M. Leeder Construction’s recycle yard.
M. Leeder Construction wanted to be able to produce hot asphalt for pothole work during the winter. Cold patch, which had been used for repairing holes in the winter once the asphalt plants close is expensive, not particularly reliable, and has to be dug out and replaced with hot patch once spring returns and the asphalt plants open. Leeder also needed a reliable source of asphalt in early spring when asphalt plants do not run every day depending on the temperature. A Bagela BA 10000 asphalt recycler solved both issues.
“In the spring and at times in the fall our capability of doing work often relies on the weather and whether or not the asphalt plants are open. With the help of the Bagela, this year we were able to produce 400 tons of hot asphalt during periods when the plants were closed. The Bagela produces a very acceptable 5/8 mix that we use for pothole repair and a finished course mix that we use on our paving projects,” said Matt Leeder, president and founder of M. Leeder Construction.
Located in Durango, Colo., which is in the southwest corner of Colorado not far from Albuquerque, N.M., M. Leeder Construction’s primary focus is on asphalt paving and asphalt maintenance. Over the last few years the company has moved heavily in the direction of recycling asphalt and using the recycled product, thus dramatically decreasing their costs and producing savings for their customers.
“Last year we won the bid on a significant sized gas line replacement project in the city of Durango. The asphalt plants closed early and we were able to produce 200 tons of patch material right through the heart of the winter to get the project completed.
“As we have grown into the asphalt recycling business we developed a permanent site that allows other contractors to bring the asphalt that they have torn up or milled at other projects and dump it at our yard. We have set up the Bagela on an elevated pad, which allows it to dump the recycled product directly into asphalt trucks and trailers below. We also accept from area contractors waste concrete that we process into a ¾ inch aggregate, which we use as a base on new driveway and parking lot projects. We also accept dirt from excavation projects that we process and mix with manure and sell as a fertilized top soil.”
A lot of the company’s work is utility work that would typically involve digging up and replacing sewer, water and utility lines within a city or village. When these utilities run underneath streets Leeder uses an “asphalt zipper” (a small portable milling machine) to dig up the surface asphalt, which is collected and either stockpiled on site or taken back to its recycle yard. Because of the Bagela’s mobility the company can bring the Bagela to the project and recycle the millings on site. This not only saves in the cost of asphalt material, but it also eliminates a lot of material hauling, Leeder said.
The company was founded in 1985 as a small owner/operator business doing asphalt maintenance primarily sealcoat work and some asphalt patching. Today, it has grown to 12 full-time employees and up to 17 employees during the peak season.
“This year, with the help of the Bagela, we were able to operate year around and had our material costs drop by 25 percent. Forty percent of the product that we laid in 2013 was recycled asphalt versus virgin asphalt. The growth has been good and we are currently looking into expanding our operation.
“When we first purchased the Bagela we experienced about a three month learning curve. We had to test compaction rates and learn what temperatures the Bagela had to operate with specific materials for maximum efficiency. Today we are making a very high quality product from a machine that only requires a single operator.
“We are very happy with the Bagela’s production rates. We can currently generate up to 10 tons of material per hour. We are enjoying the flexibility of being able to reduce and have a ready supply of product when we need it and not being at the mercy of the asphalt plants. There is nothing that prevents us from paving into the night when need be. The economic impact on our company was immediate. Our overall profitability increased by 12 percent. The Bagela was critical to us being able to maintain profitability during the economic downturn.”
For more information on Bagela, visit www.bagelausa.com.
For more information on M. Leeder Construction, visit www.mleederconstruction.com.