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Crushers Increase Access to Recycled Materials and Adapt to Many Different Job Sites

Crushers Increase Access to Recycled Materials and Adapt to Many Different Job Sites

8 Feb 2024 Author: Dennis Howard Read time: 3 min

I've been spending lots of time in Utah, and among the many takeaways is the steadily increasing value of Crushers to a roadbuilder's fleet. What does Utah have to do with Crushers? Historically, Utah's aggregate market has been robust due to the state's growing construction and infrastructure development. The demand for aggregates, including sand, gravel, and crushed stone, has witnessed steady growth in recent years due to population growth, housing projects and infrastructure investments due to an increase in government spending.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced $61 billion in funding for critical road, bridge and tunnel projects as part of the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). All 50 states are expected to receive some of these funds to improve transportation systems. Most state and regional road-building projects include sustainable construction requirements, with some bids requiring a percentage of recycled aggregates, like Recycled Concrete Aggregates (RCA). Even without government requirements, more and more roadbuilders are interested in RCA because it can decrease input costs and help them manage their bottom line.

People eager to take advantage of government funds and roadbuilding projects will be required to use equipment or technology that improves safety and reduces the amount of carbon emissions. From my time in Utah, I’ve spoken with roadbuilders considering adding Crushers to their equipment fleet. After a recent eight-store acquisition, RDO Equipment Co. locations in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming are open for business. This strategic move positions RDO to support customers in the Mountain region. Besides connecting customers from Southwest to the West in RDO’s 12-state footprint and adding more than 150 team members, this acquisition also doubled RDO’s inventory of Crushers. While working with team members based in Utah, I discovered Crushers are versatile machines that can be crucial for sustainable roadbuilding. 

The Role of Crushers in Roadbuilding 

Crushers, as we all know, make big rocks into little rocks. The quality of the aggregates depends on the processing, so original equipment manufacturers have developed Crushers in various sizes and capacities. Smaller models like Jaw Crushers cost the same as large trucks straight from the manufacturer - while extra-large Crushers can cost millions.

Crushers are separated into primary and secondary categories. As the name suggests, the following primary Crushers perform the first round of compaction.

  • Jaw Crusher: These large-scale, heavy-duty crushers use compressive force by feeding material into the “V-shaped” jaw. One side of the V remains stationary while the other side of the V swings against it. The material is forced from the wide opening of the V to the narrowest point, creating a crushing motion. Jaw Crushers are widely used to reduce rock into non-uniformed gravel.
  • Gyratory Crusher: This Crusher’s hopper is lined with “V-shaped” pieces. The mantle and the concave are shaped like a cone, similar to a Jaw Crusher. Gyratory Crushers are small, precise machines often used for crushing more extensive materials when the desired shape needs to be uniform.

Many government projects require a secondary Crusher to refine the aggregate to a predictable, uniform and material. The more uniform the material, the more likely operators will be able to compact materials together consistently and pave smooth roads. The less uniform the material, the more time pavers will take to find the right force to spread the concrete or the asphalt and build a lasting road. Roadbuilders can choose from one of the following secondary Crushers.

  • Cone Crusher: Used in large-scale industries, Cone Crushers apply pressure onto the material and squeeze it against a rotating mantle to create compression and force. First broken down at the top of the cone, the material falls into the Cone Crusher's lower, more narrow part. This process repeats until the material is small enough to drop out of the bottom opening. Cone Crushers are used in asphalt pavement resurfacing or gravel pits to prepare gravel for rural roads.
  • Roll Crusher: A Roll Crusher reduces material by compressing it between two rotating cylinders parallel to each other. The cylinders are mounted horizontally, resting on strong springs, and the other is permanently framed. The material is then fed between the two.

In states like Utah, Crushers will only become more valuable as contractors have access to the state's rich reserves of volcanic rock. Its natural pores and foam material characteristics, water absorption, and skid resistance make volcanic rock the perfect material for architecture, interior decoration and landscape roads. Contractors in Utah and its surrounding areas can visit with a trusted partner to learn more about Crusher machines and if it might be the right time to invest. 

Take a walk around Kleemann Crushers with Utah-based contractor Trent Bess in this episode of The Track.

Dennis Howard

Dennis Howard has more than 25 years of experience with RDO Equipment Co. As a Senior Vice President of the Construction Equipment division, he focuses on all aspects of the company’s fleet management efforts. Used construction equipment values and heavy equipment sales are two of his key areas of expertise. Dennis is a member of the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP), a regular contributor to and host of The Track, a web series from RDO. Subscribe to The Track on YouTube or connect with Dennis personally on LinkedIn.

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