In today’s market quarries need an edge in maximizing their aggregate production, which has led to the use of specialist crushing and screening contractors becoming more widespread. Irish quarries are fortunate that they are able to call on the services of one of the best in the business: G&G Ross. With over 25 year’s industry experience, the company has gone from strength to strength. Aiding the performance of the business in recent years has been the adoption of the latest mobile screening and crushing technology from Sandvik Construction. This has enabled the company to offer a flexible and productive solution, delivering low cost per ton, and essential operational efficiencies.
The quarrying and aggregates businesses are tough; and during the last few years the climate has seen some of the harshest market conditions in recent years. This has meant that quarries and aggregate producers have had to place an even greater emphasis on operational efficiencies, maximizing their productivity, delivering low cost per ton and the products customers really need, when they need them.
An increasingly important factor in aggregate production for quarrying companies has been the use of specialist crushing and screening contractors. They have provided the expertise and specialist equipment to help the production process, allowing the quarrying companies to concentrate on other areas of their business. One of the very best in the business is G&G Ross from Northern Ireland. With over 25 years of experience gained from working with some of the biggest names in the industry, this company has gone from strength to strength in recent years.
“I started out in the business repairing crushers for Nordberg and Pegson. I’m a qualified mechanical engineer, and found the combination of using my college education in a stimulating practical business, such as crushers, to be highly rewarding”, explains Graham Ross, founder and Managing Director of the company. “My experience was with initially Nordberg, and then Pegson. I went self-employed in 1995 as a specialist service engineer, and founded, along with my late father, a contract crushing business in 1999 in order to use the skills and expertise we both have and to stop him trying to get me to come back and work on his farm!” Added Graham.
When Graham’s father sadly passed away he was left with a choice about which direction to take the business, deciding, ultimately, to concentrate himself on the contract crushing side. This stated, one of the areas that differentiates G&G Ross from the rest is the ability to use Graham’s skills gained from servicing crushers. “We, as a company, are committed to reducing our customers down time. This means pro-active servicing, ensuring the availability of spare parts, and being able to do any repairs quickly. And if the worst comes to the worst, we have excellent workshop facilities in Dundonald to undertake major repairs.” Says Graham, who continues; “We try and place our customers at the very heart of the business, and have developed a dedicated team of field engineers, who are able to deal with virtually any mechanical and electrical problem they encounter.”
G&G Ross have placed due emphasis on supporting their customers equipment, but what has enabled the business to thrive is their own fleet of mobile crushers and screens. Graham explains, “Initially the company drew on my experience of Pegson and Metso equipment; it’s what I was familiar with (as a service engineer) and both companies make excellent machines. Getting the choice of crusher and screener right is essential for any contractor servicing the quarrying industry, and I believed I had made the right choice.”
Things changed in 2010 when Graham was persuaded to take a closer look at another company’s equipment; namely the mobile range from Sandvik Construction. “I’ve known and respected the Sandvik range for years (previously Svedala, Extec and Fintec), but saw no reason to take a closer look. That was until I was persuaded to take a QJ340 tracked jaw crusher on demonstration. I was impressed.” Explains Graham, who adds – “The rest, as they say, is history.”
G&G Ross now operates an extensive fleet of mobile Sandvik crushing and screening equipment. This includes tracked jaw crushers QJ340 and QJ341; tracked cones QH331 and QH440; tracked screeners QA440, QA450 and a tracked scalper QE340.
“The QH440 cone crusher has proved to be the most versatile machine, and depending on which machine we have feeding it, the most productive. But the combination of the QH331 and the Doublescreens (QA440 and QA451) is producing exceptional productivity, so much so we have had problems feeding them.” Stated Graham, who went to say – “Through the use of one Doublescreen we are able to replace two traditional double-deck 20×5 three way split screeners, and experience final product accuracy that is exceptional. In addition, if there is a change in production requirements the set-up of the Doublescreen boxes ( two independent screen boxes ) makes changing the mesh, or doing repairs, very easy. Anyone who has ever changed a 20×5 screen mesh will know what a difference this can make.”
In addition to the production benefits derived from the Sandvik equipment, are the cost advantages due to the fuel efficiencies of the modern equipment. Graham explains; “The QH440, in effect, uses nearly half the diesel of a comparative cone crusher. On an average day it uses 50 litres per hour, whereas the machine it replaced was using over 80 litres. This not only produces costs savings, but also lowers the carbon footprint for both my customers, and of course G&G Ross.”
The use of the combination of the Sandvik cones and Doublescreens has proved to be increasingly important for Graham’s customers as cost per ton has, in recent years, become an increasingly important factor. “The ability to use a flexible machine such as the QH331, together with the Sandvik Doublescreen, means our customers don’t have to use as much equipment for a job. This improves their profitability, with the bonus being that the Sandvik equipment is so productive. My key customers, Roadstone and the McCullan Group, won’t have me use anything else,” concludes Graham.