While seemingly unassuming, sand is crucial for many industries. The uses and differences between each type of sand are varied. Cement and concrete rely on one variation of sand, while fiberglass uses another kind. Sand is also integral in creating glass products or iron and steel components. It’s understandable to see how much value sand has in society; many industries would suffer without it.
Moving sand easily from an operation to its final destination is imperative to keeping construction companies and other industries supplied with this essential material. While we at Kemper Equipment can help you design and build systems for your sand operations, there’s still the question of how you transport the material from your production facility to a new location as quickly as possible after it’s been processed.
The first step to moving sand easily is locating it. Many people assume it’s easy to find, but it takes a significant amount of resources to develop deposits capable of producing sand products.
Sand is a very versatile material and is derived from many kinds of rock types, most of which include limestone, feldspar, and silicon dioxide. Producers may find it naturally below and above ground, in glacial deposits, sand dunes, arid environments, and natural lakes, seas, and oceans. After you’ve located the sand deposits, next comes the quarrying.
Quarrying Sand and Gravel Deposits
You may apply most of the tactics used for hard rock quarries to sand and gravel operations. The most significant difference between sand and gravel quarries and everything else is the land use these operations require. Sand and gravel deposits are typically shallow, so naturally, companies have to disturb more land to obtain the same volume of product.
Mining and Dredging: Sand Extraction
Typically, mining for sand comes from sources above ground, such as sand dunes, but operational facilities often dredge it from deep underwater excavations known as pits. Dredges are large structures that float in manmade or natural ponds.
They rely on a continuous chain of buckets or rotary cutting heads to dislodge material from below the water’s surface. The material is displaced and removed using a suction hose and separated from other mineral particles during the process. A dredge is a tool used for excavating the gravel, too.
Move Sand Easily with a Conveyor System
Once a deposit is quarried and mined, you must move it from the source through the rest of your process to its final destination. This endpoint can mean the sale of the sand or its use in construction and industrial products.
Conveyor systems using stationary or overland conveyors, telescopic conveyors, and radial stackers provide operations with a way to move sand across long distances, up and down hills, and onto the transport.
Usually, operations would require wheel loaders to build a stockpile, but conveyors work by moving sand across a conveyor belt and dumping it in stockpiles, making it a cost-effective option for moving sand within your production. Radial stackers move along a radius, efficiently dumping the product into manageable caches. They remove the need for wheel loaders and reduce diesel, personnel, and maintenance costs in the process.
Conveyor and stacking systems offer customizable designs, from the length and width of the conveyor or stacker itself and belt width to the height of your stockpile and options including power radial wheels, chevron, or vulcanized belts, and hydraulics to extend the conveyor longer for larger stockpile size. A conveyor makes moving sand much more effortless.
For added convenience, conveyors can be designed to your specifications to meet your operational needs and budget. At Kemper Equipment, we can help design and build your system, so you know you are moving your sand product from processing to the end goal as efficiently as possible.
Additionally, whenever one of your conveyors or stacking systems requires repair or maintenance to keep your sand operation on track and moving quickly, don’t hesitate to contact us at Kemper Equipment. We have skilled technicians with the experience and knowledge necessary to help you get your operation up and running again as soon as possible.
How to Transport Sand Effectively
Three of the easiest methods for transporting sand to its final destination are by trucks, rail, or barge. Trucks are relatively simple to use, mainly in loading and dumping. Many trucks are capable of dumping their loads once they arrive at the destination without assistance. Trucks are also available in many sizes and models to satisfy several operational needs, making them a convenient option.
Transporting sand by open-top rail is the second option. For operations near train rails, rail shipment provides an efficient method of moving the raw material, reducing the fuel consumption and some of the spending associated with trucks. The partially automated nature of rail shipping is another benefit companies can appreciate. Custom railcar loading and unloading systems can be used with 100-ton dump hopper cars, gondolas, or single cars, creating a much smoother, continuous flow of material.
Barges are the third form of transport for sand. A typical hopper barge can transport up to 1,700 net tons of sand, roughly the amount it would take 17 rail cars, or 68 trucks, to move. From a logistics standpoint, barges are an excellent solution for moving sand from origination to destination.
The three options each have their own benefits:
- Trucks are convenient and come in a variety of sizes.
- Rail transportation is more economical.
- Barges have a much higher capacity, enabling companies to move more product in fewer trips.
However, they also have their drawbacks:
- Fuel costs are expensive to run trucks back and forth with any regularity.
- Rail transportation is limited to places that have access to rails.
- Similarly, barges are limited in their travel ability based on their water access.
Your selection will depend on the size of your operation and budget, but it will also depend on your location. Sometimes, you may need to use a combination of transportation methods to get your sand to where it belongs. Still, regardless of your choice or needs, sand is an easy raw material to move throughout the entire process when you utilize the proper equipment.
Are You Ready To Move Sand Easily?
When you’re ready to move sand easily, you need the resources to do so effectively. You can efficiently process and transfer your product from your production facility to the final destination with the right equipment. Get in touch with us today if you have questions about your current system and how you can improve your speed and profitability with our systems and equipment recommendations or repairs.