Whitney and Son Counsels Shaw on the Right Metsos

Mon November 24, 2003 - Northeast Edition

When a company finds a way to significantly increase efficiency in these economically tough times, it wants to spread the word. This is how Shaw Brothers feels about the two pieces of equipment it recently purchased: a used Metso (Nordberg) LT125SBR portable crusher with a 37x47 jaw and accompanying Metso NW300HPS mobile cone crusher and screening plant.

The Shaw Brothers, founded in 1977 by brothers Daniel and Jon, has grown to be one of the top three construction companies in the state of Maine. The firm already had three Metso jaw crushers, two that were portable, but wanted to move up to the more advanced machines to enhance productivity.

When they took stock of their operations, the Shaws decided that a new portable crusher and conveying system fed with an excavator could tremendously decrease the use of expensive haul trucks. They found a supplier in the New Jersey area. The machine was much larger than originally considered, but as they say, “the price was right.”

To get a second opinion, the brothers turned to Whitney and Son, a firm they have been dealing with since the mid-90s. Although Whitney and Son was not going to be involved in the purchase of the machine, the Shaws knew they could count on the supplier for its honest input.

According to Dan Shaw, “We have done business with the people at Whitney and Son long enough to know that even though they would not financially gain by steering us toward a used crusher, they would give their honest opinion on what would best benefit our needs.” Shaw was strongly encouraged to make the purchase, since the increase in production from this oversized machine would far more than justify the cost.

The LT125SBR had very few hours on it and was available to Shaw for less than half the cost of a new machine. The economics of the purchase and the encouragement from Whitney and Son ultimately persuaded the brothers to buy the equipment. Whitney and Son staff assisted in the moving and setup of the 222,500-lb. machine.

“Whitney’s people worked with our crew to tear it down, haul it to Maine, do the re-setup in our quarry, and get our people properly trained in its operations,” said Dan Shaw. “Surprisingly, the whole machine could break down to fit on three lowboys. It was a true testament to the mobility of the Metso machines that it could be torn down, moved and reset in less than one day. This is unheard of for a machine its size.”

To work along with the LT125SBR, Shaw Brothers purchased a Metso NW300HPS mobile cone crusher and screening plant. According to Shaw, “This very high speed cone crusher allows us to make three different sized materials, typically a 1.5-inch stone, .5-inch stone and stone dust.”

Quarry Foreman Dave Stover is very pleased with the system, which “is two times as efficient as the older units.” What previously took a whole season to complete, can now be finished in one-half the time. “This whole setup has given us savings across the board.”

Because of the size of the jaw, which can handle up to a 34-in. stone, the hammers do not have to break down nearly as much oversize as before. Shaw Brothers is using the haul trucks a lot less, and is working toward eliminating them entirely. The company is currently teaming with Whitney and Son to set up a conveyor system that will actually feed the cone and may allow the complete replacement of hauling.

Shaw Brothers has been involved in aggregate production since 1984, when they purchased a small screening plant for a gravel pit they owned in Buxton, ME. Today, the company produces more than 800,000 yds. (731,520 m) of aggregate material annually, 600,000 yds. (548,640 m) of which it sells to other contractors and local municipalities. The brothers currently operate 11 pits in Maine, including four in Gorham, three in Buxton, and one each in Dayton, Cumberland and Sanford. Three of these “pits” would actually qualify as quarries.

Besides aggregate production, Shaw Brothers specializes in highway and roadwork, site work, and utility construction. The company’s inventory of earthmoving machines currently exceeds 200, and it enjoys annual billings of between $30 million and $35 million per year.

Significant projects that Shaw Brothers is presently completing include: a third year on the widening of the Maine Turnpike; Shaw’s Supermarket in Freeport; the I-295 Interchange in Portland; the Kennebunkport Middle School; the Gorham Middle School; the Windham High School; an office complex parking garage in Westbrook; the Route 211 highway bridge connector; the jetport in Portland; the Route 26 water main in Gray; and the Colonial Street reconstruction in Portland.

Shaw Brothers is committed to its community and the surrounding environment.

Currently, the firm is developing and giving to the town of Gorham an athletic area, which will include football and soccer fields, baseball diamonds and water frontage for recreational use.