Crosby Excavating: Coincidence, Opportunity and Experience Combine for Success
Steve Crosby saw an opportunity to expand the pavement demolition activities of Crosby Excavating, thanks to the replacement of I-469, which runs by a piece of property he owns in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Crosby got a contract for demolition of a segment of the concrete freeway and barrier walls. However, the track crusher Crosby Excavating was using on the project wasn’t up to the task.
The solution came about almost by chance, as Columbus Equipment Company Environmental Division sales rep Jesse Garber was driving down I-469 and noticed the crew struggling with the crusher. He decided to stop and talk to them. “Freeway tear-outs are the toughest application we run into. The concrete is extremely hard, it has rebar in it, and it’s hard to crush,” Garber noted.
The crew put Crosby and Garber in touch, and Crosby decided to demo the Eagle 1200-25 CCportable crusher/ screening plant combination that Garber suggested. The Eagle 1200-25 CC features closed-circuit crushing and screening in one chassis, with oversized pieces being returned to the crusher. The two-deck screen also allows the production of two spec products at the same time.
Crosby tried the Eagle 1200 in the fall of 2015, rented it for several months, then converted to a purchase. “The Eagle is a bigger unit than what we were using, and it is doing a better job by far,” Crosby said. “It is also substantially faster than the previous setup, and we can process 250 to 300 tons an hour,” which he estimates is double the production the company got from its previous setup.
The Eagle has other advantages too. “It doesn’t have a separate generator for stackers, it’s self-contained with just one power plant, so even though the 1200 is bigger than the previous unit, we are saving fuel by running one engine instead of two,” Crosby noted. The machine removes rebar efficiently, and the setup allows the crew to produce two products that meet INDOT specifications. Crosby Excavating uses most of that recycled material itself and sells the rest.
The crusher is designed for transport with a retractable return conveyor. Crosby recently moved the Eagle to an asphalt plant in Fort Wayne to run reclaimed asphalt pavement for a local asphalt company, the biggest asphalt project the contractor has taken on.
The Eagle has been performing well, Crosby said. Columbus Equipment has been responsive to service requests and “they have talked us through some repairs when we could fix the machine ourselves.”
Columbus Equipment even did a service call on Easter weekend last year, to ensure the crusher would be ready on Monday morning, as Crosby was expecting 200 dump truck loads and wouldn’t have room for it all if the crusher wasn’t working, Garber noted.
Crosby founded Crosby Excavating in 1987, starting with just a dump truck he used on residential projects. Step by step, he added employees and equipment, moving up to larger jobs. Today, Fort Wayne-based Crosby Excavating handles a variety of projects, including sewer and water lines, earth moving and ground clearing, excavation, and pavement demolition.
Experience and good equipment go hand in hand in increasing productivity, Crosby noted. Thanks to the highly-efficient Eagle 1200, “we’ve processed a lot of concrete, about 330,000 tons, and with that you gain knowledge” that also boosts efficiency.