Tough economic times haven’t stopped Don (Rick) Mancil Jr. and Myra Smith from jumping into the material business. In August 2009, the pair took over ownership of the Vero Rock Mine, located in Vero Beach, Fla.
“In this economy, you must diversify, and this was the perfect direction for us to go. The location, quality and need drew us to Vero Rock Mine,” said Smith, Vero Rock Mine vice president.
“The demand for good quality DOT base rock is high. We know excavation, so it was a good fit,” Smith added.
Mancil and Smith, who both completed training for MSHA when they took over the mine, have practical experience from years in the dirt/rock business, Smith said.
“One of the things we do is operate borrow pits, supplying fill. We have one active pit now, but we have had numerous others that are completed,” Mancil said.
Digging on the 80 acre site is done by a John Deere 450CLC excavator. The company has permits to go 50 ft. (15 m) deep and will terrace it down to get the full depth.
Currently working on 40 of the 80 acres, the pit is dewatered and the water is used to irrigate the surrounding orange groves. When the project is done, an 80-acre lake will be on the site.
The material in the pit is in layers: the first 4 to 5 ft. (1.2 to 1.5 m) is fill material and rip rap, the next 6 to 7 ft. (1.8 to 2.1 m) is beach sand, followed by 6 ft. of coquina rock, then more sand and more coquina.
The materials removed from the pit will include DOT certified base rock, beach compatible sand, #1 general fill, stabilizer, rip rap and shell rock. Some products are unprocessed while other products are washed, crushed, screened and sorted by size.
“We have 80,000 tons of DOT rock on the ground and ready to go,” said Mancil, Vero Rock Mine president.
The DOT certified rock has an LBR of 135+. Eventually the pit will produce approximately 250,000 tons (226,796 t) per year.
In additional to the John Deere 450 CLC excavator, Vero Rock Mine also has a John Deere 644J loader to load trucks and move material around the site.
“We like John Deere equipment,” Mancil said. “John Deere has been around a long time. It’s a good name and maintains its value. I’ve had John Deere equipment for 15 years and it has always been dependable. Our Nortrax dealership provides us the support we need, both under warranty and out. Their parts department is top notch. They are easy to work with, have good service and good pricing.”
A Komatsu excavator is used to feed the screening machine and a Pioneer Screen-It Road Runner does the screening. It produces three materials now; more screens will be added as the business grows.
A leased KPI-JCI FastTrax Crusher is new to the site and produces the DOT certified material.
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