Eye on the Future


June 1, 2008

How one father-son team has grown a
rock crushing business into a profitable custom crushing business.

After 35 years in the construction industry,
including four years as a consultant to heavy highway construction
companies, William “Bill” Corson realized if he wanted more from this
life, it was up to him to make it happen.

In August 2003, Corson formed Contract
Crushing/Construction Inc. Located in Cogan Station, Pa., CCI has
quickly grown by giving customers what they want, when they want it,
from recycled asphalt product and recycled concrete to a wide range of
aggregates. CCI customers include quarry operators, construction
companies, and recyclers across the Mid-Atlantic United States.

Bill has quickly built his company into the
recycling and crushing specialists with his unrelenting energy.

Eye on the futureA
mobile crusher that “walks” — even when the machine is in idle — has
been a big plus for CCI, regardless of the
job. The company says smooth, solid control is a big deal when backing
equipment within an inch of each other.

“The driving force for me is building something for
my family’s future generations,” Bill says. “I’ve worked for other
companies all my life, but now I want to build something for my son’s
children and my daughter’s children — something of value that will get
passed down after I’m gone.”

Bill’s son, Richard “Rich” Corson, 32, joined his
father in February 2004 as vice president and COO. Together, they built
the company on the cornerstones of safety, integrity, and
professionalism. This successful father-son team talks comfortably about
their business, sometimes finishing each other’s sentences and ribbing
each other good-naturedly. The shared focus of both father and son,
however, is delivering the very best level of service to their

“Custom crushing is not an easy business,” Bill
says. “Each time you move onto a new site, you have different parameters
you’re working with. You have to adapt your offer to the needs of each
individual customer and seamlessly fit into an existing business for as
long as you’re there.”

This can be challenging, Rich says, because, “It’s
a different spec, a different raw material, and a different customer,”
he says.

Dependability translates to profitability

CCI employs 30 people with four complete equipment
spreads working across seven states. Having dependable equipment is
often the difference between profit and loss. “We can’t afford not to
have everything running,” Bill says. “If we’re down, we’re not making
money — plain and simple.”

user-friendly Automated Setting Regulation (ASRi) automation system gives CCI operators a continual flow
of information while constantly making adjustments for more efficient
production, such as adjusting crusher settings automatically in order to
compensate for liner wear and controlling the crusher to protect it from
damaging overloads.

When equipment isn’t up and running it reflects
poorly on the business, notes Rich. “We’re failing in the customer’s
eyes if we’re not keeping up with them, or if we’re not ahead of them,
and they’ve got customers waiting,” he says. “Yes, we are demanding of
ourselves and our business partners, but only because of what our
customers demand from us.”

When it comes to reliable equipment partners, CCI
depends on Kemper Equipment and Sandvik Mining and Construction. “With
Kemper Equipment and Sandvik, we have dependable equipment and a
dealership with which we feel we can develop a good relationship,” Bill
says. “We believe the relationship will continue to grow and be mutually
beneficial for all sides.”

Kemper Equipment is a full-service distributor of
aggregate equipment, from sales and system design and consultation to
parts, service, and repair. Sandvik Mining and Construction is a
supplier of equipment, parts, and services for the mining and
construction industries. Kemper is Sandvik’s authorized distributor for

A deeper appreciation

CCI’s relationship with Kemper Equipment and
Sandvik dates back to summer 2006. Chris Rettew, crushing and screening
application specialist for Sandvik, has worked with both CCI and Kemper
from the beginning. Rettew met with the Corsons before they purchased
their first piece of Sandvik equipment to gain a deeper appreciation for
their needs.

“While Sandvik supports the distributor, the fact
is we also have a responsibility to the customer,” Rettew says. “That’s
how we can help cement a lasting relationship between all parties.”

Rettew acknowledges that product availability is a
“huge factor” in CCI’s success. “While CCI is self-reliant, the company
absolutely requires and expects product support and technical advice
from Kemper and Sandvik,” he says. “The faster they are, the more
capacity they can put through and the more competitive they are. By
capacity, they’re not just talking about the capacity of the crusher,
but their overall capacity based on product availability.”

Increased crushing efficiency

Customer service is what compelled CCI to add a
Sandvik UH440i (the “i” stands for intelligent) mobile cone crusher to
its equipment fleet during the early summer of 2007. Corson says when
two customers approached CCI with hard rock jobs, it persuaded the
company to buy Sandvik’s new cone crusher. CCI turned down two similar
projects the previous year and accepted one, a customer who was down and
needed emergency crushing support for granite. This convinced CCI that
the time was right to add another mobile crusher to its equipment

Rich says the Sandvik UH440i mobile crusher greatly
enhances CCI’s ability to efficiently crush hard, abrasive rock such as
granite, traprock, and sand rock. He credits the unit’s gyratory design
with its “exceptional performance.” Ultimately, it is the reason why CCI
chose the Sandvik crusher over other machines.

The Sandvik mobile crusher allows CCI personnel to
move in quickly to each new site and get on with processing. “This cone
has a lot of flexibility to it and has greatly expanded our ability to
serve our customers,” Rich says. The mobile unit can process up to 350
metric tons per hour.Ideal for secondary or tertiary applications, the
UH440i can produce a wide range of desirable aggregate sizes, including
re-circulation ballast-size (4 to 5 inches) stone into No. 8 or No. 57
stone used by asphalt and concrete plants.

“We also like the fact that we don’t have to
pre-screen, which would add an additional piece of equipment to the
spread,” Rich says. “You can take (from) fines all the way up to coarse
product and not hurt the machine.”

The new crusher has a “great” automation system,
according to the Corsons, providing the operator with vital information
while automatically making adjustments to maximize production. The
Sandvik ASRi (Automated Setting Regulation system) also adjusts crusher
settings to compensate for liner wear and ensure the highest level of
crusher performance.

The ASRi controls the crusher to protect it from
damaging overloads. “It’s very user friendly,” Rich adds, from the
system’s simple color graphics to the touch-screen interface and
automatic functions.

month, a service technician makes a comprehensive inspection of the
mobile cone, from computer parameters and filters, to oil, undercarriage
components, and engine tolerances. CCI says the cone is a newer piece of equipment, and it doesn’t want to
take chances in overlooking anything that might lead to downtime.

CCI chose a radio remote control for the unit in
addition to the standard tethered control. “We really like it because
the operator can clearly see all around the machine and can control (the
crusher) from the cab of the support equipment,” Rich points out. Adds
Bill, “This kind of feature really helps an operation like ours.”

The mobile crusher “walks” and turns nicely, Bill
says, even when the machine is in idle position, “no matter where you’re
at, no matter what you’re into. That’s a big plus.” This provides solid
control when walking the machine around, Rich says, which is
particularly important when trying to back equipment to within an inch
of other equipment.

“We also like the ruggedness and robustness of this
machine,” Rich adds. “This is a well-engineered piece of iron, from a
company with proven technology.”

Building relationships for the future

Bill sees only continued growth in his future, and
predicts that in the next five years, CCI will add one or two field
crews operating up and down the East Coast, including the South. “We’ve
been invited there already, and within five years, we’ll probably have a
division there handling those customers,” he says. In fact, growth seems
to be in the cards — in June 2007, the Corsons started a second
business, Corson Asphalt Inc., with the goal being to produce asphalt
for outside sales.

Bill also predicts a second fixed operation in
addition to Corson Quarries Inc., their fixed operation 60 miles
northwest of Cogan Station in Elysburg, Pa., that the Corsons purchased
in mid-2006. “There will always be a requirement for good aggregates,”
Bill notes.

Photos and article
courtesy of Sandvik Mining & Construction.

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