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Tue May 13, 2014 - Southeast Edition
In a relatively short period of time, one North Carolina-based equipment dealership has managed to "crush" low productivity — so to speak — and in the process become a successful Southeast dealership.
American Crushers & Screens, headquartered in Siler City, in central North Carolina, has become a leader in the sales and service of a variety of material-handling machinery, including crushers, screens, conveyors, washing equipment, plants and feeders.
That reputation is due, in large measure, to the fruitful collaboration of American’s two main principals.
A Dynamic Company
The company’s values have been shaped entirely by Mike Andrews and John Riley, the firm’s managing partners. Together, the two have a combined 55 years experience in the mining equipment business.
Riley and Andrews both agree that the company’s solid and steady growth has been due to their overriding goal of providing their customers with the right machine for their needs and then having the service and parts to back up that machine’s performance.
Andrews added that "we have a very experienced service department and parts department and some of our service technicians have over 20 years experience in the aggregate industry."
The dealership has focused on offering machines built by McCloskey International, known for its high-quality line of crushing, screening and recycling equipment; and CDE Global, a worldwide manufacturer of washing systems.
As a matter of fact, American Crushers & Screens became the first U.S. distributor of CDE’s machines about 18 months ago. Andrews’ firm recently sold its first CDE machines to GS Materials, a sand and gravel business in Burlington, N.C.
"The knowledge that CDE has is just phenomenal," said Andrews. "They install two wash plants somewhere in the world every week."
American is carrying a full line of both CDE and McCloskey equipment within its 70,000-sq.-ft. warehouse stocked full of replacement parts. In addition, the firm keeps a rental fleet of equipment on hand and has six fully-rigged service trucks, as well as four service personnel at the ready should a customer need assistance.
"Mike and I decided early on to be top heavy with service people," Riley said. "We realize that having great service in place was going to be one of the main pillars of a successful dealership."
After having worked on both the manufacturing and the sales sides of the business, Andrews said that he understands that a lack of parts can be a serious issue.
"For a company our size we have a lot of parts in our inventory," Andrews said. "There are probably parts down there that have sat on our shelves for two years, but if we need them, they are there."
Now, the growing dealership has 11 employees, which includes salesmen based in Durham and Knoxville, Tenn. Riley said that plans are for American to add more technicians and sales people to its roster in the coming months.
As it stands now, American’s sales territory for McCloskey equipment includes North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky; while American sells CDE Global’s machines in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and the two Carolinas.
An Impressive Line of Product
American’s McCloskey line of products starts with the popular R155 High Energy Screener, a screen plant designed to tackle the heaviest applications.
"It can really handle anything and there is little that it cannot screen," Andrews said. "That’s why it is a good selling and very versatile machine. You can go from scalping 24-inch blasted rock from a quarry face to fine-screening compost with it."
Another big seller from the McCloskey line, Andrews noted, is the J50 jaw crusher. It uses a Cat C9 engine that provides power to the Telsmith jaw (the widest jaw in its class).
"That is state-of-the-art technology in jaw crushing," he said.
Andrews added that the J50’s popularity also is boosted by its simplicity of operations and its reliability.
No Rock Is Too Tough
Interestingly, American’s two main sales territories for McCloskey machines, North Carolina and Tennessee, provide the firm and its line of equipment with two very different types of rock with which to crush and screen.
For instance, granite in North Carolina, particularly in the west, is extremely hard and abrasive, Andrews said, adding that the J50 jaw crusher works well with that type of rock. Eastern North Carolina, in contrast, has a much sandier soil and a softer rock.
"East of Interstate 95, you don’t find too much rock and when you do, it is more shale and limestone," he said.
In Tennessee, however, almost all the rock found there is limestone, so much so that Andrews knows of only one granite quarry in the more mountainous eastern part of the state.
Still, Andrews said that in some areas of Tennessee the rock can be abrasive, a fact which demands the power and reliability that McCloskey provides.
"We just sold a machine to a customer over there that is crushing limestone with a McCloskey I44R Impactor," Andrews said. "The customer is getting over 30,000 tons per flip on his blow bars (which shatters the rock), which is phenomenal wear. For comparison’s sake, if we were crushing asphalt, we might see as low as 3,000 to 4,000 tons per flip on the blow bars depending on how abrasive the material used in the asphalt."
What all that "crusher-speak" really means is that McCloskey’s machines are tough and durable and, like CDE Global’s equipment, is proving popular with the people that work in the industry.
At the end of the day, Riley believes, the only true measure of success for American Crushing & Screens can be found in its customer satisfaction.
"Mike and I have adopted a saying that ’Whatever it takes to make the customer happy is what we try to do’ and so far that philosophy has worked very well for us," Riley said.