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New Crusher Brings Surprise Business for Concord Firm

Fri October 02, 2009 - Southeast Edition
Eric Olson

When Michael Frings decided to expand his concrete business to include a stone crushing service, it meant he would have to buy or rent all new equipment. And there was only one place he considered to get the machinery he needed: Stafford Equipment in Charlotte, N.C.

Frings has owned Affordable Concrete Service in Concord, N.C., since August 2003 and has proven adept at fulfilling the concrete needs of customers throughout the Charlotte, Lake Norman and upstate South Carolina areas. His jobs have been for residential, commercial and industrial customers.

“I do concrete demolitions, stamping and spray-over textures on old concrete that is stained and needs resurfacing, as well as providing regular broom-finished concrete like you would see on a garage floor or in a plant,” he explained.

So when he bought a KPI FT4240cc crusher last year from Stafford, he did so simply to augment his handling of old concrete.

Little did Frings know that that purchase would greatly expand his business opportunities.

“At the time, I didn’t have a source to dispose of waste concrete, so what I did was purchase that machine for my own use to get rid of the waste, but also to generate stone material for other projects,” Frings said. “Over time, as people found out that I had the crusher, I started getting requests to process their materials too.”

That led Frings to hire Kevin Dinkins as his crushing manager early this year and open up a whole new side to the business.

Interestingly, Dinkins came to Affordable Concrete after working as a salesman for many years with Stafford Equipment. Frings has relied on Dinkins’s expertise with stone crushing and screening machinery to help him in selecting the proper equipment to make that side of the business a success too.

Earlier this summer, Frings and Dinkins rented a KPI 2512KT screening plant from Stafford, as well as a pair of Hyundai HL 760-7A wheel loaders (one of which they have subsequently bought), all for a job in Midland, N.C. where they were given the task of screening dirt and crushing the shale in it for use as bedding under a gas pipeline.

Dinkins, who began selling construction equipment in 1990, said that all of this machinery was Affordable Concrete’s key to doing the Midland job right.

“I have sold this equipment and I know it’s reliable, plus the pricing was very competitive,” he said. “For instance, even before we bought the Hyundai loader, we looked at other brands and for the money and the value, we felt the Hyundai couldn’t be beat.”

Currently, Affordable Concrete is working on another large, $1 million project in Rock Hill, S.C., where they are breaking up old concrete at the site of a derelict Hoescht-Celanese chemical plant and reusing it in a large mixed-use development called The Greens at Rock Hill.

“What we are doing there is breaking down the concrete with an 8,000-pound hammer that is on a Kobelco SK210 excavator and then we pulverize it with a processor on a Kobelco SK350,” Frings explained. “Then, we spread it out with the Hyundai wheel loader and any extra rebar or other foreign material we cut out with a couple of steel hand cut-off saws. Next, we stockpile the concrete with the Hyundai to the crusher area and load it with a Link-Belt 210 excavator equipped with a thumb.”

All of that equipment, as well as an Astec conveyor, was bought or rented through Stafford.

Affordable Concrete has been on the Rock Hill job since the first week of September, but with more than 200,000 tons (181,436 t) of concrete to process, Dinkins said that they will be working on the project for another six months or so.

Dinkins added that he really likes the KPI FT4240 closed circuit crusher and, as a result, has kept it quite busy since buying it for Affordable Concrete.

According to Pat Bentzel, the Stafford sales representative who works with Affordable Concrete, the FT4240 is a stout and versatile piece of equipment.

“That machine has a screening deck on it and because it is a closed circuit plant whatever doesn’t get crushed initially goes back into the crusher and is re-crushed,” Bentzel said. “That screening plant allows you to separate and make two different products, like they did in the Midland job, by changing the screens.”

With so much concrete to crush and move, Dinkins feels confident that the KPI crusher and the other equipment will prove to be plenty durable. But, if there is a problem, he knows that Stafford has his back.

“If I scream loud, I know Stafford will come running,” he said with a laugh. “I have $1.2 million worth of their equipment on the job and if I didn’t think that they stood behind their products, I wouldn’t have it here. As a matter of fact, I called them at 3 p.m. today about a problem and they showed up by 4:15. We enjoy a very good working relationship with them.”

Frings and Dinkins both credit Bentzel, as well as Ricky Williams and Zack Thomas, the Stafford service manager and parts manager, respectively, with being extremely responsive to their needs.

Frings also is very happy with the new direction of his company and is proud to offer the new rock screening and crushing service with Dinkins running that end of the business for him.

After selling construction machines for almost 20 years, Dinkins felt the time was right to move over to the side of the business where he actually got to use the equipment.

“I wanted to do something different and Michael needed somebody to take the crushing side and run with it and I figured I would give it a shot,” he said. CEG

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