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Looking for input on a small portable crusher plant

EK701

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Feb 8, 2017
Messages
28
Location
Central Oregon
I am looking at getting in to the portable crushing business and am looking for input. My area is extremely rocky (basalt) and just about any excavation results in a lot of excavated rock. Big projects are using large onsite crushing plants (multiple trailers, etc.). There are only a few large plants and they are tough to get.

My thought is it have a smaller, self-contained plant in the 50-100 ton/hr size for use on smaller projects. Local contractors tell me there is a demand for such a service. Right now, most of them pay to haul excavated rock to a local quarry, who then crushes it. The contractors then have to buy finished product and haul it back to the job site.

I would like to be able to output 2"- and 3/4"- as these are the two most used sizes of crushed rock. I have quite a bit of excavation experience, but no exprience with crushing.

I am looking for input on suggested crushers, things to be aware of that someone new to crushing might not know, any resources on life cycle/maintenance costs, or anything else you can think of.

Thanks!
 

funwithfuel

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Mar 7, 2017
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Will county Illinois
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Mechanic
The first thing you have to be aware of is what is your source material, virgin rock or recycle/FRAP from highway demolition. Is the material contaminated with un-crushable material? ie manholes, rebar etc. Previous experience recommends KPI FT4250 It's a track mounted HSI crusher / screen that can do exactly as you mentioned. It can screen 3/4 off to one side and 2" out the tail. Big grizzly bed for feeding . Very common on highway jobs out here. You can adjust the aprons up or down to your desired size, you can select the discharge by selecting your screen cloth appropriately. Now back to the original uh-oh! know your feed material. Any iron fed into a crusher will cause damage. If you know your gonna feed some contaminants , use softer bars for contaminated ,use harder high chrome for virgin material with high silicate. These tips are for any HSI crusher. Not just KPI , I just know this product , that's why I recommend it.
Oh and BTW FRAP sucks. It blinds over your grizzlies and screen cloth. more time spent cleaning than crushing
Plus you'll need a water truck to feed the dust suppression system, most municipalities don't want dust airborne.
hope this helps
 

ol'stonebreaker

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Location
Idaho
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retired
I have to assume you mean a 2" to 3/4" product and a 3/4" minus product. As fun said I'd stick with just straight basalt, do not accept any concrete rubble. Even with basalt there's always the slight chance of a lost drill bit or steel. Without a jaw crusher you'll need a grizzly to screen out overize too large to feed an impactor. This could probably be sold as rip rap or landscape rock. With a jaw crusher, which will be another unit to move, you could run it thru the jaw and across the screen first. I think a 3 deck screen would be desirable as you could also make chips for sealcoat which usually bring a good price, along with your 2 products you want. You could make a way to mix the 3/4"to what ever the top size of the chips is back into the fines, usually 1/4" minus, that passes the bottom deck to get your 3/4" minus product. Without a jaw, if possible run the feed product through the impactor first before feeding to the screen.
As for costs and maintainence, I've been out of the trade for 15 yrs so I can't help there. You will need a competent weldor that isn't reluctant to go into tight spaces and is a fairly proficient millwright. I coined a phrase about crushers years ago: " The instant you start it, it's working to destroy itself", LOL!!
Mike
 
Last edited:

cuttin edge

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You need to sell a lot of material to pay the bills.. The more stuff you crush, the more you wear out, and need to repair. One misplaced junk of iron goes through the plant can cause a lot of damage. Obviously money can be made, but you really need to have an experienced man running the show or your excavating business will have to carry it. Our jaw plant took an 8 inch drill bit, and I swear she came a foot off the ground when it hit. Split the toggle plate in two.
 

EK701

Active Member
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Feb 8, 2017
Messages
28
Location
Central Oregon
Thanks for the info! I only plan on crushing virgin material. It is almost completely excavated by ripping and rock hammer, almost never drilling and blasting, so the likelihood of having steel in the feed material is almost non-existent (broken bucket teeth are a possibility).

