New England Firm Finds Niche in Custom Crushing

Thu April 08, 2004 - Northeast Edition

This is the dawning of the “Age of Custom Aggregates.” The process of crushing and screening aggregates is not something new, but demand for custom crushing is increasing in the New England area.

For Mike Hollender, the crushing and screening industry and the state of Massachusetts have been playing an important role in his life. Most of his career he worked as a sales representative for aggregate equipment distributors, first in Canada for 12 years, then in Massachusetts for three years. During his travels in Massachusetts, Hollender developed a relationship with several contractors who encouraged him to go into the custom crushing business. In 2001, Hollender decided to follow that advice and founded Aggregate and Construction Equipment Inc.

Hollender’s philosophy is that material management has become the key to developers in meeting their profitability estimates. “Solid rock has to be moved and re-used with as little cost as possible. We understand that every quality relationship is a two-way relationship. Our customer knows that he has to meet his time line and we know what we need to do to get him there,” explained Hollender.

Because of his experience with aggregate machinery, Hollender knew exactly what type of crushing and screening equipment he wanted for his new company. He knew that he would build his inventory primarily around the Pegson crushing systems.

“In my 15 years of selling crushing equipment, I knew that the Pegson portable tracked crushers were both economical and reliable machines. I have not looked back from that decision at all,” he said.

Aggregate and Construction Equipment’s inventory of crushing and screening equipment includes: two Pegson Premier track 26x44 jaw crushers; a Pegson Max track 1300 cone crusher; a Pegson Max track 1000 cone crusher; and two Powerscreen Commander screening plants, all of which were purchased from his Terex/Pegson/Powerscreen dealer, and Hollender has high praises for all distributors with whom he has dealt.

“They have some of the most knowledgeable service representatives that I have ever come across. Many times [they] can walk me through a technical problem over the phone. When they can’t, they’re not afraid to put me directly in touch with some of Pegson’s factory representatives to walk me through a situation,” he said.

Hollender and employees also receive training directly from Pegson. “Several times Pegson has sent me and my employees to product training schools in Kentucky where we literally took the crushers apart and put them back together again. Any time that a problem develops and I am able to troubleshoot it on my own and not have to pay for a service call, I am far better off,” Hollender explained.

Aggregate and Construction Equipment has eight employees who are currently crushing on three sites in eastern Massachusetts: a residential 75-unit housing site, a 150-unit residential housing site, and a commercial development site. Hollender estimated that the company is crushing 500,000 to 600,000 tons (450,000 to 540,000 t) of rock a year, all of which is being re-used.

For Hollender, the Pegson Max Track 1000 cone crusher is the key to his success. “In the past, using only our Pegson jaw crusher, we had been able to process very large volumes of stone, but in general, we were producing a poor grade material. The Pegson [cone crusher] brings us into that 4-inch minus area of stone that is needed for most stone projects within the building site.

“We purchased one of the very first [Pegson cone crusher] machines available in the U.S. market. It’s the only machine that can process up to 7-inch rock with no dirt and break it down to 1-inch minus in a single pass. In most crusher setups, as material proceeds from the jaw crusher, it must first be screened for making a pass through the cone. With our Pegson cone crusher, the jaw feeds directly into the cone. This saves money in equipment investment and increases our hourly production levels.

“In our current setup, shot rock is processed through the Pegson portable tracked crusher, which breaks the material down to a 4- to 6-inch minus size. That material is fed directly into the Pegson tracked cone crushers, which reduces the material into one and a half-inch minus. Then our Powerscreen Commander screener separates the one and a half-inch minus into three different end products,” Hollender explained.

“A good crusher must have a strong base underneath it, and the Pegson crusher outweighs its competitors by 20,000 pounds. It’s a real workhorse. We have had great longevity from the Pegson products. Our jaw has 3,800 hours on it with no major failures,” Hollender said.

Since the company was founded three years ago, it has performed crushing operations across New England in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

“We are a very service-oriented company. That’s what keeps our customers coming back. We are one of the few custom-crushing firms that can consistently hit state specs for stone production and give realistic production estimates,” concluded Hollender.

For more information, call 978/394-4345.