. The project was so successful that the Storedahls purchased the first unit and began a second R&D project with the K500+ in a secondary application.

The units’ typical throughput has varied from a 2 1/4-in. closed-side setting running in excess of 750 tph to as tight as a closed-side setting of 3/16 in., which reduces the throughput to about 250 tph, Storedahl says.

“Our experience with the K500+ to date, as a secondary crusher, in a typical cone-type application, has been very impressive,” Kimball says. “It’s a very aggressive cone crusher.”

A family affair

Looking to the future, the Storedahl brothers hope to continue to grow their operation and keep the business thriving for their next generation. They hope to grow the business through their investment in equipment and strengthened partnerships with dealer and factory personnel.

“You always hear that most businesses don’t survive a third generation,” Kimball says. “We’re hoping to change that. All of the kids seem to be very interested in the business, and though we tried to make higher education available to all of them, they wanted to get right to work in the rock pit and learn the family business.

“And, needless to say, they are getting an education on a daily basis that you probably couldn’t buy anywhere else other than right here on the ground.”

About J.L. Storedahl

J.L. Storedahl & Sons is a third-generation, family-owned sand-and-gravel aggregate operation based in southwest Washington. Jerry Storedahl established the company in 1969. Brothers Kevin and Kimball Storedahl currently manage and operate the company. Eight of their children work in the company today.

J.L. Storedahl owns five operating quarries, one sand-and-gravel pit and two sand pits that it operates on a year-round basis, according to Kimball. The company produces a variety of finished products, ranging from 8 in. to 3/8 in.-minus using primarily shot rock basalt material.

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