Category Archives: Equipment

Material Calculators & Aggregate Processing Tech Resources You’ll Want to Use

Once upon a time, determining how much of a given material—aggregate, recycled asphalt, sand for concrete products, and more—was needed for a given project involved a lot of time-consuming manual math. Similarly, keeping track of regular maintenance needs for your various crushing, screening, conveyor, and wash equipment meant careful record-keeping within paper logs that were easily lost or damaged.

Luckily—as with most other areas of modern life—online resources and downloadable smartphone apps have made many of the inconvenient tracking and calculating tasks associated with quarrying and aggregate or mineral processing so much simpler and more accurate.

While it’s true that many apps are proprietary to individual manufacturers at the moment, the rapid digitization of the aggregate industry across the board means more generally useful resources are coming online all the time.

Today’s post shares a few of our favorite currently available resources that you should definitely check out if you haven’t already.

Vulcan Materials Co. Free Product Calculator

First announced in Pit & Quarry magazine way back in late 2012, Vulcan’s construction aggregate calculator has been refined and made more readily available to more users in the years since. It is both online at Vulcan’s website and can be downloaded as an Android and iPhone/iPad app.

This helpful resource allows users to enter material properties like width, length, and thickness to determine needed quantities for a particular job. Users can also estimate a material’s density by choosing from preset geology and product factors.

PSU’s Dirt, Gravel, and Low Volume Road (DGLVR) Materials Calculator

While this calculator has a very specific purpose—determining how much material may be needed for low volume road improvement projects within our home state of Pennsylvania—it also has a “custom material” selection option that allows users to specify the density and compaction ratio of material not in the list. This makes the free web-based calculator a bit more generally useful.

Check it out on Penn State’s Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies’ website.

Schenck Process vibe2know™ App

Released in 2017, this app allows operators to learn vital information about the performance of any vibrating machine—most commonly screening equipment—in their circuit.

The app requires a unique mount that users can insert their phone into, which attaches directly to the machinery. (This mount is free from Schenck Process.) Once connected, operators can get at-a-glance insight into data points like vibration amplitude, oscillating angle, and operating speed that help them assess the overall “health” of their equipment.

The U.S. Mine Safety & Health Administration’s (MSHA) Updated Mine Data Retrieval System (MDRS)

If you have been in the aggregate mining and processing industry for any length of time, you’ve discovered how important compliance with government regulations has become. And navigating the Mine Safety & Health Administration’s compliance assistance calculators and other resources has been somewhat challenging for users.

Fortunately, the MSHA just finished a major overhaul of its databases and online resources to enhance user experience and make more info and tools readily available to operators. As Pit & Quarry just reported in June 2019, the new MDRS is an “exclusive gateway to real-time data, posted prominently on msha.gov and available at msha.gov/mine-data-retrieval-system.”

Keeping American mine workers healthy and safe is a government priority, but it’s also an industry imperative, of course. With MSHA making it easier for everyone to accomplish this goal, we all win.

Ready to Upgrade Your Aggregate Processing Operations with Better Technology?

Here at Kemper Equipment, we can revolutionize your operations with the most innovative and technologically advanced material handling solutions available from brands—such as Etheridge Automation—that include the latest in automation and controls.

When you’re looking to “level up” your aggregate processing capabilities—or if you’re getting a new operation set up for the first time—our team of experts is ready to provide full-service support to help you maximize your output. Get in touch with us today to learn more.



What to Know about Leasing Aggregate Processing Equipment vs. Buying – Both are Great Options!

Recently, we’ve been focusing on the benefits of portable and modular plants for aggregate, sand, gravel, and recycled asphalt processing. It’s true that portable equipment can be ideal in terms of long term cost and production flexibility. Portables can add capacity quickly so you can meet changing contract or seasonal requirements, too.

And with the rise in portable equipment’s popularity, a new way of procuring equipment is also growing—leasing—as opposed to traditional financed buying.

Today’s post shines a light on equipment leasing, offering you some insight on how it might benefit your operations, but also giving you some potential tradeoffs to consider vs. buying.

Equipment Purchasing and Rental are Both Expanding Right Now

According to a Pit & Quarry article about equipment buying trends at the end of 2018, equipment rental is catching on because producers are concerned both about being able to meet rapidly changing industry demands and keeping up with technological advances.

Sales are trending upward, too—the economy is strong, and it’s a fantastic time to get into aggregate production!

