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Poland Sand & Gravel Digs Deep With Help From Monroe

Fri April 22, 2011 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Poland Sand & Gravel, a central New York aggregate producer in business since 1995, has experienced a significant increase in production in recent years, not only with specialty products but also with growing demands from local contractors and municipalities. It also saw an increase in business supplying aggregate to a 40-unit wind farm, which was recently completed just a few miles away.

“With the specialty products that we are involved in, one of our biggest assets is the consistency of the product that we make,” said Scott Rommel, the company’s managing member.

“We operate within a very tight spec for some of these customers and we pride ourselves on hitting those specs every time. We’ve also found that our customers appreciate that we are one of the few privately owned, small, independent quarries left and they like some of the benefits that brings to them. They can have a relationship directly with the owner of the company and if a problem develops they can go to that same individual to get an immediate resolution to their problem, rather than working their way through some large corporate structure.”

Rommel has developed an inventory of support equipment for the quarry. Not including its various crushing and screening plants, it also boasts a fleet consisting of tractor trailer triaxles, single-axle dump trucks and a stone slinger and several excavators. It recently purchased a new Doosan 450 wheel loader and a new Doosan 400 model wheel loader and also owns three 35-ton (31.7 t) rigid frame trucks and one 35-ton articulated truck.

Recently, Rommel saw the need to replace and upgrade the portable tracked screening plant for its quarry. After a thorough search, he purchased a new Kleemann MS19D triple deck portable tracked screener from Monroe Tractor. The Kleemann MS19D, which was manufactured in Germany, has a capacity of 500 tons (453.5 t) per hour. It has a 5 x 20 screen deck area, is equipped with four stacking conveyors and is capable of making five products in a single pass. The plant is powered by a Cat diesel engine.

“With this purchase we had really two objectives. Our previous plant was aging and we needed a newer and more reliable machine, but we were also looking to increase production. A close inspection of the Kleemann machine told me that we were looking at an overbuilt work horse. In the stress areas of the machine I saw more bolts, bigger bolts, and closer configured bolts than I have seen in any other machine. All of the steel plating appeared to be heavier than any other machine that we looked at. A look at the quality of the welds in the steel clearly indicated that this machine was assembled by a craftsman who took a great deal of pride in their work. The real testimony of this machine came when we fired it up. The production levels have exceeded all of my expectations.”

Poland Sand & Gravel also has made other improvements to increase the operations productivity and efficiency, including running power lines into the quarry and replacing its generator plants.

The cost of producing power to the quarry dropped dramatically and the rewards to this switch prove to be more beneficial as the cost of fuel continues to go up, according to Rommel.

An unexpected benefit was an improvement in the quality of the product being produced. With the power surges and decline of the generator plants removed, the quarry was producing a more consistent product, Rommel said.

The newly purchased Doosan loaders — a model 400 5-cu. yd. (3.8 cu m) machine and a model 450 6-cu. yd. (4.5 cu m) machine — were able to improve cycle times and the amount of material being moved to the screening plant, creating a significant fuel savings.

“We also tied the hydraulics of our stacker to the Kleemann. This gave us additional significant improvements in our efficiency. It really is a win, win when your production costs drop significantly and your production levels increase significantly,” Rommel said.

“Another benefit to the Kleemann machine is its ease of portability. We can fold up the entire plant and move it to a new location in the quarry in twenty minutes or less, depending on how far we move it, using the remote control. We experience virtually no significant down time during a move.

“Another significant factor in a purchase like this to be considered is the support you will receive from the dealer you buy the equipment from. We had received very good product support from Monroe Tractor with the purchase of the two Doosan loaders. But, what really sealed the deal for us was speaking to some of Monroe Tractor’s customers who own the Wirtgen milling machines. The Wirtgen milling machines are high production machines with a lot of the same German engineering behind them that comes with the Kleemann products. Monroe Tractor’s Wirtgen customers were able to assure us that Monroe Tractor is fully capable of supporting the machines that they sell and fully understand the importance of minimizing down time. Monroe Tractor has also made the proper investments in parts inventory to support the Kleemann and they have had their technicians properly trained by the Kleemann factory,” Rommel added.

In the Beginning

The geological deposits left behind in central New York by the retreating glaciers of the last Ice Age are some of the highest quality aggregate located in America’s northeast. With the evolution of the transportation network, materials from the region ended up being delivered hundreds of miles away if the quality requirements of the projects dictated it.

In 1995, the current location for Poland Sand & Gravel was purchased with a small mine located on it and material was excavated for use on a local NYS Department of Transportation Project. In 1997, the first expansion of the mine was implemented and shortly thereafter a washing plant was installed. Steady growth continued and in 2003 the company was incorporated and officially became Poland Sand & Gravel LLC.

From its beginnings producing dry screened sand and road base material, Poland Sand & Gravel has evolved into a full aggregate line producer. It now produces NYS DOT-approved aggregates including concrete, mason and filter sands as well as crushed stone, washed natural stone, roofing stone, landscaping stone and cobbles.

For its standard sand, gravel and aggregate products, its primary markets are Herkimer, Oneida and Hamilton counties of New York. For some of its highly specialized products, its market can be anywhere in New York State and Western New England.

Poland Sand & Gravel currently has a dozen employees.

Monroe Tractor

Monroe Tractor is a 60-year-old heavy equipment distributor headquartered in Rochester (Henrietta), N.Y., with locations in Albany, Syracuse, Buffalo and Binghamton, N.Y. The company represents major equipment manufacturers including Case, LeeBoy, Wirtgen, Kleemann, Doosan, Hamm, Vogele and Vibroscreen.

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