As reconstruction continued on U.S. Route 24, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) had to find a solution to deal with excess material that covered the 2.2-mi. (3.5 km) project.
ODOT contracted E.S. Wagner, based in Oregon, Ohio, as the general contractor, which brought on A&A Custom Crushing Inc., based in Wauseon, Ohio, to do the recycling. A&A Custom Crushing owned a large portable crawler crusher that could cover the scope of the $36.7 million project.
In fact, Brian Aeschliman, owner of A&A Custom Crushing, built by hand the concrete crusher crawler with his brother John. They were the only two workers on the job.
“We used to have a portable jaw crusher but we wanted more capacity,” Aeschliman said. “We found out that nobody builds a crawler crusher big enough yet still portable.”
Aeschliman built the crusher out of used HAZMAT parts that he bought from Stone Products.
“We call the crusher the AA 680X,” Aeschliman said. “Basically, the machine takes big pieces of concrete and asphalt and works totally by remote control.”
Aeschliman said that the 80-hp (59 kW) AA 680X weighs 150,000 lbs. (68,000 kg), uses a 3412 Cat engine, operates on tracks and can be broken down into two loads.
Aeschliman calls his invention a “gypsy machine” because it can be transported to different locations. The crusher even can turn into its own trailer equipped with its own hydraulics.
“Being on tracks, the crusher can move easily with a remote control,” he said. “The feeder slides off and is hauled separately to reduce weight load. This thing is pretty portable and allows us to do a lot of smaller jobs that a lot of bigger contractors won’t do.”
Additionally, the AA 680X has an 80-in. (203 cm) opening to feed concrete and asphalt chunks.
“Back in 1993, we had seen all this concrete being buried and thought that recycling it would be a better idea than just burying it,” Aeschliman said. “Especially with the fuel prices going up, recycling makes more economical sense since the closest quarry to Wauseon is 30 miles away.”
ODOT’s U.S. 24 project is Aeschliman’s first with the state and his largest project to date.
“We’re crushing all the concrete material and all the miscellaneous stuff,” he said. “For a couple months last fall, we crushed 35,000 tons of materials and another 5,000 tons this spring.”
Aeschliman indicated that A&A Custom Crushing would recycle another 15,000 to 20,000 tons (13,600 to 18,140 t) this fall to complete the contract with the state.
“To date, I feel that the machine [AA 680X] handled better than expected,” Aeschliman said. “We had a lot of clearance to handle the rebar.”
In addition to the custom-built crusher crawler, A&A Custom Crushing used a Cat 966E wheel loader, a Cat 225 excavator, a Cat 330B excavator and a Powerscreen 1400 screening plant for the U.S. 24 project.
A Kenworth T800 truck moved the equipment.
Aeschliman, who did machine work and custom fabricating prior to A&A Custom Crushing, indicated that more custom-built machines are in his company’s future.
“I’d like to get into building these machines and selling them,” he said.
A&A Custom Crushing has done work in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.
For more information, call 419/335-0098.