Southern Crush: Portable plants keep a company ahead

By |  September 15, 2014

A Georgia company relies on portable crushing and screening equipment to stay ahead of competitors.

“We travel all over Florida, Georgia and Alabama for concrete- and asphalt-rubble crushing jobs of 10,000 tons and up,” says Scott Conyers, equipment vice president for Conyers Concrete and Asphalt Services Inc., Albany, Ga. “To do that in this rugged, demanding, highly competitive business we absolutely need crushing and screening equipment that is exceptionally efficient, dependable and mobile.”

Conyers Concrete and Asphalt Services was founded in 1976 by Danny and Sue Conyers. Danny is president, and Sue is the owner and office manager. Their two sons, Josh and Scott, are running a four-man operation that crushes concrete and asphalt, about 50 percent each, in southern Georgia, Alabama and Florida. An additional four-man crew crushes asphalt only, mostly in and around Birmingham, Ala.

“We are constantly on the go, with no shutdown time between jobs,” says Josh, operations vice president. “When we finish one job, we pack up and move on to the next one immediately. We simply have to keep moving. It’s pretty grueling – for us and for the equipment.

“We operate from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m., five days a week, 12 months a year. So, in addition to great equipment, we also need crews that know how to operate and maintain the equipment properly. With care and good maintenance, equipment will give many years of dependable service.”

Recycling work

The Conyers company started out doing grading and landscape work. But it quit that business about 11 years ago when it saw some recycling opportunities that excited company leaders.

“We jumped in with both feet,” Danny says. “We figured we work hard, we’re honest, we know how to run a business, and we have a good reputation. So we were confident we could switch to recycling and be successful.

“Problem was,” he adds, “we didn’t know much about crushing and screening equipment, and we didn’t have the expertise our experienced competitors had. But we found both in Powerscreen of Florida and their representative, Ken Furey. We heard good things about them. So we got in touch.”

Furey and others at the dealership gave a lot of good advice and direction, Danny says.

“We still count on them for counsel on recycling operations,” he says. “It’s almost like we’re in partnership with them. They take care of us.”
“When we need something – parts or service – we get it pronto,” Scott says.

Call in a parts order, for example, by midday, and it will be delivered the next morning. No exceptions. No excuses.

“A number of times, Ken Furey has driven parts to us special delivery in his pickup truck – sometimes after hours or whenever we need it,” Scott says. “And the Powerscreen of Florida service team or field engineers we might need are here on the double, too.”

Portable equipment

The concrete/asphalt crushing operation uses a Terex Pegson 4242SR impact crusher (purchased in 2002), a Powerscreen Premiertrak 400 jaw crusher (2008), a Warrior 1800 screen plant (2011) and a radial stacker. The impactor is used exclusively for asphalt; the jaw is exclusively for concrete. The Warrior screen is used for both.

The asphalt crushing operation uses a Powerscreen Trakpactor 320SR impactor (2013), a Warrior 1800 screen (2011) and two radial stackers.

“We run our equipment hard,” Scott says. “But we take very good care of it. Service on the machines is pretty quick and simple, but you have to be diligent about it – and we are. So when we trade in a machine, Ken Furey is able to give us a great deal on a new machine. And whoever buys it from him gets good value, too.

“We’ve never worn out a Powerscreen machine,” Scott adds. “If we trade it in, it’s because our needs change or the company comes out with a new model that better suits our needs. We traded in a Chieftain 1400 and a Chieftain 2100 [screen] that were in great shape, for example, and somebody got a good used buy on them both.

“When you’re on the go as much as we are,” Josh adds, “you need efficient crushers and screens that are highly mobile. Currently we’re at a site where we’re crushing asphalt only – about 20,000 tons total – and that will take two and a half, five-day work weeks, including downtime for refueling, checking and cleaning equipment, maintenance of all equipment, lunch breaks, moving equipment on site, and so on. Actual production volume averages 250 to 300 tph for either concrete or asphalt, including material scalped off the top, crushed, stacked and loaded.”

Shutdowns and startups are quick and simple, according to Josh – about four hours or less, plus travel time. Recently Josh and Scott shut down one job at 11 a.m., hosed off the equipment, ran it onto a couple of low-boy trailers, drove a short distance to another site, were running by 3 p.m., and crushed 670 tons before quitting time.

“That’s how efficient we have to be – in production and moving – to be competitive and still make an acceptable profit, especially on smaller jobs,” Scott says. “We’ll go to a site for as little as 10,000 tons of concrete or asphalt. Some jobs involve both materials. An average job is 20,000 to 30,000 tons. Large jobs are 50,000 or more.”

Parts and service

“Over the years we’ve been on jobs where some other company is crushing nearby,” Josh says. “We see that their equipment doesn’t always work as well as ours, and they don’t always get the great parts and repair service we get. You just can’t live with profit killers like inefficiency and unplanned downtime. Sometimes you call a supplier and leave a message. These messages aren’t always returned. We never have that problem with Powerscreen.”

The Warrior 1800 is a high-volume unit built for high-capacity dry screening, three-way splitting and stockpiling. It is designed to set up on site in 20 minutes or less and screens up to 700 tph. It has heavy-duty impact bars instead of rollers in key areas and a wear-resistant steel hopper with hydraulic-folding sides. The hopper exit opening is 4-ft. wide.

The 4242SR horizontal impact crusher includes a screen and a stockpiling conveyor with a magnetic separator. It features a 428 fixed-hammer impactor, a 42-in. x 28-in. feed opening, a 42-in. rotor width and a 42-in. rotor diameter (over hammers). It’s suitable for primary or secondary applications with concrete and asphalt rubble, demolition debris and aggregates.

The unit can be set up and operating within 10 minutes of arrival on site and can produce up to 396 tph, depending on feed material and finished product size.

The Premiertrak 400 primary jaw plant is designed for medium-scale operators in recycling, demolition, quarrying and mining. It processes up to 440 tph, features a hydraulic-folding feed hopper with a boltless fixing system, a hydraulic-tilting conveyor system, an efficient direct drive, a high-swing jaw, a height-adjustable product conveyor and a hydraulic-folding extended hopper.

The Trakpactor 320SR is a mid-size horizontal impact crusher with improved reduction and high consistency of product shape for recycling, C&D and quarrying. It is ideally suited to medium-hard, mildly abrasive materials. Features include direct drive, up to 350 tph, a bolt-in cartridge grizzly feeder with 42mm nominal spacing, a load-management system to control feeder speed, hydraulic-overload protection, four-bar rotor (two full, two half), twin apron and PLC control of crusher speed.

“We’re a small, family-owned company,” Sue Conyers says. “Our name and reputation is on everything we do. We work hard and try our best to give our customers every benefit we can. It’s worked well for us over the past 11 years in our crushing business.”

Carl Emigh of CME Creative Services Inc., Marion, Ohio, is a freelance writer and marketing communications specialist serving the aggregates, recycling and construction industries.

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About the Author:

Allison Kral is the former senior digital media manager for North Coast Media (NCM). She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University where she received a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She works across a number of digital platforms, which include creating e-newsletters, writing articles and posting across social media sites. She also creates content for NCM's Portable Plants magazine, GPS World magazine and Geospatial Solutions. Her understanding of the ever-changing digital media world allows her to quickly grasp what a target audience desires and create content that is appealing and relevant for any client across any platform.

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