Mason Brothers keep on crushing with Sandvik

Pembrokeshire based Mason Brothers Quarry Products has a longstanding relationship with Sandvik which goes back to the 1990s. The company now produces in excess of 100,000 tonnes of high quality aggregate from its Rhyndaston quarry near Haverfordwest, with a mobile crushing, screening and scalping train from Sandvik playing a key role in ensuring that Mason Brothers’ customers get the materials they need.

Mason Brothers Quarry Products is family run business which has carved out a niche in supplying sand and aggregates throughout Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire for over 25 years. Due to high demand, many of its varied products are also supplied further afield, with the company priding itself on producing and supplying products of the highest quality at competitive prices, delivered where and when its customers require them. “We run six tipper trucks out of the quarry and now produce over 100,000t of mixed aggregates,” stated company managing director Alun Mason.

The wide range of products produced at the quarry ranges from type 1 sub base to ornamental and building stone. The company also supplies a range of other products including volumetric concrete, concrete blocks, portable gabion baskets, drainage pipe, and is able to deliver materials both loose or bagged dependent on customer requirements. As well as its flag ship operation located at Rhyndaston Quarry, Haverfordwest, the company also works out of other quarries, including its new shale quarry which is also located in Haverfordwest.

Demanding rock
Most of Mason Brothers’ material is produced at its Rhyndaston quarry. “It’s (the rock at the quarry) a metamorphic granite, with its actual name being Royal Lite Hornfeldt. It breaks reasonably easy, but it is quite abrasive which makes it hard wearing on any equipment we use,” explains Alun, who continues: “This means we try and sort out equipment that is going to do what we want, and give us the tonnages that we require, but at the same time keep our costs to a minimum.”

A key part of the production process at the Rhyndaston quarry is Mason Brothers’ crushing, screening and scalping train supplied by Sandvik Mobiles. This comprises of a QA451 triple deck Doublescreen, QH331 cone with hanging screen, and currently, a QE341 scalper with finger deck.

The highly productive and efficient nature of the set-up is explained by Alun: “Two boys there run the complete quarry. They primary crush at face and then scalp off the material. We produce a 1-4 inch (25mm-100mm) cone feed from the face which we then stockpile at the rear of the cone crusher. This is then moved across the quarry with an excavator loading the cone for secondary crushing. This set-up enables the running of the entire quarry with just two men.”

Cone crushing developments
“They’re always developing and improving things,” says Alun of one of Sandvik’s latest developments which is proving to be essential for his quarrying operation. The QH331 cone crusher with hanging screen was launched at Hillhead in 2016, and its features have proved to be particularly of benefit to Mason Brothers.

“Obviously the hanging screen has been a big improvement for us. It’s efficient; we don’t re-circ a lot with it as we tend to try and use all the products the machine produces. Another good thing is that you haven’t got crusher backing to leave ‘cure’. We change between ‘matt’ and ‘concave’ (on the cone) quite regularly, so we can just change and get on with a day’s work.”

The QH331 draws heavily on Sandvik’s expertise in cone crusher technology, which as Alun explains has been put to good effect. “We try to keep the shape (of the end product) which is something the cone has enabled us to do. We only primary and secondary crush, we don’t tertiary crush at all, so we have to get that shape right in two stages.”

Long standing relationship
Mason Brothers has been using mobile crushing and screening equipment from the Sandvik range for nearly as long as it has been producing aggregates. “We’ve a long, long relationship right back to the Extec days (Extec was acquired by Sandvik in 2007). They’ve always pulled us out and kept us going.”

Alun further explains how this excellent relationship between the two companies helps maximise the production and effective use of the equipment. “We are a long way from Sandvik. They do come out as quickly as possible (if equipment requires services, parts or in the rare event of a breakdown) but they also provide good advice over the telephone so we can try a lot of things ourselves without the need to send a service engineer.”

Alun Mason’s experience of Sandvik and its mobile crushing and screening equipment is still highly positive after many years working together. “I’d have no problems in recommending Sandvik to anybody. We’ve got a good relationship with them and they’ve looked after us over the years. Well, obviously, we wouldn’t have spent the money with them if weren’t happy with product, and happy with the company.”

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