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Key West Operation Balances Flexibility, Productivity

Wed June 01, 2011 - Southeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

We’ve all heard the old adage, “make hay while the sun shines.” Well, down in Key West, Fla., Mike Anson, owner of Grader Mike’s, has taken that to heart.

There’s a lot of sunshine in Key West and with it, lots of different opportunities. That’s what Anson’s operation is all about, as flexibility is his way of running things. He does a lot of demolition work, constructs parking lots and does grading. But in an area that’s long on sunshine, it’s short on gravel pits and stone yards. And that scarcity of material puts Anson’s operation at the forefront of what’s sure to be big opportunities for similar operations around the country.

In a word, it’s recycling.

“All this infrastructure we’ve got is aging and needs to be replaced. That’s not just here in Key West, but all over the country, even in the big cities like Chicago and New York,” said Anson.

In Anson’s case, that’s a good thing, because all that demolition work provides his operation with the material he needs for new construction projects. Using everything from cement housing slabs to septic tanks, Anson hauls the debris back to his yard.

Material is loaded via an excavator into his crusher. Steel, metals and wire are separated out and the rest is fed into an EZ-Screen 1200XL portable screening plant — pretty much a perpetual motion machine as it runs non-stop. After he purchased the crusher, Anson saw the need to get more materials from his 2 in. crushed.

Salesmen tried to get Anson to purchase a much larger — and considerably more expensive — screening plan he said, but, “I thought the EZ-Screen unit could handle the job — and for a lot less money.”

Not just at the initial purchase, but also in lowering year-round production costs per yard of material.

And as it turned out, the 1200XL is perfect for his operation, matching the crusher output to a “T.”

Anson ordered his EZ Screen 1200XL with the optional middle product conveyor.

“With it I can produce three different products in one operation.”

Currently, he is producing 2 in. rock, ¾ stone, and sand.

“The rock is good for french drain projects, the ¾ stone goes around water lines, and right now the sand is being used on a big bunker project at a nearby Air Force base.”

Productivity is the key word for this balanced Key West operation. The excavator keeps the crusher going full tilt, the crusher keeps the 1200XL running all out, and the three screened products are moved by front end loader to where Anson needs the material.

“The 1200XL is my bread and butter machine when it comes to producing finished product. And after six months of continual operation, I haven’t had one single problem,” he said.

Flexibility is another important area where the EZ-Screen 1200XL excels. It matches up with loading buckets from .5 to 1.75 cu. yds. (.4 to 1.3 cu m) Feed height is 8 ft. (2.4 m). Double-deck screens measure 6 by 5 ft. (1.8 by 1.5 m).

The top deck is equipped with a woven screen cloth and the bottom deck is fitted with a variety of screens.

Whether topsoil, gravel, demo debris, mulch, rock or combinations of all sorts of materials — the EZ-1200XL will perform, according to the manufacturer. There’s also the flexibility that comes from the 1200XL’s portability. Anson can use his machine anywhere around the yard, and he also can take it to sites where there’s ready material available for screening.

EZ Screen Machines may be orange on the outside, however the way they operate is pure green. That’s because of their EZ-Kinetic green drive system.

The EZ-1200XL is powered by a 25-hp (18.6 kW) air-cooled diesel and a triple-stage air filter system is standard. Also standard is the Exide “Spiral Wound” sealed battery for a long life filled with countless vibrations.

“I made the right choice when I decided to go with the EZ Screen 1200XL. And I made my choice even better with the middle product conveyor option,” Anson said.

For more information call 248/745-5828 or email [email protected].

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