As far as repairing, I have lot of experience in equipment repair and welding, so I can do a lot of to basic repairs myself.

Please keep the input coming!

Thanks!
 

ol'stonebreaker

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Idaho
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cuttinedge, that's the main purpose of the toggle plate, to be the weak but cheap link!!
Mike
 

ol'stonebreaker

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EK, a loose tooth, with or without the adapter, in a jaw crusher can be, at the least, a personnel hazard because it can launch it a hundred ft straight up unless there is a heavy hinged screen over the jaw feed opening. Been there, done that!! Keep the questions coming and I'll try to answer them.
Cuttinedge is right in that you need an experienced hand to teach you the ropes. Crushing rock is something that can be learned as you go but it can be a rough and expensive school. There's skills to learn how to crush and there's skills to learn how to keep it crushing.
Mike
 

EK701

Active Member
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Feb 8, 2017
Messages
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Location
Central Oregon
Thanks again for the info! Your answers and suggestions have caused me to back up a bit. Let me ask, is there a self contained mobile crusher plant that will crush basalt with input up to 18" (or so) and produce 3/4"- and/or 2"- (not necessarily at the same time) at up to 100 ton/hr? Ideally, it would weigh 80k lbs or less and be under 8' 6" wide in transport mode. Am I looking at a jaw, cone, or impact crusher?

If such a crusher doesn't exist, what components would I be looking at to accomplish the task? Short setup times are necessary to service the market I am targeting.

Finally, if any of you experienced crusher operators are willing to engage in some consulting work, I am willing to pay for your time.

Thanks again!
 

ol'stonebreaker

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You'll just have to google the small all in one units to see what's out there to fit your requirements. I never worked on any impactors, which would be lighter than comparable jaws. Some pretty nifty track mounted all in ones are made now tho I haven't a clue as to cost. A local contractor has one so I'll see if it's in town and if so gets some pics, cost and specs from him. I'd ask around to find an owner of one out of your area so you're not a financial threat to him and get a take from him on all aspects of one. He can enlighten you on all the realities better than any salesman 'cause we all know what happens when a salesman's lips are moving.
As for consulting, I'll have to beg off as I'm probably at least 500 mi from you because I'm about as far east as you can get in Idaho. I'll be 70 in a couple of weeks and my body is making me pay for 32 yrs of working on crushers. I can try to help you all I can here or via E-mail and phone 'cause my brain is the only thing still functioning well and I sometimes wonder about it, LOL!!
Mike
 

cuttin edge

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cuttinedge, that's the main purpose of the toggle plate, to be the weak but cheap link!!
Mike
I understand that Mike, I guess I am just pointing out an example of an unexpected break in the chain. Unless you have the financial means, it's a lot more than just buying equipment, and starting to crush. Like you said check with the big guys and if they are willing to help take every bit of info you can get.
 

ol'stonebreaker

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Thanks, cuttinedge!! We had another little line about crushing plants: "The amount of trouble you will have with one is proportional to the number of moving parts". Just a ripped belt because the area under a tail pulley wasn't shoveled out soon enough can cost several hundred $ and downtime. Just like a piece of eqpt a crushing plant needs a qualified person constantly watching everything. I've seen a few sit and run unattended but when disaster strikes it quickly eats up the wages saved!!
Mike
 

EK701

Active Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2017
Messages
28
Location
Central Oregon
You'll just have to google the small all in one units to see what's out there to fit your requirements. I never worked on any impactors, which would be lighter than comparable jaws. Some pretty nifty track mounted all in ones are made now tho I haven't a clue as to cost. A local contractor has one so I'll see if it's in town and if so gets some pics, cost and specs from him. I'd ask around to find an owner of one out of your area so you're not a financial threat to him and get a take from him on all aspects of one. He can enlighten you on all the realities better than any salesman 'cause we all know what happens when a salesman's lips are moving.
As for consulting, I'll have to beg off as I'm probably at least 500 mi from you because I'm about as far east as you can get in Idaho. I'll be 70 in a couple of weeks and my body is making me pay for 32 yrs of working on crushers. I can try to help you all I can here or via E-mail and phone 'cause my brain is the only thing still functioning well and I sometimes wonder about it, LOL!!
Mike

