Continental Paving Succeeds in Aggregate, Asphalt Ventures

The company rode the waves of 80's booms and busts to come out on top.

📅   Sat December 13, 2014 - Northeast Edition
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Continental Paving’s 44 x 48 primary jaw crusher.
Continental Paving’s 44 x 48 primary jaw crusher.

Continental Paving Inc., owned and operated by brothers Rick and Mark Charbonneau, is a New Hampshire-based business, which features commercial and industrial site development, asphalt paving and trucking.

The company specializes in portable aggregate crushing; roadway pavement milling and reclamation; asphalt production and sales; and aggregate production and sales from both the Litchfield Sand & Gravel operation and the Continental Paving quarry in Londonderry, N.H.

Continental has two major divisions, the construction division and an aggregate/asphalt division.

“The inception and later on, the growth of our aggregate and asphalt division was dictated by the growth of our construction division and a shortage of materials that we needed to do our projects,” said Mark Charbonneau.

“Our first step into aggregate production came in the early 1980s when we purchased an Austin Weston crusher to produce road base. The ’80s was a strong growth period for the Nashua and Manchester areas of New Hampshire. There was a huge housing boom going on as the Boston suburbs started to spread northward and we just couldn’t get enough aggregate material for the projects we had booked. In 1986, the company purchased our first aggregate/asphalt plant in Londonderry, New Hampshire. In the late ’80s, the region experienced a housing crash and a significant downturn in the economy in general.”

Fortunately for Continental Paving, the owners had the foresight to move the company in a different direction and started doing DOT work.

“In 1990, there was a major expansion at the Manchester, New Hampshire, airport and we were involved in much of the work there. That project kept us busy from the early preparation and construction of the new terminal facility to various taxi way and airfield facility construction. The expansion at the airport has continued to be aggressive. Most recently, we completed a project involving the replacement of the airfield snow melt facilities,” Charbonneau said.

Continental’s paving and asphalt facility located at 1 Continental Drive in Londonderry, N.H., is a 450-acre site. The company owns a second facility known as Litchfield Sand & Gravel, which is located in Litchfield, N.H. The Litchfield facility is a mirror image of the Londonderry facility. Most recently, Continental added a facility in Concord, N.H., named Concord Sand & Gravel.

On the Job

More than 300 employees work in the facilities, which combined produce 2 million tons of aggregate a year and 750,000 tons of hot mix asphalt a year, according to Charbonneau.

Continental’s plants consist of a 44 x 48 primary jaw crusher that feeds material to a Metso HP400 cone crusher. From the jaw crusher material is conveyed to a 7 x 24 Deister triple deck scalping screen. Top and middle screen oversize material is sent to a Metso HP400 cone crusher. Material from the cone, is combined with material from the bottom screen and is sent to a surge pile. Material from the surge pile is sent to a pair of Deister 7 x 20 triple deck screens. From this screen material goes to another pair of Metso HP400 fine or short head crushers. Then for final sizing and washing material is sent to a pair of Deister 8 x 20 four deck screens.

The Londonderry and Litchfield Continental plants each also include two Astec asphalt plants.

All of Continental’s facilities contain Metso HP400 cone crushers. These crushers feature high capacity fine aggregate production, excellent particle shape and bronze brushing construction, which offers the low repair costs, according to the company. All repairs can be done in the field.

“What impresses us the most about the Metso HP cone crushers is their ease of repair,” Charbonneau said. “All components can be removed from the top and are readily accessible. These crushers offer us a very simple design and the lowest cost per ton of production in a larger variety of sizing than any other crusher. We are very self-sufficient and we do the vast majority of the maintenance and repair work ourselves.”

Between the Londonderry and Litchfield plants, Continental has a total of 10 Deister screens. All of the Metso and Deister products were purchased from and are serviced by Whitney & Son in Fitchburg, Mass.

“Over the years, we have found both Deister and Whitney to be very easy to work with. All of the screens are custom made and I believe they are the best-made screen in the market. They have a very simple vibrating mechanism and are simple to repair. The Deisters are easy to maintain and through Whitney & Son we get great parts availability and service. Whitney also makes available a great bearing exchange program,” Charbonneau said.

Continental also has purchased a Metso LT110 tracked jaw crusher and a Metso NW125 portable rubber-tired jaw crusher, which they use for site work, and many of their road projects.

According to Charbonneau, “We have had a great experience dealing with Whitney & Son and their representative, Doug Baker. We have always found Whitney’s staff to be very knowledgeable and readily accessible in the training of our employees. They also have good parts availability.

“At Continental Paving our goal is to be consistently the lowest cost producer of aggregate material in the area. We make every endeavor to employ the best people available and to give our employees what they need to achieve our production cost goals and to give those same employees a fair working environment.

“Our relationship with Whitney & Son helps us maximize our efficiency efforts. Whitney understands that our goal is to never pick up any material more than twice; once as shot rock and the second time as a finished product. We use bin load trucks, which some would consider old technology, but it is the best way to load trucks with the least amount of moving parts. We designed our entire crushing spread with the goal of eliminating wear parts. These two objectives are also key in keeping our fuel consumption low.

“We have been running this plant for a very long time and we pride ourselves on being self-sufficient. However, when we run into a problem that involves troubleshooting the Whitney staff and Doug Baker are experts at problem solving,” Charbonneau said,

For more information on Whitney & Son, visit www.whitneyandson.com.

In the Beginning

In the 1970s, a family-owned and operated trucking business was run by the Charbonneau family in the Hudson, N.H., area. Claude Truck Rental steadily expanded into various related construction industries such as site development, utility construction and eventually aggregate production and paving. In 1980, brothers Rick and Mark Charbonneau bought their father out of the business, and Continental Paving was born.

For more information on Continental Paving, visit www.continentalpaving.com.