Contractor Pettijohn & Sons began using a conveyor system in the early 70s. The unit was designed from a grain conveyor and was not sturdy enough to handle gravel, so frequent repairs and modifications became necessary.
When Mike Pettijohn went to work for his father at the company installing concrete foundations and poured walls, he often wondered if there might be a better way to place aggregate materials. That wondering led to the development of the Shooter.
With one truck equipped with a conveyor, Gravel Conveyors Inc. was founded in the mid 80s. While the conveying system was built primarily for use by Pettijohn & Sons, it attracted attention from other companies interested in its applications.
Even after adding several trucks to its fleet, the company found it was still unable to keep up with demand. At that point, Gravel Conveyors Inc. turned into a manufacturing company.
While it still operates as a contractor today, it also builds and markets this system. In Indianapolis and the surrounding area alone, there are now more than 100 SHOOTERs in operation. According to Chip Banks, sales representative of Gravel Conveyors, while the company is sometimes in competition with its own customers, demand for the SHOOTER continues to grow.
The features of the Shooter range from timesavings and safer working environments to reduced labor requirements. The Shooter, equipped with a new Maguire Super-Shield, can shoot sand, gravel or stone up to 2.5 to 3 in. (6.4 to 7.6 cm) in a concentrated stream up to 75 ft. (23 m).
The high-speed belt conveyor is mounted to the tailgate of a dump truck or live bottom trailer and is powered by the truck’s PTO. The conveyor has full side-to-side swing to allow accurate material placement by a single operator without the need to move the truck.
At 1,000 lbs. (454 kg), the Shooter is one of the lightest truck-conveying units in the industry, yet it is capable of unloading 20 tons (18 t) of aggregate in as little as 8 minutes. When the job is complete, the operator folds the conveyor up to the tailgate for travel.
Gravel Conveyors Inc. is located at 5005 West 106th St. in Zionsville, IN.
For more information, call 800/842-4887.