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Tiger Sand & Gravel, IROCK Transform Old Steel Mill

Thu November 22, 2007 - Midwest Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

After Republic Steel closed its Massillon, Ohio, steel mill, Pete Bitzel and Steve DiPietro decided five years ago to purchase the property for the land — or more specifically, for the sand and gravel. Their venture, Tiger Sand & Gravel LLC, has breathed new life into the 405-acre (163 ha) facility which now supplies material for major construction jobs throughout northern Ohio.

Along with DiPietro’s brother Dave who is also a partner, Bitzel and DiPietro spent three years putting their ideas together before making the equipment purchase that would turn their plans into a reality. Taking their time with the planning stage allowed them to do a thorough job of investigating all the options available to them. According to Bitzel, the selection process was a daunting task with the unbelievable amount of manufacturers and equipment types on the market.

The result of their effort is that they’re more than happy with their processing system — at the heart of which is their new IROCK sidewinder.

Bitzel explained that their goal was to produce as many products as possible, as quickly as possible and with equipment they could count on for predictable and reliable service. Both partners agree that the fact that their IROCK Sidewinder is American-made was an added bonus.

The system employs two CAT 988 wheel loaders, which are kept busy feeding a 20-ton (18 t) skid mounted hopper which in turn supplies the IROCK Sidewinder 15 (rated for 350 ton/hour) and then on to a IROCK 6 by 16 ft. (1.8 by 4.8 m) skid mounted rinsing screen.

IROCK’s Sidewinder is a secondary screening and crushing plant designed to screen out the material that is at the required size while only crushing the over-sized material. It can produce three-sized products and close circuit the crushed, over-sized material to be re-screened. Additionally, by using the pant legged chute, the crushed material can be stockpiled making a 100 percent crushed product.

The IROCK rinsing screen and single 44-in. screw serves three functions:

• Wash — The rinsing screen removes slimes, silts and clays from the gravel by allowing the gravel to pass on the rinsing sytem on the screen at the same time is sizes the gravel to the customers needs. The sand is seperated from the gravel and is transfered to the sand screw.

• Classify — Controlling the weir heights provides maximum retention of desirable product while allowing undesirable “fines” to float over the weirs.

• Dewater — By moving material up an inclined box via a spiral screw shaft, free water is allowed to rain away from the material into a drainage trough.

On the first pass through the Sidewinder all of the 1-in. to 0-in. (2.5 to 0 cm) material goes to the rinsing screen and all of the material that is more than 1-in. is crushed and returned through the systems again to maintain a 1-in. to 0-in. (2.5 to 0 cm) material, to feed the rinsing screen.

With this set up Tiger Sand & Gravel produces sand and gravel at a rate of approximately 310 to 320 (281 to 290 t) tons per hour.

With three generations of family involved with the operation and the vast majority of the land yet to be touched, Bitzel and DiPietro expect to keep their IROCK crusher in operation for years.

Since 1990, IROCK has designed and manufactured a wide range of plants and processing equipment for crushing, grinding, milling, screening, sorting and washing a broad range of products including:

• Rock/aggregate/sand

• Gravel/concrete

• Asphalt recycling

• Demolition debris

For more information, call 330/264-0201 or visit

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