Thanks, I appreciate it!
 

cuttin edge

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Thanks, cuttinedge!! We had another little line about crushing plants: "The amount of trouble you will have with one is proportional to the number of moving parts". Just a ripped belt because the area under a tail pulley wasn't shoveled out soon enough can cost several hundred $ and downtime. Just like a piece of eqpt a crushing plant needs a qualified person constantly watching everything. I've seen a few sit and run unattended but when disaster strikes it quickly eats up the wages saved!!
Mike
The unattended statement makes me think about those guys on the gold rush TV show. I know a lot of that stuff is scripted, but I laugh how the loader man has to run and shut the plant down because the don't have a plant operator.
 

ol'stonebreaker

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I quit the gold rush show on account of all the drama. The repair portions always angered me because they'd take a 1/2 a day to do what you or I could in an hour or less. I could see where the show was headed in the first episode when he was getting strung out about how deep the river was when he had to ford the hoe through it. He had a good depth gauge right on the end of the stick!!
Mike
 

Jonas302

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The unattended statement makes me think about those guys on the gold rush TV show. I know a lot of that stuff is scripted, but I laugh how the loader man has to run and shut the plant down because the don't have a plant operator.


Not uncommon for the loader operator to have to shut the crusher down he has the best view and should be monitoring constantly even with guys on the ground A remote sure is nice though...
 

cuttin edge

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Not uncommon for the loader operator to have to shut the crusher down he has the best view and should be monitoring constantly even with guys on the ground A remote sure is nice though...
I disagree. If you're digging out of the bank, it's pretty hard to keep an eye on things especially on a large spread. I find your ears to be a good indication. Everything runs at a constant drone. A slight change in the sound of the gen set or the screen can get your attention. The man in the tower if it's in the right place has a bird's eye view as far as the goes. It is a collective effort. I've seen the jaw set 90 degrees to the rest of the spread in a tight area, so the loader man can only see his side of the primary, and the back of the surge bin. I'M not saying his eyes are not important, but I would rather have boots on the ground and 2 way radios.
 

ol'stonebreaker

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EK, I contacted my friend today and his is a KPI 4250, says it will take a 2 1/2 ft rock. Track mounted, weighs 65 ton and he'll sell it for, please sit down, $350k. I think it's about 3 yrs old.
Mike
 

EK701

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Feb 8, 2017
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Central Oregon
EK, I contacted my friend today and his is a KPI 4250, says it will take a 2 1/2 ft rock. Track mounted, weighs 65 ton and he'll sell it for, please sit down, $350k. I think it's about 3 yrs old.
Mike

Ooof! That KPI rig is nice, but bigger (and more expensive) than what I am looking for.
 

grandpa

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If your planning to take 18" rock down to 3/4" at the rate of 100 ton an hour, your looking at big bucks. Then you need a loader, then some sort of conveyor stacker. Then as Fun said, dust suppression system. I don't know if you have Zoning issues to deal with. Then I know you'll have MSHA to deal with. Epa permits. Fire suppression is law. Daily inspection forms. Quarterly forms. Miner training. Hearing loss protection plan with baseline testing. You will be subject to at least yearly inspections. (No warnings on the inspections with monetary fines). Then more support equipment like a skiddy to clean around plant. ( Unless you have a fetish for shoveling). A truck of two to get the raw product in and finished out unless your willing to count on other people to do that, keeping in mind you are at their mercy. I forgot, Msha training for employees plus first aid training for each. Onsite bathrooms. Personal Protection items and the list goes on and on.
But thats how I got started, by filling a niche. So if got the desire, by all means go for it!!!! Time will fly by when your having so much fun... fastest 50 years of my life!!!!!!
 
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