Our perspective on the lease vs. buy question

While we still strongly support purchasing here at Kemper Equipment, we are proud to offer equipment rental options to our qualified customers for new custom systems and retrofits, too.

Like our industry peers discussed in that recent Pit & Quarry article, leasing can allow equipment manufacturers and dealers to be more agile and turn over assets quickly, which is helpful for innovation across the industry. And for our customers, leasing can offer an affordable way to “try before you buy” so you can really hone your operations to include just the equipment you truly need.

All that said, it’s essential to remember that leasing is different than buying, and there are some significant things to understand when deciding if it’s right for you.

Things to understand about leasing

As with anything you lease or rent—passenger vehicles, housing, extra storage space—the main point to remember is that you’re paying only to use that asset, but it’s not yours. You don’t own it. Maybe you’re not sure that you actually want to own it—and that’s probably the whole reason you decided to lease in the first place—but using someone else’s equipment comes with some important considerations.

Lease Agreement Terms

There are several different ways that lease agreements can be structured, and you’ll need to understand precisely what you’re getting into. For instance, capital leases and operating leases are two of the most common types of contract formats—only capital leases give you the option to own the equipment you’re using at the end of the agreement term.

Financing vs. Purchasing

It’s well known that even if you’re presented with the option to buy the equipment you’re leasing for a price below fair market value at the end of the term, your payments will likely be higher than if you financed a purchase of that same equipment. Depending on factors such as the equipment’s predicted ability to hold its value and perhaps even your personal creditworthiness, your payments may be significantly inflated versus purchasing. And it’s true that many equipment manufacturers now offer finanacing as an incentive to try their brand.

It’s always a good idea to compare various payment scenarios before you sign anything. Look to buy vs. lease calculators online that can help you weigh your options on things like your monthly payments and current loan interest rates to see if renting or buying a particular piece of equipment will be the better financial decision.

Consider Downtime

It’s true that you likely will not be responsible for fixing or paying for repairs to leased equipment when breakdowns occur—your lessor will take care of this as the equipment’s true owner. While this may seem like a big check in the “pros” column for leasing over buying, you need to be careful who you’re leasing your equipment from to actually have this be a benefit instead of a major liability to your operational efficiency. How so? In short—downtime.

Often, if the equipment owner is paying for repairs, they’re also selecting who will make those repairs, and you can guarantee that they will prioritize cost savings above all else in choosing that service. You may not be in control of who comes out to fix your equipment, and you’ll certainly not be in control of how long it takes them or whether the work is done right the first time.

As we’ve discussed in previous posts here on the blog, downtime can cause big problems with productivity, which can lead to customer dissatisfaction, and ultimately, to lost business.

Whether buying or leasing, you need to work with a reputable equipment dealer

You should indeed be wary of the downtime factor, and if you pursue either an equipment purchase or lease from a supplier with deep integrity and experience in the industry instead of a third-party lessor, you’ll cut that risk significantly.

You’ll also be gaining a knowledgeable partner committed to helping you achieve your production goals through a variety of tried and true solutions—from equipment service and maintenance to education and training opportunities we can offer your team. And, in fact, we can help you weigh whether leasing or purchasing equipment will be better for your bottom line from the very start.

Here at Kemper Equipment, we work to support your operations and genuinely care about your success. But that’s not all. We’re also committed to providing high quality at a low cost. If you’re currently researching leasing options for portable equipment—or even for fixed plants—bring us your budget details, and we’ll show you how to save, both in the short term and well into the future.

Get in contact with the pros at Kemper Equipment for all of your material handling equipment purchasing—and leasing—needs.



Answered: Common Questions about Jaw Crushers

If you are a rock, sand, gravel, or mineral processing industry veteran or an avid reader of our blog, you know that there are several different types and styles of crushing equipment. The exact crushers you need—jaw, cone, impact, or gyratory—will depend on your site, the product you’re making, and how much you need to produce.

An individual crusher’s construction and capabilities also dictate where in your processing operations it will fit. That is, you may have multiple types of crushers situated in primary, secondary, and tertiary stations in a circuit format to perform the necessary material reduction work. Each type of crusher brings unique strengths and benefits to the process.

Today’s post focuses on compression-style jaw crushers, which are most often employed in the primary stage of a crushing circuit. It’s important to know that cone crushers are sometimes used in their place, and we’ll also talk a little bit about when cone crushers may be preferred over jaw crushers.

