The D61PXi dozer is ’amazing’
Bob Hall has made a career out of crushing
rocks for people. After high school, he held
several jobs handling this type of work around
the state of Idaho. Finally, in 1989, he decided to
take a shot at running his own operation. Bob
bought a portable crusher, called some contacts
he’d made in the industry and got started.
“I’d been crushing for a while and was
running a crew for a company, so I figured it
was time to try it on my own. I guess I wasn’t
old enough to know any better,” joked Bob. “It
was great at times and a struggle at others, but I
From day one, H&B Crushing, LLC has been
a family operation. Bob’s first “employee” was
his oldest son, Robert Jr. (B.J.), who was 10 at the
time. His youngest son, Jeff, joined eight years
later when he turned 10.
“Jeff and B.J. both had a passion for this
business from a young age, and now it’s in their
blood,” shared Bob. “They were always playing
around on equipment. We’d have customers
stop by, and they’d get a kick out of seeing two
Today, the sons are co-owners along with Bob,
and the employee roster now extends beyond
the family dinner table. The Kuna-based firm
has 47 employees and operates a wash plant as
well as three mobile crushing plants throughout
Idaho. H&B Crushing focuses on gravel and
aggregate for concrete and asphalt production.
“We mainly work for a handful of customers
who we have a good relationship with,”
noted Bob. “As long as they want us to crush
something gray, we’re happy to do it. Our
specialty is gravel, but our products are used
in pipe bedding, landscaping, road base and
Bob says there is no secret to the growth of
H&B Crushing, which produces nearly two
million tons of material annually; he simply
concentrates on making a quality product.
“Our customers give us a spec, and we stick
to it,” said Bob. “We are dedicated to quality;
that’s what made us successful. We don’t
sacrifice quality for production. We constantly
monitor the material. If we fall off spec, we
stop and get it right. A company’s word and
reputation are what set it apart in this industry,
and we take pride in both.”
While 90 percent of the company’s business
revolves around crushing, it has evolved
slightly to include other related services, mostly
site development at the pits and quarries to
which they are contracted.
“We do all of our crushing on site,” detailed
Bob. “In the past, we primarily went in,
stripped the material and created a product.
Eventually, customers asked if we could do
other things at the site, like filling in a spot,
building a pad and handling some of the finish
work. It makes a lot of sense. By having us do
everything, it saves our customers time and
money, and it guarantees us more business. It’s
Reclamation projects at crushing sites are
commonplace for H&B Crushing. The company
dewaters the area before mining the aggregate,
which creates a sizable hole. Instead of leaving
these areas unfinished, customers are now
looking to turn them into man-made ponds.
H&B recently crafted a 49-acre pond that will
serve as the center of a residential community.
Crews excavated the 20-foot-deep pond,
landscaped the shoreline and built 10 housing
pads at the site.
“We’re fortunate that our customers are
happy with us and trust us to do things like
this,” said Bob. “It’s a very efficient way of
operating, and it’s a fun challenge.”
Crushing with Modern
When H&B Crushing needs equipment, it
calls Modern Machinery and Territory Manager
Jared Johnson. Bob knows he can trust both to
get him the right equipment.
“Jared and Modern have supplied us with the
tools we need for our business,” shared Bob. “In
this industry, you need somebody to help you
succeed, and we have that with Modern. It’s the
best partnership we’ve had.”
The company turns to Modern for its mobile
crushing units as well. The Halls have three
K300 KPI-JCI mobile cone crushers in addition
to stacking conveyors, a double screening plant
and sand screw washing plant, all from Modern.
Bob made the switch to KPI-JCI equipment in
2016 after a product demo with Modern.
“We were ready for an upgrade. Jared came
to us with the KPI-JCI setup, and we demoed
it,” recalled Bob. “The proof is in the pudding;
the equipment we get from Modern works.
More importantly, Modern stands behind it.
When you’re using a machine to break things,
eventually the machine is going to break down
as well. Modern has been excellent about taking
care of any issues we’ve had and helping reduce
H&B Crushing also relies on Jared and
Modern for Komatsu construction equipment.
The company’s equipment list boasts four
WA470 wheel loaders, three PC360LC
excavators, 10 HM300 haul trucks as well as
D61 and D65 dozers.
“Komatsu makes great machines,” said Jeff.
“The excavators fill haul trucks quickly, and
they are very quiet. The trucks get a lot of use
hauling material in and out of messy jobsites
without an issue. The loaders and dozers are
also very dependable.”
The latest addition to the fleet is a Komatsu
intelligent Machine Control D61PXi dozer with
integrated GPS technology. “The D61i is a
valuable tool for us on reclamation projects,”
explained B.J. “When we dig ponds, we do
them in six-foot cuts or safety benches. We
upload the models from the customer and get
started. Plug-and-play. We’re on-grade, and
we don’t have any masts or cables to deal with.
In addition to providing reliable machines,
H&B Crushing appreciates the extra benefits
that Modern Machinery and Komatsu deliver.
Services like KOMTRAX, Komatsu’s telematics
program; Komatsu CARE, which includes
complimentary service on Tier 4 machines for
the first 2,000 hours or three years of operation;
and Komatsu Financial have all made H&B
Crushing’s day-to-day operation easier.
“These are examples of Komatsu and Modern
going above and beyond,” said Bob. “KOMTRAX
helped us cut idling time from 37 to 18 percent,
in addition to increasing our uptime. We’ve had
numerous instances where a Modern technician
called about a warning that came up on a machine
through KOMTRAX and sent someone to fix
it before it became a larger an issue. Komatsu
CARE is similar; it helps us be proactive in our
maintenance. These services are so beneficial and
keep us on top of our fleet, which is hard to do with
one as large as ours.
“We’re also big fans of Komatsu Financial,” he
continued. “It’s a hassle-free process. We’ve used
it for most of our purchases – I can buy a WA470
easier than I can a house. We appreciate that
Komatsu and Modern go the extra mile.”
Continuing to rock
While the project list, equipment fleet,
employee numbers and customer base have
grown throughout the last 28 years, Bob says
what matters most to him is that H&B Crushing is
a multi-generational family firm.
“It makes me proud that Jeff and B.J. are involved
and invested in the business, and that they are as
dedicated as I am,” shared Bob. “My sons are good
at this and have a strong work ethic. They will have
success when I’m gone.”
Even after Bob’s retirement, don’t expect much
“Our motto is ‘let our quality aggregate rock
your world,’” said Jeff. “B.J. and I love crushing,
and we’re going to continue to do it with the same
dedication to quality that we always have. We’re
excited about the future.”