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Pioneer Crusher Makes the Day on Granite State Project

Wed August 27, 2003 - Northeast Edition
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When you’re doing highway work in New Hampshire, “the Granite State,” it comes as no surprise that you’ll run into that hard rock. That’s why Alvin J. Coleman & Sons Inc. of Conway, NH, is using a Pioneer 26 by 49 portable tracked crusher from Thompson Equipment Inc. of Lewiston, ME, on its latest project.

Noah Coleman, vice president, said the crusher, leased from Thompson, is doing outstanding work on a $4-million road re-construction and widening job on 4 mi. of Route 28 in Alton, NH.

“The crusher is being used to crush granite two-foot minus rock being removed from the site and crushing it down to a three-inch minus material,” said Coleman. “All of the material is being used on-site for base gravels.”

The Pioneer crusher is processing upwards of 1,000 cu. yds. of material a day and will process a total of 45,000 tons of material by the time the job is completed in early fall.

“The granite rock on this site is uncharacteristically very seamy and relatively easy to break for granite, but it is very hard to control the size of the shot,” explained Coleman.

The limited completion time for the job — it started April 15 and must be completed by Oct. 15 — is one of Coleman’s biggest challenges.

“Ordinarily on a job of this magnitude, we would schedule to take a year to complete. We have to have this job completed in six months,” said Coleman. “To meet that schedule we are putting in some very long days.”

Another significant challenge is traffic control. The road is relatively narrow to begin with and Route 28 is the primary roadway for all traffic to Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire’s largest lake and a major tourist destination. Traffic along this road particularly in the summer time is very significant.

Coleman is the general contractor for the job, which includes road re-surfacing, a large ledge cut and road widening. The project includes the removal of 30,000 cu. yds. or 45,000 tons of granite rock; installation of 26,000 ft. of drainage; 70,000 cu. yds. of earth excavation; and the placement of 45,000 cu. yds. of new materials.

The difficulty of the job and the tight time schedule prompted Coleman to use the Pioneer 26 by 49 portable tracked crusher with a 15-ft. vibrating grizzly feeder — a decision he is quite happy with.

“The machine is excellent. We could not be happier or more satisfied with its performance. The crusher is very durable, well-built and it has been our experience that it is the most capable crusher for doing this job,” said Coleman, who has used other brands of portable tracked crushers in the past.

“We are using a Cat 350L with a four-and-a-half-yard bucket to feed this machine and surprisingly enough, it’s keeping right up with the excavator. We are particularly impressed with the crusher’s low vibration during operation and its durability,” he added.

Coleman said that he has had a long-time long-term relationship with Thompson Equipment.

“We have done business with Thompson for many years and currently own a considerable inventory of their Kolberg/Pioneer equipment, including a portable 30 by 42 jaw crusher; a 54-in. standard cone crusher; a 48-in. standard cone crusher; a new Kolberg 271 triple-deck screening plant and various support equipment including screens and conveyors. We have always been very pleased with the products and support provided to us by Bob Olivadoti and Thompson Equipment,” he said.

Significant subcontractors on the job include R & D Paving, Thompson Equipment, Delucca Fence and Guardrail, and L & D Safety Marking. Blasting of the granite is being handled by American Explosives.

“This is the first project that we have worked with American Explosives and we could not be more pleased. They have three Tamrock drills on site and we have been elated with their performance,” said Coleman.

The Pioneer crusher might be the star of the show, but it is not the only hard-working piece of equipment on site. Dirt moving equipment on the site includes five Cat dozers (D-8 size and down); six articulated trucks (35-ton and 25-ton size); seven excavators; and three loaders (980 size and down). The Cat 350L excavator being used to feed the Pioneer crusher has a 4.5-yd. bucket and a gross weight in excess of 120,000 lbs.

Alvin J. Coleman & Sons Inc. is a general contractor/ready-mix concrete producer/aggregate producer/site-work producer. Coleman owns several quarries from which it produces aggregate. It also owns six concrete plants under the name of Coleman Concrete. Its fleet of 55 trucks serves eastern New Hampshire and western Maine.

The family-owned company was established in 1940 by Alvin J. Coleman. At that time the company specialized in crane and drag-line work, primarily relative to bridge construction. The company’s current CEO is Alvin’s son, Buzz. His two children, Curtis and Noah are company vice presidents. The company employs 240 people, owns 140 pieces of equipment and is among the largest contractors in New Hampshire.