“Komatsu excavators have excellent power”
It’s not often you get the chance to own the same piece of property twice, let alone turn it into a successful business the second time around. Dave Schultejann can count himself among the few after he sold some land just outside of the Denver metro area nearly 20 years ago.
“The new landowner approached me about fixing a failing slope, and we also discussed the possibility of buying it back, which I did,” recalled Dave. “My idea for the slope was to fill roughly 50 acres of the site with inert, or non-hazardous, materials. The state permitted that, and operations began in 2011.”
Area builders, developers and other parties brought yard after yard of dirt and clean concrete to the site. Dave and his son Adam, who had worked with him in a prior excavation business, recognized a golden opportunity for a new business right away.
“Recycling the concrete made perfect sense, and we had a huge volume to work with,” shared Adam. “At first, we crushed it for our own purposes such as road building, but eventually the state permitted us to sell recycled products to others. That’s been our sole focus for the past four years.”
The Henderson Pit grew considerably during that time, and customers can now bring more than dirt and demolished roads, building slabs and sidewalks to the site. The facility also accepts concrete block and asphalt. On average, the operation handles 700 incoming loads daily, and an additional 300 to 400 outgoing, according to the Schultejanns.
“Originally, our model was 20 to 40 trucks per day, but that quickly grew to 100, then 200 and so on,” said Adam. “As long as what they bring is clean, it’s good to go. Our trained personnel reject a fair number of loads because they contain hazardous materials or there is trash mixed in. We take quality control very seriously, and that, along with an emphasis on customer service, led to explosive growth. We don’t advertise, so it’s all been organic through word-of-mouth recommendations.”
Wide variety of products
Henderson Pit recycles an estimated 95 percent of all acceptable materials that come in, producing 5,000 to 8,000 tons of new product per day. Loads of concrete and asphalt that have dirt mixed in are screened to separate the dirt, which is sold for common fill. The business carries screened topsoil as well.
Concrete is converted into several sizes of crushed products that can be used for structural backfill, road base, stabilization, and pipe bedding. Asphalt items include three-quarter-inch-minus, which is cost effective for use in driveways and parking lots and 3-inch that is used for stabilization. Henderson Pit also produces a three-quarter-inch “salt and pepper” mix of concrete and asphalt.
“In total, we make approximately 20 common items, with our largest seller being Class 6 concrete road base,” noted Dave. “In addition, if a client wants a custom product, we will work with them to produce it. Everything is tested by an outside lab to ensure it meets specifications.”
New KPI-JCI, Komatsu equipment increases production
The Schultejanns also thoroughly test equipment before purchase. “Operator comfort, production, fuel efficiency and overall durability are key factors,” said Adam. “The KPI-JCI FT4250 impactor we demoed last year checked all of the boxes, so we purchased it. The uptime and production are noticeably better than other brands we have used. It has a bigger screen than comparable models, too.”
Since acquiring its first piece, Henderson Pit has added a second FT4250, as well as an FT2650 jaw. The latter crushes raw material down to four to six inches, then feeds an impactor that makes it into the final sizes. “All the KPI-JCI products are very user-friendly,” said Dave. “Set up was easy, and as soon as that was done, the crushers went to work and basically have run non-stop, except when we shut down or if scheduled maintenance is due.”
Power Motive handles some of the service and supplies various wear parts for the crushers. It also covers scheduled maintenance intervals for the first 2,000 hours or three years under the Komatsu CARE program on the new Tier 4 PC360LC-11 and PC390LC-11 excavators that Henderson Pit recently added to its fleet. One of the PC360s runs a pulverizer to break apart larger concrete chunks and remove metals, while the other feeds a dirt screen. The PC390LC, which combines the cab and engine of a PC360 with the larger undercarriage of a PC490, loads a crushing plant. The Schultejanns purchased all the KPI-JCI and Komatsu equipment with the help of Power Motive Sales Rep Rick Sack.
“Komatsu excavators have excellent power, and we certainly like the added stability the PC390 provides,” said Adam. “Production has been really good in the short time since we purchased them, and we expect the longevity will be there, too. We believe that Komatsu CARE will contribute to that because it ensures the initial services are done on time by Power Motive’s techs. It’s that kind of customer service, along with Rick and Power Motive ensuring we had all the necessary information to make well-informed equipment decisions, that led us to try and then buy KPI-JCI and Komatsu.”
Looking at expansion
The Henderson Pit recently fulfilled its largest order to date – 250,000 tons of road base for a new warehouse in Thornton that took close to five months to complete. “We routinely get requests for 20,000 to 50,000 tons,” reported Adam. “Our ability to get those done, while at the same time keeping common items in stock, goes directly to the hard work and dedication of our employees. Hands down, we believe we have the best people in the business. Their customer-service focus has played a huge role in the pit’s success.”
Another is greater acceptance of recycled materials, according to Dave. “The state and municipalities are realizing that the products we make are as good as or better than those coming out of a quarry, at a lower cost, and there is no need to disturb new ground or mine virgin materials. It makes sense from both an environmental and economic standpoint.”
The model has worked so well at Henderson Pit, that the Schultejanns are planning to open new locations. “That would give some customers shorter hauls,” said Adam. “Our goal is to have those sites for dumping initially, and then when a good amount of material is there, to bring in portable crushers and size it down. It all depends on supply and demand, and we see both continuing to grow.”