November 5, 2013
Big Creek Sand & Gravel turns waste material into a profit center with a third screening deck.
Acting as the first adopter of a new piece of equipment can take a leap of faith, but for Charlie Harvey, his relationships with local dealer Texas Bearing Co. and KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens meant an easy transition into new innovation.
Harvey, who serves as superintendent of Big Creek Sand & Gravel in Borger, Texas, is the first user of the GT205S, a new mobile track screening plant from the Global Track product line from Astec Mobile Screens.
Meeting operator needs
The plant is the latest addition to KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens’ Global Track product line, which was developed to meet an increasing demand for whole-good screening products that are user-friendly, mobile and self-contained. It’s a market that is booming around the world for many reasons, according to Paul Smith, product development manager for KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens.
“We’ve seen significant infrastructure growth in remote regions of the world, as well as increased rental demand of heavy processing equipment driven by reduced capital spending,” Smith says. “We’re also witnessing a transient workforce requiring application and operating ‘best practices’ be engineered into that equipment. Many companies now find a need to be nimble and process smaller or specialized projects without interrupting their core business activities. Our Global Track products fulfill those needs.”
The new double- or triple-deck screen plant is suitable for producers processing sand and gravel, top soil, slag, crushed stone and recycled materials, according to Patrick Reaver, product development manager for Astec Mobile Screens.
“Because the GT205S is part of the Global Track product line, it is slimmer and lighter, which makes it easy to transport and more affordable,” Reaver says. “It is rugged and powerful.”
Expanding product range
Big Creek Sand & Gravel, formerly known as E.D. Baker Co., has been in operation for more than 20 years. The company offers a variety of services, including commercial aggregate sales, trucking, asphalt paving, earth work, wind generation work, highway construction and airport construction. Some of its major clients include the Texas Department of Transportation, Brazos Wind Ranch and Conoco-Phillips Co.
Harvey admits he took a bit of a calculated risk on the new product, knowing that he could rely on dealer and manufacturer support to work out any problems that might arise.
“Sure, I was a little nervous — whenever they talk about a first plant coming out, it usually has problems,” Harvey says. “And in this line of business, if you’re down, you’re down. A lot of people are waiting on the product, and if you’re waiting on parts to come in, that puts you behind, and puts other contractors behind.
“I’ve known the folks from Texas Bearing Co. for years,” he continues, “and I knew that if we needed anything, they would work with us to get it.”
Harvey has had no major problems with the plant over the past year. He uses the screen plant to process concrete rock and hot-mix material, and says Big Creek Sand & Gravel is able to make more materials because of the versatility of the three-deck machine.
“With our old machine, we were limited on what kind of material we could make because it only had two decks,” Harvey says. “With the GT205S, we can make all different kinds of material. I love it – it’s a great plant for what we’re doing. We haven’t tried everything we’re going to try with it, but as far as making the base, I think it’s going to do a lot better than our old screening plant.”
Harvey says the company is now able to make A4 rock, a size of material the company previously had to throw away. Now, Big Creek Sand & Gravel is able to avoid wasting material and offer more products to new customers. With its high screening capacity, the screening plant has been running at an average of 300 tons per hour, and as high as 500 tons per hour.
In addition to its increased capacity and versatility, Harvey says the new screen plant is much easier to maintain and use than previous machines.
Reaver says the plant is designed for use by anyone, from a novice to a seasoned professional, with easy-to-reach engine controls and grease points for routine service, simple-to-use hydraulic leveling gears, hydraulic plant controls and screen angle adjustment.
“It’s just a lot easier to work on than other plants,” Harvey says. “When it comes to routine things like changing bearings, there’s just no comparison.”
Article courtesy of KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens.