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Crushing, Screening Soloist Runs Harmonious Operation

Fri September 25, 2009 - Northeast Edition
Jay Adams

Usually, the eighth brother gets to do everything last, if he gets to do it at all. But Chris Adler, who has seven older brothers, does something daily that no one else in the family does and very few gravel banks in New England would even attempt.

Adler, 43, runs three impressive machines simultaneously all by himself at the family’s immense 87-acre (35 ha) gravel bank in Glocester, R.I. — Adler Brothers’s Metso crushing and screening plant consists of a Lokotrack LT105 primary jaw, a secondary NW200HPS cone plant with screen, and a Lokotrack ST352 mobile screen.

Yet Adler is the first to point out that it is his brothers’ equally hard work — forming, running and turning Adler Brothers Construction into a multi-dimensional company over the past three decades — which is the reason for his own success.

“I have seven older brothers,” said Chris Adler. “Me, being the youngest, I do this. But I’m pretty proud of the six boys and what’s going on here. The six brothers own the company and five boys are on the road, managing the company and doing site jobs. Whatever success we have is due to them.”

Brothers, Where Are Thou?

The Adler family has always been in it together, beginning with their formative years on the family farm in Smithfield, R.I.

Carl and Barbara Adler taught their boys the meaning and value of hard work and togetherness. “My mom was pregnant for about 12 years in a row,” said Chris Adler. “She had eight boys in 11 years.”

Carl Adler started in the firewood business. When his two oldest sons, Kenny and Scott, were finally out of school — some 30 years ago in 1979 — they formed Adler Brothers. To their original shovel dozer, they soon added one backhoe and an excavator — and their younger brothers. With Kenny and Scott as bosses, siblings Bruce, Mike, Jeff and Chris filled out the family firm.

“When I first came aboard, I was just a truck driver, from 1984 to 1989,” said Chris Adler. “But my brothers bought this place and I’ve been pretty busy here ever since.”

Some 20 years ago, in 1989, the Adler brothers bought the gravel bank they now occupy. Approximately nine years ago, they bought their first Metso rock crusher, the 105 jaw crusher. Five years ago, they added the Metso NW200 and their final operating piece, the Metso Lokotrack ST 352.

“We just bought the screening plant. The machines are all working together…by myself,” laughed Adler. “People who see me here, say it is one of the most efficiently run operations they have ever seen.”

Making Anything Out

of Anything

Adler’s day begins at 6 a.m. and the pit opens at 7 a.m. Each day is different, depending on the jobs at hand and the weather.

“Maybe two or three days are the same [each year], but day to day, week to week, it’s never the same,” he said of running the three huge plants and screens at once. “We’ve got $1.5 million of equipment here. I make whatever we need. Recently, my brother asked, ’Can you make me 1,500 tons of two-inch stone?’ I said, ’Give me a week.’ We make stones of any size you want, screened loam, processed gravel. In between specific jobs, I build as many stockpiles as we can. Screened loan, screened fill, a ledge job. Pretty soon, we’ll be crushing asphalt, which people love. I can make anything out of anything. Just change the screens on the plant and I can make gold out of it,” he laughed.

Adler admitted it isn’t always easy. “A lot of people say, ’How can you work here every day, doing this?’ Well, all six boys work as hard or harder than I do. Kenny and Scott have worked harder for longer,” said Chris Adler.

He said the gravel pit was only about one-quarter of the company’s operation, and Adler pointed to the six company trucks on the road daily, the four 10-wheelers, the two trailers, the four excavators, the bulldozers, the pay loaders, all being used by the family and crew doing site work, excavations, commercial building and building home sub-divisions.

“And we all get the material they need from here,” he said. “There were five boys on the road doing site jobs. One of the original reasons we bought this gravel bank was to supply our own materials — fill, stone, gravel, pipe bedding. We spent a lot in stone. Since then, we haven’t bought an ounce of material from anyone. We brought it from here. And when you sell it to other customers, it’s a bonus.

“But if I wasn’t the owner of the company, I wouldn’t do it,” he added. “Sometimes, I’ve got 15 belts going at once, when all three are working, and things coming out in six different places. Sometimes, you need eyes in all the parts of your head.”

But Adler never loses sight of the goal, which is to fill both his own company trucks and outside customer trucks with all the loam, stone, gravel, fill and other materials they need daily.

“On a busy day, you might have 30 to 40 trucks a day come through here,” said Adler. “It varies. But when you see those tail lights flashing as they leave, you know we’re making money.”

Other Perspectives

The bank has grown in bankability over a decade.

“When we bought the first rock crusher, it was the Cadillac of crushers at the time,” said Adler. “We bought the second one, the cone, and the two of them made any size stone. I was by myself and we wanted something reliable, that you could run every day. I spend most of my time doing preventative maintenance, not repairs.”

According to Eric Bjornson, Metso Mobile Solutions sales manager, “Adler Brothers was sold on the Metso mobile equipment based on its reputation for quality, as well as Adler’s previous experience with Metso box screens.”

Bjornson added that, “the Lokotrack crushing and screening plants are smart, versatile machines that help our customers improve productivity. It’s durable equipment that holds up well over time.”

Whitney & Son of Fitchburg, Mass., sold the jaw crusher and cone crusher to Adler Brothers, along with many of the conveyors and generators.

Jason Whitney, the second generation of the company, worked with the Adler family to make sure the machines and their specs met Adler’s needs in the most cost-effective way possible.

“I think he does a very good job. We worked with him quite a bit [on] the set up [of the equipment]. We knew he was going to be doing it by himself and we configured it accordingly, because we knew it could be run with just one person,” said Whitney. “We try, whenever possible, to configure the equipment and the site to minimize operating costs.”

Whitney added that there were “quite a few places similar” to the Adler Brothers’ operation, but “none exactly like it.”

“There are a handful of companies in New England who do what we do,” added the youngest Adler. “But there aren’t a lot.”

For more information, call 401/265-4502. CEG

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