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Cold Brook Gravel Prides Itself on Being Good Neighbors

Wed March 08, 2006 - Northeast Edition
Kate Zanoni



Cold Brook Gravel Inc., a division of R.D. Edmunds & Sons Inc., is expanding its horizons. The Edmunds family, including brothers Dick and Frank, currently own the construction company, which was founded by their father Richard in 1957.

By the mid 1960s, the company was experiencing a strong growth pattern. Today, R.D. Edmunds is a large contractor focusing on site work and local, town, county, state and Department of Transportation (DOT) highway work.

In 1996, Dick and his brother Frank decided to purchase the Cold Brook Gravel Inc. in Boscawen, NH.

“It was a natural growth of our company to get into the sand and gravel business,” said Dick Edmunds. “We were already major consumers of aggregate products, so why not get directly involved in that business?”

One of the most noticeable impressions at the Cold Brook Gravel facility is the immaculate condition of the facility, its surrounding grounds and the support equipment.

Keeping a fresh image is important for Cold Brook Gravel. The roads in and out of the quarry are freshly paved and the landscaping on all unused land around the quarry is meticulously maintained. All support equipment is freshly painted, clean and well cared for.

“We want our facility and everything that we own to have a nice look,” said Edmunds.

“Having a good image to our customers and to our neighbors is very important to us and we have learned from our experiences over the years that keeping our equipment well maintained always offers a good return,” he added.

The Cold Brook Gravel facility serves the central New Hampshire market. Approximately 25 percent of the product is consumed by the R.D. Edmunds & Sons Construction Company.

The I-93 Asphalt Company, located in New Hampton, NH, and the Michie Corp. in Heninker, NH, also are significant aggregate consumers.

In turn, local contractors and municipalities receive the balance of its production.

R.D. Edmunds & Sons Inc. also has a gravel facility on Route 3 in nearby Franklin, NH. Both the Cold Brook Gravel and the R.D. Edmunds & Sons Inc. aggregate facilities are operated exclusively with JCI crushers and Kolberg conveyors purchased from Thompson Equipment.

“Going into this business, I paid a lot of attention to what other producers were using for equipment and JCI, Kolberg and Pioneer equipment is quite commonly used,” said Edmunds.

“We knew it was going to take several million dollars worth of equipment to get things started so we wanted to be very careful whom we did business with,” he said.

“One of the theories that we use in the construction side of our business is that it’s not so important in what equipment you buy, but [whom ] you buy it from and how you support it,” he added.

For Edmunds, Caterpillar has the best resources to properly support the equipment Cold Brook Gravel and R.D. Edmunds & Sons Inc. use.

“We were looking for the equivalent in crushing equipment and from what we were able to find out, Thompson Equipment was the company that we should be doing business with,” said Edmunds.

“Once we find a supplier who properly supports our equipment, we use them nearly exclusively,” he said. “For instance, we have nearly 30 trucks that we have purchased from Manchester Mack in Manchester, NH.”

At Cold Brook Gravel’s Boscawen NH, facility, the primary crusher used is a Pioneer 30- by 42-in. ( 76 by 106.7 cm) jaw plant with a vibrating feeder and a Master Mag magnet.

This unit is powered by a Cummins diesel and accepts 2-ft. (.6 m) minus stone.

The secondary crusher is a JCI LS1200 cone plant. This unit is fed 2-in. (5.1 cm) minus stone and produces .75 in. (1.9 cm) stone (crushed gravel), as well as 1.5-in. (1.3 cm) stone.

A JCI K300 closed-circuit cone plant is used as a tertiary crusher. This unit is fed 3-in. (7.6 cm) minus material and it produces .5-in. stone, .375 in. (.9 cm) stone and stone dust.

All conveyors on all of the crushers are Kolberg and were purchased from Thompson Equipment.

According to Doug Woodward, quarry superintendent of Cold Brook Gravel, “The operation is currently producing about 300,000 tons of aggregate per year and those numbers increase every year.

“It’s a 365-acre quarry that is producing from some of the hardest stone in New Hampshire, and New Hampshire is world famous for the hardness of its rock,” said Woodward.

Maine Drilling and Blasting is responsible for all of the drilling and blasting at the Cold Brook Gravel plant.

“We purchased JCI, Kolberg and Pioneer equipment because it was a good investment for our money,” said Woodward. “We have had great parts and service support from Thompson Equipment throughout the entire process.

“Previous to operating this plant, I have had a good relationship with Bob Olivadoti [of Thompson Equipment] and we knew by reputation that their support for parts and service would be strong,” he said.

Woodward enjoys one particular feature of the JCI cone crushers. The quick cone allows him to change production product size in mere seconds.

“The JCI equipment is American made and has a great reputation for years of uninterrupted service,” he said.

According to Woodward, Cold Brook Gravel puts a tremendous amount of emphasis on equipment and grounds maintenance.

“Every one of our trucks are housed every night and the difference really shows,” he said. “Our trucks look better and last longer than nearly anyone else’s around here and we use the same sort of extreme maintenance program with our crushers.”

Woodward ensures that the plants are completely serviced every 250 hours of operation.

“Our plant is located close to a residential area and that is one of the reasons the facility is kept in such pristine condition,” he said. “We want to be good neighbors.”

Cold Brook Gravel also wants to be good to its customers.

“We keep the pit open year round for our customers,” said Woodward. “Production in our pits starts around April 1 and will continue on depending on weather conditions in December.”