Skip to main content

Recycling concrete and turning a profit - part 2

World Cement,

Read part one of this article here.

Warren CAT is one of the largest and fastest-growing Caterpillar dealerships in North America. The company operates more than 16 locations in Oklahoma and west Texas, offering new, used and rental equipment. Throughout his years in the industry, Smith always worked with Warren CAT for equipment needs, as well as parts and service. Warren CAT was already Ramirez & Sons’ exclusive dealer, so there was no question of who Smith would call when he set out to find a new machine.

Contact between Ramirez & Sons and Warren CAT to find a new machine

Brian Hutchinson, spoke with Smith to find out exactly what he was looking for in a new crusher. First, Hutchinson gained insight into Smith’s pain points with his existing crusher – primarily, lagging production and excessive downtime. Next, the two discussed Smith’s goals and expectations of the new machine – greater output, more processing capabilities and high uptime.

Ramirez’s processing plant manufactures several grades of aggregate material.

After learning both, Hutchinson felt he had the solution – an IROCK crusher. He knew of one that was available at one of Warren’s sister locations in Odessa, Texas. The particular unit, IROCK’s RDS-15, was a four bar impactor, three-stage mobile crusher that could process a variety of materials, including concrete and other aggregates, at impressive tonnage rates that could double Smith’s hourly output. It sounded like a great fit for Ramirez & Sons, so Hutchinson put Smith in touch with Bill Reiner at Warren CAT’s Odessa location. Smith made the trip south to take a look at the machine. About 175 miles and a few days later, Smith said, “It was sitting in our yard.”

Though Smith was confident the RDS-15 was the solution to the company’s low production rates, Ramirez & Sons decided first to lease the machine and see how it would stand up to the company’s high standards and demanding production schedule. In just two months the company purchased the machine, cementing its place as the primary crusher in the company’s fleet.

Production rates soar with IROCK RDS-15

With the RDS-15, Smith has seen production rates soar from about 120 tph to approximately 300 tph. While that’s more than double, and an impressive stat alone, the impact really adds up when looking at the bigger picture. Based on a typical 12-hour day and an average six-day week, tonnage output has gone from 8640 t per week to 21 600 t. The impact continues to grow with each week, month and year. In addition to sheer output quantity, the company has also been able to diversify its sales offerings from four products to nearly 15, including various sizes of recycled concrete, aggregates and asphalt.

“The machine has its own double-deck screen,” Smith explained. “I'm able to easily change out the bottom screen, which allows us to produce different sizes we hadn’t been able to with other machines.” Additionally, the configuration options enable Ramirez & Sons to produce three different materials at once, and the impact aprons are easy to adjust for precise sizing. This offers Smith the versatility and efficiency of producing multiple products at once, while ensuring they’re accurately sized for best sale potential.

IROCK’s RDS-15 is a four bar impactor, three-stage mobile crusher has proven to be the right machine for great fit for Ramirez & Sons. The machine is capable of processing a variety of materials, including concrete and other aggregates, at impressive tonnage rates.

A new customer base and more opportunities

As Smith expected, Ramirez & Sons’ newfound diversity has opened up the company to a new customer base and more opportunity. Most notable is the oil boom happening in Hobbs and nearby cities. Several oil companies use Ramirez & Sons’ 3/4 in. minus material, primarily for parking lots and temporary roads.

“That has been one of the biggest areas of growth for us,” Smith said. “The oil boom here is incredible.”

While increased production rates and profits are both key, Smith says the primary benefit is zero. As in, zero waste.

“I can honestly say we’re no longer wasting any material,” Smith said. “It’s remarkable.”

Ramirez & Sons now offers a variety of material sizes, from 3/8 in. minus to 5/8 in. minus to 1 in. minus. The products are used in a variety of applications, including hot-mix, road base, subbase, and building pads. The company also produces specialty size material for specific applications. For example, a septic system’s base lines require a larger rock, from 1 to 3 in. in size. Smith says with just a simple adjustment his RDS-15 can produce it quickly and precisely.

A simple and reliable crusher requiring little maintenance

Often overshadowed by the high production rates and lack of material waste is the simple reliability of the crusher. It’s not that Smith has ignored the high uptime; he certainly recognises it. Rather, he hasn’t really had to pay attention.

“It seems like you can always remember the times your equipment has failed on you,” he said. “On the flip side, when a machine runs smoothly and doesn’t require attention, it’s easy for it to go unnoticed. Ironically, it’s the machines that do their job and run like they’re supposed to that almost seem like they’re forgotten. But that’s really when you should be taking notice, and I credit the RDS-15 for its reliability.”

Smith’s philosophy is, as long as it’s running, he’s happy. And that’s important to a company that operates up to 12 hr/day, six days a week.

In addition to worry-free operation, the machine doesn’t require much attention and care from the crew. Maintenance requirements have been minimal and mostly routine items like keeping the machine lubricated, refuels and changing the oil. One unique feature that contributes to this is IROCK’s innovative ROCK BOX, an alternative to discharge chutes found on similar units. The ROCK BOX uses a shelf system with abrasion resistant wear bars that allow crushed material to build up and act as a wear liner, cutting down on costly wear liner replacement.

Smith also points out the minimal wear he has seen on the machine. Compared to crushers he has used in the past, IROCK’s machine has impressed him in terms of longevity of wear parts. He cites the blow bars as a prime example. Compared with other crushers he has had to change out the bars within four weeks. In more than 1400 hr of operation with the RDS-15, he’s only had to rotate the bars once, and expects to get at least 700 or more hours out of them.

After first working with the RDS-15, Smith said he couldn’t accurately quantify the exact maintenance and downtime savings, but he saw both maintenance and downtime decrease sharply while production more than doubled.

Written by IROCK Crushers.

Read the article online at:

You might also like




At WCT2021 you will hear from a range of industry leaders and technical experts as they discuss the key challenges facing the cement industry and the latest solutions on offer. Register for free today »


Fuelled by efficiency

Dr. Dipl. Eng. Jan Tuma, BEUMER Group, considers the most effective solutions for efficient conveying, storage and feeding of alternative fuels.


Embed article link: (copy the HTML code below):