Tilcon New York


Jan 11, 2013

Excellent Komatsu quarry machines

Tilcon New York, Inc., part of the Oldcastle Materials Group, owns six quarries in and around New York City — some dating back as far as the Civil War. Because of its long history and proximity to the five boroughs, rock from those quarries has been instrumental in the building of America’s largest city.

“We’re the industry that’s built New York City,” said Tilcon New York Chief Operating Officer William Poole. “Quarry stone, crushed rock and aggregate — construction materials that Tilcon has mined through the years — were used to build many of the roads, highways, bridges and airports in the region. These materials went into the Freedom Tower and other skyscrapers, the new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, as well as the former Yankee and Shea Stadiums.

“As one of the leading aggregate suppliers to builders working in the city, our employees take great pride in the part we play,” Poole added. “From the transportation systems to the underground infrastructure to the skyline, all are built with aggregate.”

While aggregate supply is a large part of Tilcon New York’s operation, it’s far from the whole business. The company also operates five asphalt plants; recycles asphalt, concrete and brick at a plant in the Bronx; and has a construction-services division that performs heavy/highway work throughout the lower Hudson Valley.

“In everything we do, our calling card is safety, integrity and quality, as well as concern for the environment,” stated Poole. “Those are the core values we hang our hat on. Of course, customers demand quality and service, so if we don’t do a good job there, we’re not going to be in business very long.

“Regarding safety, there are economic benefits of having a safe operation, but to me, it’s a moral imperative,” Poole insisted. “At Tilcon New York, we do everything possible to ensure our employees go home at night in the same shape they arrived in the morning. That’s the least we can do. And as for the environment, this is our livelihood. We’re harvesting natural resources that aren’t going to be regenerated in our lifetime, so we need to act responsibly at all times. We do our best to protect the water table and limit emissions in order to preserve the earth for future generations.”

Talented, veteran work force

Today, Tilcon New York employs about 300 people.

“We have a very stable work force, especially in our quarries,” noted Poole. “Our employees are talented. They understand that what they do is important to both the company and to our customers, and they do their jobs well.”

Tilcon New York’s management team is also highly regarded. Chris Madden is the Northeast Division President for Oldcastle and John Cooney Jr. is President of the New York Region. Poole relies on Equipment Manager James Slaughter and his staff, including Equipment Planner Anne O’Malley, Light Vehicle Administrator Chris Taglifarro and Equipment Superintendents Jerry Smosarski and Stan Samdal. Eric Kechejian and Christopher Bennett are Safety Managers.

“Right now, we’re running three of our six quarries — Clinton Point, Haverstraw and West Nyack,” said Slaughter. “We are operating at about one-third capacity. When demand picks up, we can get more out of those three, plus we could open the other sites, starting with our quarry in Tomkins Cove, which we could get back online fairly quickly if needed.”

Both Clinton Point and Haverstraw, as well as Tomkins Cove, have barge load-out docks to allow material delivery to the city via the Hudson River. “Our own construction division uses our crushed rock, asphalt and recycled products as much as possible, but we sell most of our material, probably 80 percent or more, to other material producers and contracting firms,” explained Poole.

Productive Komatsu quarry machines

To operate its quarries, Tilcon has a fleet of mobile equipment that includes numerous, large Komatsu machines. The company has six Komatsu HD605 (70-ton) haul trucks; three WA900 (15-cu.-yd.) wheel loaders; and a D275 (449-hp) dozer. The company’s construction side also has a Wirtgen mill and a Vögele paver from Edward Ehrbar, Inc.

“We use the WA900s as our primary face loaders to load 70- to 100-ton trucks in the pit,” said Slaughter. “We bought our first one in 2004. A few years back, we rebuilt the engine, transmission and torque converter on that unit, which now has more than 26,000 hours and is still in service. Our second loader now has about 10,000 hours, and our most recent one is nearly brand-new. It has joystick control, which our young operators prefer. The Komatsu WA900 has been an excellent machine for us through the years. It’s big, powerful and has given us good uptime, which is why we keep turning to it when we need a wheel loader.”

Tilcon New York purchased its newest Komatsu HD605 haul trucks in 2008. “We brought them to our Haverstraw Quarry to replace some trucks of another brand with which we were having only marginal success,” said Slaughter. “The Komatsus have done a really good job for us. Today, they have about 8,000 hours and are performing very well in their job, which is supplying shot rock to the primary crusher.”

One of the things Slaughter especially appreciates in his Komatsu units is the KOMTRAX machine-monitoring system. “It’s a great way for us to check out the machines — to see how they’re running and being run — without stopping them. It saves us a lot of time.”

When it comes to purchasing equipment, Slaughter says price and machine reliability are important, but dealer service is crucial.

“We appreciate the support we get from Ehrbar and our Sales Rep, Bill Tucker. In this day and age, we don’t have spare machines. When a machine goes down, we want it back up and running right away, which means we need fast and professional dealer service. Ehrbar does a great job for us. They have, or can readily get, the parts we need and they respond quickly in an emergency. We also often bring the machines into the shop during the winter so Ehrbar’s technicians can go over all our Komatsu units to make sure they’re ready for spring and summer.”

Part of their communities

Tilcon is an award-winning company with numerous honors and recognitions from industry groups for its various community-relations programs, as well as product-achievement awards.

“We exist as part of our communities, not apart from them,” Poole pointed out. “We are good corporate citizens and work with our communities for their overall betterment. We want to be a valued member of every community in which we operate.”

“Certainly, we’d like to see the entire construction industry pick up steam, but it seems as though the economic situation the past few years has created a ‘new normal,’ at least for a while,” observed Poole. “There will be some nice projects here and there and some upticks along the way, but for the most part, until money becomes more readily available for infrastructure and new private development, we’re probably going to remain operating at our current level for a while.

“At Tilcon New York, we’ve adjusted and will continue to adjust to maintain proper stockpile levels that allow us to meet the needs of our customers now and in the years to come. The key for us is to keep producing a top-quality product and provide the type of service that our customers have come to expect. As long as we do that, we think we’ll be fine in the current economy, and we’ll be in a position to ramp up quickly when demand warrants it.”