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The Basics of Dust Suppression and How to Get Started

No matter how dialed in your production processes are, dust can be that “devil in the details” that plagues your rock, sand, gravel, or mineral processing operation.

Too much airborne dust surrounding a particular rock crushing station, for instance, or constantly producing a cloud around your stockpiles as they’re formed by high-angled radial stackers, not only creates employee health hazards, it can lead to equipment damage over time, which equals downtime as well as repair costs. Perhaps even worse, regulations about creating dust—specifically “respirable crystalline silica”—have become much stricter within the last year, and you may have compliance obligations under OSHA rules to worry about now, as well.

The good news is there are many dust suppression options out there today, from add-ons for your current equipment to high-performance site-wide tools like misting cannons. Today’s post will offer a basic overview of why you need to implement dust control strategies in your operation.

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Understanding the Different Conveyor Types – And How to Find the Right Conveyors for Your Project Needs

Conveyor systems quickly “convey,” or move, goods and materials from one place to another to cut out human labor in various situations where time is of the essence, resources need to be transported in bulk, or conditions are treacherous. All of these factors explain why heavy duty conveyors are essential to the quarrying, mining, and mineral processing operations we work so closely with here at Kemper Equipment.

But what are the different conveyor types you should consider to best meet your production goals? Today’s post will offer a closer look at a variety of belt-based conveyor systems, which may incorporate numerous individual conveyor types.

We’ll also show you why conveyor systems are most often custom-designed to meet unique project demands. After all, no two sites are quite alike, and the wide variety of possible challenges presented by moving diverse materials frequently calls for advanced solutions that only customization can address.

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Understanding Dewatering: What it is and Why it’s important

Separating unwanted materials like clay, silt, and slime from valuable sand, gravel, and crushed aggregate has been a tricky problem in processing operations since time immemorial. Wash equipment has been designed and perfected to solve this issue while also assuring that construction aggregates and sand can meet ever more stringent specifications and be saleable.

But washing is not the end of the processing circuit—at least, the addition of water to material in order to clean, size, classify, or separate it is not the final step in a processing operation. Dewatering is an important consideration that every operator, especially those of fine aggregates and sand production businesses, must make following washing. Today we’re taking a closer look at the basics of dewatering and the equipment that achieves this state.

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How Many Types of Crushers Are There?

The question “how many types of crushers are there?” can be answered in a variety of ways depending on what the person asking is trying to learn about rock, sand, gravel, or mineral processing. The answer might be three if you’re talking about setting up stations in a complete crushing plant – that is, primary, secondary, and tertiary/final reduction crushers.

Of course, there are also different styles of crushers, such as compression-style jaw and cone crushers, which fit into the various stations in a crushing circuit (depending on factors like the sizes, varieties, and hardness of the rock you need to crush, as well as the necessary output).

The number of crusher types in terms of style and configuration can be more difficult to quantify, as there are lots of ways to customize crushers. However, you’ll find four basic designs – cone, jaw, gyratory, and impact crushers – operating within many crushing plants. Today we’re breaking down everything you need to know about crushers to help you understand the questions you should ask as you search for the right machinery for your operations. Continue reading



Everything You Wanted to Know About the History of Conveyors

Conveyors are essential to quarrying, mining, and mineral processing operations, but we sometimes take them for granted. Did you know that it was not so long ago in human history that these hardworking machines didn’t exist? Imagine your surface or open pit mining operation without any conveyors – things would not be moving very quickly or efficiently, and the whole undertaking would be a lot more dangerous!

To show conveyors a little appreciation, we’re taking a look at their history from their roots in the late 1700s through decades of improvement and innovation that transformed them into the reliable machines we depend on today. Continue reading



Maintenance of Crushing, Conveying, and Screening Equipment

It’s no secret that the intensely hardworking crushing, conveying, and screening equipment in your material processing operation requires regular maintenance to remain reliable and optimally productive. But what are those maintenance “must dos” that maximize uptime and ultimately lead to longer service life expectancies? And how often should you be inspecting and changing wear parts on machinery? Continue reading



Conveyors vs. Trucks: What’s the best way to transport your materials?

The question of whether conveyors are better than “truck and shovel” systems in surface and open pit mining operations has long been debated in the industry. Conveyor systems can have a high upfront cost compared to trucks, which makes them less attractive to some businesses just getting started.

Trucks are common and readily available and often have a lower initial cost. However, they are also dangerous, inefficient, and rely on more direct human labor, which is why conveyors are very often a better choice for surface mining operations. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons why. Continue reading