Your behavior appears to be a little unusual. Please verify that you are not a bot.


The Frazier Quarry looks to the future

By |  August 2, 2022
The Frazier Quarry’s North Plant first hosted a 5K in 2016, and it brought the race back in May of this year after the pandemic forced two cancellations. Photo: The Frazier Quarry

The Frazier Quarry’s North Plant first hosted a 5K in 2016, and it brought the race back in May of this year after the pandemic forced two cancellations. Photo: The Frazier Quarry

Three aggregate operations power The Frazier Quarry to the tune of nearly 2 million tons each year.

The family-owned company, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2015, is growing nicely along with the surging market in and around Harrisonburg, Virginia. From state highway jobs and commercial construction to residential opportunities and the agriculture market, The Frazier Quarry is diversified in its product mix and excited about the years to come.

“We’re looking to keep up with growth and continue it over the next few years,” says Kevin Baker, CEO of The Frazier Quarry. “The third and fourth generation of the family is excited about the growth that’s coming to the Shenandoah Valley. There’s a lot of [Washington] D.C. overflow that is starting to head this way.”

In recent years, The Frazier Quarry made a number of investments to meet the high demand for aggregates within the Shenandoah Valley. The company acquired the Elkton Plant in 2012, for example, and it brought the Thorndale Plant online this year as a third operational site.

Additionally, The Frazier Quarry regularly incorporates cutting-edge equipment and technology solutions into operations to boost production volumes and enhance efficiencies. 

“We really try to focus on our cost per ton and our cost per hour with all of our folks and try to make our decisions around those types of metrics,” says Baker, adding that The Frazier Quarry employs about 60 people. “That’s the mindset.”

The North Plant

The Frazier Quarry produces about 100,000 tons of aglime per year at its Elkton Plant. Photo: The Frazier Quarry

The Frazier Quarry produces about 100,000 tons of aglime per year at its Elkton Plant. Photo: The Frazier Quarry

The Frazier Quarry’s North Plant is its highest-volume site and longest-running quarry, dating back to 1978.

According to Baker, the North Plant produces about 1.2 millions tons each year. The operation runs year-round and produces graded products for customers, and it’s more efficient these days behind a couple of key investments.

The addition of automation is paying dividends at the North Plant, where The Frazier Quarry is capable of producing a few products without the presence of an operator. The company also upgraded the North Plant’s sales yard loaders as a means to gain efficiencies.

“They’re both two-pass loaders, just to be able to get our customers out quicker,” Baker says.

The automation and two-pass loader investments reflect The Frazier Quarry’s goal of continuous improvement. 

“What I’ve really challenged our people with – and our management team – is how can you give me 5 percent more without spending any money or adding more people,” Baker says.

As Baker describes, a plant adjustment here or an in-pit tweak there is sometimes all The Frazier Quarry needs to make significant operational gains. 

“If we can just get one more truckload up the hill, what does that mean for us at the end of the year?” he says. “That is really what we challenge all of our foremen and management on the maintenance side with, too. It’s how do we get better day in and day out.”

With inflation running rampant, leaders at The Frazier Quarry are tasked with keeping operational costs in check.

“A quarry or a mine is really a living, breathing entity,” says Baker, who reflected on his career in another published Pit & Quarry article. “It’s always changing. No two days are ever the same. That’s what we try to explain to our people and get them to think about.”

The Elkton Plant

Manufactured sand is yet another product The Frazier Quarry produces. Photo: The Frazier Quarry

Manufactured sand is yet another product The Frazier Quarry produces. Photo: The Frazier Quarry

Although the annual output at The Frazier Quarry’s Elkton Plant is significantly less than the North Plant’s, the company takes the same approach in terms of efficiencies.

“One of the things we focused on at Elkton was our plant,” says Baker, adding that the Elkton Plant produces about 400,000 tpy. “We oversized a few things, anticipating growth will be coming at us over the next few years.” 

A surge pile represents the latest big capex project at the Elkton Quarry, but The Frazier Quarry also upgraded its crushing equipment within the last two years. Mellott Company and Kinsley Construction were instrumental in the site’s modernization, Baker says.

“In 2020, we installed a brand-new jaw crusher in working with Mellott,” he says. “We worked with Kinsley Construction out of Pennsylvania to construct the new surge pile for us, to feed two cone crushers that were included in the plant upgrades.”

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.

Comments are closed