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Restored 1949 Rock Crucher Put Back To Work
Canadian beef rancher Wayne Hagen found a way to diversify his operation by selling gravel processed by a restored 1949 rock crusher.
    After he and a cousin purchased two quarters of land with gravel deposits, they sold tens of thousands of yards of gravel to a couple local governments, which had to run it through a rock crusher. Hagen realized he could make more profit by crushing the rock himself. He found a reasonably priced Cedar Rapids rock crusher in Forks, Wash., and bought it sight unseen for $60,000 including transportation to his Lake Alma, Sask., farm.
    Hagen spent another $2,000 and many hours rebuilding plates and building a tandem axle with a hitch on the front to pull the 60,000-lb. machine with a payloader or tractor.
    "I run a welding shop and have been around machinery all my life," Hagen says. "Basically it's like a combine except a lot heavier. It's fairly basic with everything tied together in one unit, run by one diesel motor and belt driven."
    Hagen went through the machine one section at a time, to check bearings, conveyors and screens and change oil and grease zerk fittings.
    "I'm just doing road gravel (1-in. or less)," Hagen says. "I started out with a slow feed to make sure everything was working properly. Then I sped up the feed rate as I felt more comfortable with the machine. One of the gravel pits has nice coarse gravel, not a lot of big rock, so everything is going through the crusher. I can speed it up a bit." The hopper takes up to a 10-in. diameter rock.
    When he had some problems with rocks getting under a belt, Hagen decided to make modifications. This winter he built a shaft monitor system with a siren and strobe lights that shuts off the feed hopper if a belt stops turning. He's also working on setting up a diesel generator in an old school bus so he can attach the crusher's 80-ft. radial stacker, which allows 10,000 yards of gravel to be crushed in one space without moving the rock crusher. He can also use the generator as an emergency power source for his home during electric outages.
    "I hope to get a stockpile of about 10,000 yards through the summer and go from there," Hagen says, adding that he enjoyed the challenge of fixing and setting up the rock crusher.
    Besides selling the gravel for roadwork, Hagen believes there is a market at nearby oil fields.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Wayne Hagen, Box 215, Lake Alma, Sask. S0C 1M0 Canada (ph 306 447-4721; whagen@sasktel.net).

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2010 - Volume #34, Issue #3