Crushing, Inc. Celebrates 15 Years of Providing Quality Materials for Central Florida
Last year marked Crushing, Inc.’s 15th anniversary, a milestone Owner Ken Herron hoped he would reach, but was never sure, when he founded the Fern Park, Florida, company.
“I graduated from college with an engineering degree and was Manager of Engineering for several firms,” recalled Herron. “I also worked for manufacturers and equipment dealers building aggregate plants. One day, I decided I was tired of working for other people and wanted to run my own business. Knock-on-wood, it’s been very successful.”
Crushing, Inc. specializes in on-site crushing for asphalt plants. Herron estimated that about 85 percent of the company’s projects involve recycling millings and old roadways that have been removed to make way for new construction. Additionally, it crushes excess material that plants have left over from making asphalt products. About 99 percent of the company’s business is done for a handful of repeat customers throughout Florida.
“We take great pride in producing quality products at a very reasonable price, and we achieve consistent gradation and recover oil from the asphalt,” said Herron, noting the company also recycles concrete and other materials. “The resulting products are reused in new construction, which is a considerable cost savings compared to using new materials. Our products are used in everything from state highways to homeowners’ driveways.”
Crushing, Inc. runs three portable crushing operations and generally processes about 1,500 tons of material a day. Its goal is 6,000 tons of material per week per operation.
To maintain production, Crushing, Inc. uses Komatsu equipment to feed the crushers and move material. It recently added a PC360LC-10 excavator and a WA380-7 wheel loader with a Lincoln Lube system to a fleet that includes WA480 loaders and PC300 excavators.
“The PC360 has great power, and the all-around visibility is second-to-none,” said Supervisor Tony Sindelar. “I especially like the comfort of the air-ride seat.”
“I really like the controls,” said Equipment Operator William Vasquez. “It’s very operator-friendly. The Lincoln Lube system automatically greases the machine, which is a great time saver.”
Herron works with Linder Industrial Machinery Sales Representative, Adrian D’Arts, on purchases.
“We typically buy a piece of Komatsu equipment and never get rid of it,” said Herron. “Some of our older machines have 15,000 to 16,000 hours and still run every day. When I started the company, I quickly realized how important a good-quality product is for our customers, and Linder and Komatsu believe in that too. That’s why we have such good relationships with them.
“We also appreciate Komatsu’s commitment to lower owning and operating costs with programs such as Komatsu CARE, its KOMTRAX monitoring system, zero-percent financing and the No Idle campaign,” he added. “KOMTRAX allows us to track hours, production time and idle time, which we reduced from about 20 percent to 5 percent, thanks to Komatsu’s initiative that highlighted the detrimental effects of too much idle time. With Komatsu CARE, Linder covers scheduled maintenance complimentary for the first three years or 2,000 hours on the Tier 4 machines, which is a real added-value.”
Crushing, Inc. services the equipment, calling on Linder Industrial Machinery as needed for support. “Our mechanic, Bob Bates, is one of the best in the state, and he knows the equipment well. If we do need something, all he or I have to do is call Adrian or anyone else at Linder, and we know they will respond quickly. Linder’s product support is excellent, both from a parts and service standpoint.”
Worth the Risk
In addition to Bates, Herron credits his entire staff of 12 for Crushing, Inc.’s success. Many have been with the company for several years, including Supervisors Sindelar, Paul Mitchell and Francisco “Paco” Rivera, who oversee the operations.
“Our reputation as one of the premier crushing companies in our area is a direct result of our staff’s hard work and dedication to ensuring every job is done to the customer’s specifications and satisfaction,” said Herron. “I’ve been blessed with one of the best groups of people in the business. We certainly wouldn’t be where we are today without their efforts.”
Herron is looking to add another operation in the near future.
“We weathered the economic downturn by expanding our territory and working as far away as North Carolina,” said Herron. “Fortunately, we haven’t had to do that in the past couple of years because business has been good. Now, we can focus our attention on growth. Of course, certain factors could affect that, including another downturn, but I don’t foresee that happening anytime soon.
“I didn’t see us getting to this point when I started,” he added. “I really just wanted to control my own fate, so I took the risk of starting my own business. I can honestly say it’s been well worth it.”