TEXAS PRODUCER BUILDS ON QUALITY, ON-TIME REPUTATION WITH NEW LOADING AND HAULING EQUIPMENT.
By Mark S. Kuhar
When contractors in Texas, such as highly recognized, Houston-based Webber, require the best aggregate materials for their construction projects, they turn to a reliable source – Crockett Sand and Gravel (CSG) – a company that has built a solid reputation for meeting deadlines and providing high-quality materials.
In June 2012, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) awarded a $52 million contract to Webber, the largest heavy-highway construction company in Texas. The project called for the redoing of the interchange of U.S. Highway 59 and state Loop 287 in Lufkin, including building five new bridges, eight new retaining walls, more than a million cu. yd. of earthwork, a large retention pond, new concrete paving, asphalt paving, drainage structures, signage, signals striping, illumination and more than 40 acres of new right of way.
A few months later, as the Webber project team mobilized to review the job, they concluded, “One significant challenge that all projects face is resource availability. This is the largest construction project that the TxDOT Lufkin district has encountered to date and is different in nature than the majority of the highway construction work in the area. Because this project is located two hours from the nearest big city, obtaining resources for this project is a great challenge to overcome.”
Among the key resources that the Webber project team identified for monitoring: personnel, equipment and materials.
About 60 miles away from the Lufkin jobsite, some of the needed materials were being produced at CSG.
For Webber’s Lufkin highway job, CSG trucks regularly arrived with loads of concrete sand and stabilized sand. By the end of the project, the company delivered 30,000 to 40,000 tons of concrete sand and about 12,000 tons of stabilized material. Some of the sand went directly to a portable concrete plant while other loads were used behind newly constructed retaining walls.
Another Webber interchange project, about 15 miles away in Nacogdoches (U.S. Highway 59 and state Loop 224), also received truckloads of materials from CSG.
Construction firms such as Webber, along with concrete plants, homeowners and others, have come to rely on CSG for on-time delivery of quality products. At the same time the company has come to depend on Doosan heavy equipment such as a DA40 articulated dump truck and a DL450-3 wheel loader to meet its customers’ needs.
“Not only are they high-quality products, but based on what they can accomplish, the machines are a real good value,” said Stuart Perry, gravel pit foreman and a 22-year employee of the company.
New Quarry and Plant
After founding brothers Barry and Lee Holsey (see sidebar) went their separate ways, Crockett Sand and Gravel was established at another site along the Trinity River. The new company was up and running in late 1998 when Barry’s son, Lee, opened a plant near Crockett, Texas. For the past 17 years that river-bottom land has produced a wide variety of quality products, including pea gravel and sand for concrete plants and championship golf courses.
“Everything we take out of the ground gets made into something,” said Perry, one of the firm’s 13 on-site employees. “We strip and load trucks with a dragline and transport the material two miles to our plants. Typically, we produce the same amount of product each day and stockpile it around our property.”
Within the last year, plant capacity was increased to 3,500 tpd. Sand is delivered every day to 13 concrete plants by the company’s fleet of 23 trucks, each with a capacity of 27 tons. Before the plant expansion, CSG sold 20,000 to 30,000 tpm. Now the monthly average is around 50,000 tons, reaching as high as 70,000 tons at times.
“Today we are digging down about 25 ft.,” says Perry. “With about 600 acres of sand and gravel remaining at this location, we should be able to meet the demands of our customers for years to come.”
From its first manual dragline to today’s automated excavation equipment and methods, CSG has regularly made investments to meet job specifications and deliver quality products.
To keep up with the business that operates nonstop from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., equipment needs to be reliable, productive and operator-friendly. A Doosan DA40 articulated dump truck (ADT) and a DL450-3 wheel loader fit the needs of the company perfectly. Both machines were purchased from Texas Timberjack, the local Doosan equipment dealer.
The DA40 is one of five 44-short-ton hauling units that transport sand and gravel from the quarry to the plant throughout the day.
“Everything on the Doosan truck is a little better than what we are used to in our other four trucks,” said Perry. “The ride is smoother, the cab is more comfortable, visibility is better and fuel efficiency is superior. The DA40 saves a gallon of fuel an hour compared to the other trucks. Over an 11- or 12-hour day that’s significant.”
The DA40, with a rated payload of 88,000 lb., has a flexible and agile undercarriage that allows all six wheels to maintain maximum ground contact, enabling the truck to work productively in off-road situations and in soft and wet ground conditions.
While the ADT is hauling materials to the plant all day, the DL450-3 wheel loader is in the quarry loading the trucks with a 6-cu.-yd. bucket. The wheel loader has the traction and lifting power, plus good visibility from the cab to the bucket, necessary to efficiently keep production moving.
In comparing the DL450-3 with older Doosan wheel loaders, which the company has operated for years, Perry said there are some important differences.
“The DL450-3 is a great machine,” he said. “It’s a whole lot more user-friendly, much easier to service and maintain – and has a cab where the ergonomics are vastly improved.”
For Crockett Sand and Gravel, operating the newest, top-of-the-line heavy equipment allows the company to keep up with customer demand and make on-time deliveries every day. That’s why contractors like Webber and others in Texas have come to depend on CSG, one of the state’s premier materials suppliers.
Information for this article courtesy of Doosan Infracore Construction Equipment America.
Crockett Sand and Gravel
Crockett Sand and Gravel was originally founded as Holsey Brothers Sand & Gravel in 1951. Barry and Lee Holsey developed a solid reputation for consistently meeting specifications and fulfilling obligations on every job. Their quarry and production facilities on a 2,000-acre Trinity River site allowed the company to achieve preferred supplier status for some of the largest construction projects in Texas.
The brothers provided 1.8 million tons of state-approved material for the construction of the Dallas–Fort Worth International Airport. They were a supplier of choice for materials in the building of I-35 and I-45 interstate highways. When a major energy pipeline was constructed near Corrigan, Texas, the company delivered 117,000 cu. yd. of select fill.
Wilks Masonry needed 11,000 tons of cement stabilized base for an all-weather parking and staging area for an oil field truck yard in Houston County (Texas). CSG handled the job.
For much needed street repairs, the city of Latexo, Texas, contracted with the company for high-quality limestone road base and oversize rock. CSG crews also spread, rolled and compacted these materials as part of the turnkey project.