Most producers are never afforded the opportunity to work closely with a manufacturer to help research and develop a product, but for J. L. Storedahl & Sons, the opportunity to test KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens’ largest cone crusher was too intriguing to pass up.
L. Storedahl & Sons, Inc. is a third-generation, family-owned sand and gravel aggregate operation based in southwest Washington. Established by Jerry Storedahl in 1969, the company is currently managed and operated by brothers Kevin and Kimball Storedahl, with eight of their children working in the company today.
The company owns five operating quarries, one sand and gravel pit, and two sand pits that it operates on a year-round basis, according to Kimball Storedahl, vice president of J. L. Storedahl & Sons. Working primarily with shot rock basalt material, the company produces a variety of finished products, ranging from 8” to 3/8”-minus.
Located just three hours from KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens’ Oregon manufacturing facility, J. L. Storedahl & Sons first considered a partnership with the manufacturer when it began scouting for a portable, heavy-duty, 500-horsepower cone crusher in 2013. After meeting with Astec AggReCon West, a KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens authorized dealer based in Eugene, Ore., the company determined that it would test one of the new Kodiak® Plus K500+ Cone Crushers in exchange for providing its feedback on performance.
Although initially the arrangement was intended to last 4-5 months, the partnership was so successful the company is still using the cone crushing plant nearly two years later, and has installed a second Kodiak® Plus K500+ Cone Crusher on site.
“It’s been a long learning experience and it’s been great – the factory has been wonderful to work with, very energetic, very conscientious, very engaged,” Kimball Storedahl said. “I don’t think we could have partnered with anybody that could have been more pleasurable to work with on a day-to-day basis.”
A Successful Collaboration
L. Storedahl & Sons’ relationship with KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens started in 1999, when the producer purchased its first screen from a KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens distributor in Portland, Ore.
L. Storedahl & Sons currently utilizes four KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens screens – a 7’ x 20’ triple deck finish screen, a 6’ x 16’ triple-deck medium-duty scalper, 6’ x 16’ double-deck medium-duty scalper and a 6’ x 16’ triple-deck finish screen. Satisfied with the performance of the equipment and relationship with the manufacturing facility, Storedahl said it was a logical move for the company to turn to the American manufacturer again when it sought a high-production portable cone crushing plant.
At that time, KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens was searching for a nearby producer to run additional testing on its new Kodiak® Plus K500+ Cone Crusher, and with J. L. Storedahl & Sons’ assortment of portable sites processing a variety of material, the collaboration was a natural fit, says Jeff Schwarz, president of KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens’ Oregon manufacturing facility.
“With the Storedahl family being just three hours north of the manufacturing facility, we were able to interact with them quite a bit, understand their operation and know that the K500+ was going to be successful in their portable set-up,” Schwarz said. “It’s really been a unique situation where we’ve been able to interact with them on a day-to-day basis and be really involved with the Storedahl family that’s out in the plants running the machines every day. They’re truly exceptional operators and some of the best crushing people we know.”
The K500+ is the latest addition to the Kodiak® Plus Cone Crusher family, which previously consisted of three models, the K200+, K300+ and K400+. The K500+ model features a precision roller bearing design and fills a demand for larger secondary and tertiary cone crushers that are used by high production aggregate producers and mining companies, Schwarz said.
Some of the refinements implemented into the product line include a new hybrid cast/fabricated base frame design, the ‘MILO’ automated control system, a new patented liner retention system, patented thread locking ring and anti-spin cone brake. Other features of the Kodiak® Plus Cone Crusher product line include patented replaceable brass thread inserts, patented internal counterweights, a heavy duty tramp iron system consisting of pressure relief valves in lieu of accumulators and brass v-seat liners.
Storedahl has experience operating cone crushers that utilize the roller-bearing design as well as crushers that feature the bushing design, which provided him a unique perspective when operating and servicing the equipment.
“One thing we do like with the roller bearing design is that typically with a bushing crusher, you’re always putting money into it,” he said. “With the roller bearing crushers, we don’t pour that steady stream of money into the crusher. With bushing crushers, every time you go into that crusher, there’s something that you’ve got to put money back into, and it’s just a nickel and dime thing.”
Storedahl says that with the K500+, regular maintenance items like changing manganese liners is quick and easy, which saves the company time and money by reducing downtime.
“It’s very easy to work on and doesn’t consume any odd parts when you get in there,” he said. “We can go in and out of that crusher, change the manganese on it and have it back together, ready to run, typically in about three hours.”
Since installing the K500+ on site, the Storedahls have operated the crusher using liners varying from a extra coarse liner to an extra fine liner in both secondary and tertiary applications. The first K500+ cone crushing plant was installed in a tertiary application crushing primarily base aggregates of 1” and ¾”-minus. The project was so successful that the Storedahls purchased the first unit and began a second R&D project with the K500+ in a secondary application.
Typical throughput from the units have varied from 2-¼” closed-side-setting running in excess of 750 tons per hour, down to as tight of a closed-side-setting as 3/16”, which reduces the throughput to approximately 250 tons per hour, Storedahl says.
“Our experience with the K500+ to date, as a secondary crusher, in a typical cone-type application, has been very impressive,” he said. “It’s a very aggressive cone crusher.”
Although about 50 percent of Storedahl’s crushing spread is still branded Cedarapids, the company is able to get after-market parts support from Astec AggReCon West, which is critical to its bottom line.
“To have parts availability three hours away for screen parts, spindles, bearings, gears or whatever we need is wonderful,” Storedahl said. “The factory has built us seal rings at the drop of the hat when others didn’t have parts available or lead times weren’t acceptable – the factory has always jumped on board and made us a priority. The factory has always been very responsive and conscientious of our uptime, which has kept us out of a pinch many, many times.”
A Family Affair
Looking forward to the future, the Storedahl brothers hope to continue to grow their operation and keep the business thriving for the next generation through their investment in quality equipment and strengthened partnerships with dealer and factory personnel.
“You always hear that most businesses don’t survive a third generation,” Storedahl said. “We’re hoping to change that. All of the kids seem to be very interested in the business, and though we tried to make higher education available to all of them, they wanted to get right to work in the rock pit and learn the family business. And, needless to say, they are getting an education on a daily basis that you probably couldn’t buy anywhere else other than right here on the ground.”
To have parts availability three hours away for screen parts, spindles, bearings, gears or whatever we need is wonderful.