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Scalia Brothers Sand & Gravel Counts On Decades-Old Grasan Equipment

Fri December 17, 2010 - Northeast Edition
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This Grasan portable jaw crusher plant, in operation since 1988, has been mounted on a concrete pad for stationary operation, with wheels removed for ease of maintenance.
This Grasan portable jaw crusher plant, in operation since 1988, has been mounted on a concrete pad for stationary operation, with wheels removed for ease of maintenance.
This Grasan portable jaw crusher plant, in operation since 1988, has been mounted on a concrete pad for stationary operation, with wheels removed for ease of maintenance. Scalia Brothers General Manager Gabriel Russo. An inside view of the jaw crusher.

Scalia Brothers Sand & Gravel is a small company founded in 1948 on a 15 acre site on Terryville Road in Bristol, Conn., by Frank and Anthony Scalia. Today the company’s several sites total 90 acres, with more in the offing. All the crushing is still done at the Terryville Road facility with a crushing, screening and conveying system based largely on decades-old Grasan equipment. Virtually all crushed material is granite.

“Yes, we’re a small company, and our lifeblood depends on older — some people would call them ancient — pieces of equipment that we have kept in excellent running condition over a period of many years,” said General Manager Gabriel Russo.

“Some of the oldest pieces we have are a Grasan crushing plant with a Hewitt Robins 3042 jaw purchased new in 1988, a Grasan screening plant with a Seco screen purchased new in 1974, and a series of Grasan conveyors and stackers purchased new in the 1970s and 80s. We have never had a major breakdown with our Grasan equipment. We’ve rebuilt the jaw plant electric motor once or twice. That’s about it.

“The jaw crusher was purchased as a portable plant. Some years ago we started using it on a stationary basis, mounted it on a concrete base for stability and removed the wheels for ease of maintenance. Based on the way the jaw crusher plant is performing and how well it’s holding up, I fully expect it to last another 15 years or so,” Russo said.

“Even though Grasan is now a much larger company and primarily designs and builds large aggregate plants, they still take good care of a small company like ours. Recently we called them for some information on our 22-year-old jaw plant. They got right back to us with the technical info and a simple part to keep us up and running. That’s very typical. That kind of backup — plus product quality — are the main reasons why we’ve bought more equipment from Grasan over the years than any other manufacturer.

“Incidentally this is and always has been a family company. My mother-in-law, Mrs. Frank [Ann] Scalia is the owner and is involved in company management. I think there is an advantage for our customers in dealing with a family-run operation. Nobody works as hard as the owners of a company — especially a small company — and nobody tries harder to please the customers. It’s a matter of pride, reputation and our life’s blood.

“We’ve had offers over the years to buy us out, including recently. But we’ve always declined. We like this business; we know this business; and this business knows us,” Russo said.

Crushed granite materials produced by Scalia Brothers include 3 in. bank run gravel (sub base), 1.25 in. process gravel (usually used on top of sub base), .75 in. stone, .5 in. stone and stone dust (used primarily by landscapers with pavers for patios and similar applications). Other products include screen sand, pipe bedding sand, and screen topsoil.

In addition, Scalia Brothers accumulates trucked-in asphalt rubble until there is enough to have an outside contract company come in and crush it for use as RAP (recycled asphalt pavement).

Scalia’s fleet of trucks brings in materials from its other sites to be stockpiled and crushed at the Terryville Road facility. Area excavation and building contractors bring in additional materials.

Scalia Brothers sells products to road builders, building contractors and others. Currently the company is supplying road base for a major highway project, with some of it delivered to the site by Scalia trucks and some picked up by the customer.

“We don’t have a dedicated maintenance staff; we have a small, do-everything staff, including me,” Russo said. “Maintenance performed on our equipment is fairly simple. We go by the manufacturer’s recommendations. We lubricate as needed and keep all the hydraulic and other oils and filters changed regularly. When the jaw dies wear down to about 1/2 inch at the bottom end, we invert them 180 degrees and replace them when the bottom — formerly the top — is down to 1/2 inch. I can’t tell you how many million tons of granite we’ve run through our Grasan jaw and screen plants over the years; but it’s been a lot, and the equipment has held up beautifully.”

For more information, call Grasan at 419/526-4440 or visit www.grasan.com.

For more information, call Scalia Brothers Sand & Gravel at 860/583-6466.