Vermeer showcases products to aggregates market

By |  May 10, 2016

Vermeer Corp. invited aggregate producers and its equipment dealers from around the world to central Texas for a product showcase called Big Yellow Iron 2016.

Those who attended learned about Vermeer’s plans to expand its offerings into the aggregates market.

Vermeer traditionally serves the agricultural, pipeline, utility and recycling markets, but some of the company’s latest products can serve as effective tools in the aggregates market, according to company representatives. While Vermeer’s origins are in agricultural, trenching and tree care equipment, the company has evolved through the years to expand its industrial-related equipment in a variety of niche and established markets.

“The diversity of our business is one of our greatest assets,” says Jason Andringa, Vermeer’s president and CEO. “Our opportunity to build onto what we can bring to the mining and aggregates market is a next step for our industrial offerings.”

At Big Yellow Iron 2016, Vermeer explained how its Terrain Leveler surface excavation machine, HG6000TX horizontal grinder, T655 Commander 3 Rock Wheel and T620 trommel screen can help aggregate producers. The company invited its guests to visit its dealership in Selma, Texas, and then see some of its machines in action at a San Antonio-area quarry.

Surface excavation machine focus

Vermeer focused largely on its Terrain Leveler and how it can be used in aggregates applications. Although Vermeer launched the Terrain Leveler in 2001, the company says its latest version, the T1255III, features applications that can benefit aggregate producers.

Mark Cooper, Vermeer’s managing director of specialty excavation, says the T1255III uses a single-sided, direct-drive drum to deliver more horsepower to the cutting drum compared with the company’s chain-drive systems on an older version of the Terrain Leveler. Cooper adds that the single-sided, direct drive drum allows quarry operators to cut an 80-degree highwall to provide the desired slope stability.

The T1255III includes a load-control feature that allows the machine to automatically adjust the ground speed to use full engine horsepower. The feature helps operators monitor the machine’s productivity as it’s being used. The Terrain Leveler also features grade control to ensure the cutting head depth and pitch remain even.

In addition, the machine can steer itself with GPS technology. Cooper says this helps to eliminate human error for cutting head overlap.

Also, a dust suppression system was added to the T1255III to reduce excess dust from around the machine. Two large vacuums pull dust from the enclosed cutting head into baghouses. Cooper says the dust suppression system eliminates the need for water trucks.

“We’ve worked for three years on this dust-contaminant system,” Cooper says. “We don’t feel water is the best way to solve dust issues. There’s a lot more potential with this type of vacuum technology when managing dust.”

To analyze the effectiveness of the Terrain Leveler, Vermeer established a rock lab in 2005 at its headquarters in Pella, Iowa. The company has analyzed rocks from around the world to see what types of material work best with the Terrain Leveler.

“The knowledge we have in our rock lab, along with research we’ve done in the field, gives us the ability to tell customers the cost per ton with confidence,” says Patrick Robinson, Vermeer’s senior corporate account manager for its mining division.

An alternative to drilling, blasting

Vermeer adds that the latest version of the Terrain Leveler addresses problems such as urban encroachment, mine pipelines, permitting timelines, and drilling and blasting restrictions that all might cause quarries to end operations prematurely.

“Using the Terrain Leveler, they can go in and get material they’ve already permitted and extend the life of the mine,” Robinson says.

Robinson adds that the machine can either complement or replace drilling and blasting at an operation, depending on the applications and restrictions. Additionally, the Terrain Leveler makes less noise than drilling and blasting, creating a quieter environment, according to Vermeer.

Vermeer dealers at Big Yellow Iron 2016 say the event helped them to promote the company’s offerings to some of their aggregates customers.

“This event helped one of my customers,” says John Matthews, a sales representative for the Vermeer Texas-Louisiana dealership. “Several years ago, a pipeline came through one of my customer’s quarries. He wanted to blast material there, but with the pipeline, it wasn’t possible. But if he uses the Terrain Leveler, it gives him an opportunity to mine around the pipeline.”

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About the Author:

Megan Smalley is the associate editor of Pit & Quarry. Contact her at or 216-363-7930.

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