4 Questions to Ask When Buying Crushers for Rock, Sand, Gravel, and Mineral Processing

If you’re actively shopping for rock crushers, you probably already have your particular operation’s exact requirements in mind, or at least have a good idea about your crushing needs. As you know, the sizes, varieties, and hardness of the rock you need to crush, as well as the necessary output from the crusher are key factors in deciding what type or style you should be shopping for. (Our earlier post here on the blog goes into detail about crusher types to help you sort through that decision-making process if you’re unsure.)

Whether you are shopping for new crushing equipment for your operation, or are looking to incorporate some quality pre-owned machinery to save on cost, Kemper Equipment is your one-stop shop for rock crushers. Our goal is to match your company’s specific needs with the ideal equipment every time, but if you’re new to the mining or quarrying industry, we realize you may not even know what questions to ask about crushers you see for sale either through us or another resource. Today’s blog post will take a closer look at what you need to know from any equipment dealer or third party seller in order to make the right crusher purchase.

What type of rock crusher do I need?

At the highest level, you must know whether you’re in need of a primary crusher for larger rock coming straight out of the quarry, a secondary crusher to refine the output from the primary crusher, or a tertiary/final reduction crusher that will output your finished product. If you’re looking for all three types to set up a new plant or replace an existing plant, we’d love to talk with you about your specific needs and overall processes. In these design/build and retrofit scenarios, working closely with a professional team of equipment experts like ours here at Kemper Equipment will assure that your rock crushing system is as efficient and cost-effective as possible.

It’s true that while experts know what type of crusher is in front of them just from casually viewing it, less experienced buyers may not know exactly what they’re seeing. There is overlap between primary and secondary crushers regarding what types are appropriate. Jaw, impact, and gyratory crushers can be utilized for both primary and secondary crushing, but specific facts about the individual machines will determine their stage placement in production. Similarly, roll crushers may be employed in a secondary or tertiary position in the crushing process, though they are typically more suitable for use as a tertiary crusher. Different types of cone crushers can also be found in secondary and tertiary placements, too.

Additionally, you may also come in contact with portable full crushing plants. These do-it-all crushers are great for businesses that often need to move around to different work sites, though even more stationary operations sometimes find them suitable depending upon the material they’re working with. Portable crushing plants are above all convenient and flexible, though the initial cost may be somewhat high compared to buying individual pieces of equipment, especially if you are only looking to replace one crusher in your process.

What tonnage do I need to produce?

This question seems simple but is actually quite complex. By asking a seller about the capacity of a particular rock crusher, you’re really asking to learn several facts about it, including the horsepower, the size of the feed opening, and what size feed material it will accept for crushing. Is it a primary, secondary, or tertiary crusher (with primary crushers accepting the largest size material for reduction, of course)? These factors, along with the crusher’s type (jaw, impact, gyratory, etc.) will give you an idea of how many tons of rock can be processed per hour through the crusher based on some mathematical computations. Capacity can vary also based on your operation’s feeding method, and on the feed material characteristics such as bulk density, moisture, and more.

It’s true that entire textbooks have been dedicated to the extraction and processing of rocks and minerals, and knowing the capacity of a particular rock crusher for sale can be difficult without seeing it in person, taking measurements, and verifying information with the manufacturer. Of course, the main thing you need to know before you even ask this question is how many tons your operation is looking to process per hour or day. Shopping for crushing equipment before you know this fact will be almost impossible.

What’s the final size product I need to make?

Asking about the minimum setting of rock crushing equipment will give you the significant information you need about how small the crusher can break down material. For example, a primary jaw crusher will typically have a minimum setting between 4” and 6”. To further break down this material, your secondary and tertiary crushers will need to have smaller minimum settings. Reduction ratios also come into play when considering how small material will be broken down between the three stages in the crushing process. Often, between primary and secondary crushing, you may expect to see an 8 to 1 reduction, which can be easily achieved with a cone crusher. From there, you’ll need to know how fine your final product needs to be so you can choose the right tertiary crusher. For example, fine cone tertiary crushers typically have a minimum setting of about 3/8”.

How about the price?

While pricing varies based on whether equipment is new or used, different types of crushers will sometimes carry vastly different price tags, as well. For example, gyratory crushers are generally much more expensive than jaw and impact crushers. It’s true that if you’re scouring online listings for used equipment, you’ll often see prices listed. However, how do you know if it’s fair? Generally, those who are selling pre-owned crushers will try to get the highest price they can, and that may lead you to overpaying when you don’t have to. Purchasing your equipment through a reputable, professional dealer like Kemper Equipment, with factory warranties, service, and support will always assure that you get your money’s worth.

Also on the subject of price, you’ll want to know the maintenance requirements for any crusher you’re purchasing. Some crusher types naturally require more downtime for maintenance than others just based on their construction. For instance, standard cone crushers feature manganese parts that need to be changed out every six weeks to six years depending upon the rock being processed, and this maintenance can take up to one full day to complete. Other crusher types have similar maintenance needs, but frequency and downtime for replacing parts will vary. These considerations should be calculated into the overall cost of the crusher.

Feeling a little overwhelmed or don’t know the capacity you need for your rock crushing operation? Every quarrying and mining scenario is different, and it can be difficult to pinpoint your best options for the most efficient and economical rock crushing plant. Working with a knowledgeable equipment dealer guarantees that the crushers you purchase will best suit your business’s unique needs, and we strongly encourage you to get in touch. Kemper Equipment has the experience and expertise to help you purchase the right crushing equipment without the hassle and uncertainty of extensive shopping.