“This is a huge time-saver and lowers our owning and operating costs”
The San Francisco/Oakland/Bay Area continues to expand rapidly, leading to a high demand for raw aggregate products. In order to build on some locations, demolition of existing structures and pavement must take place first, which creates a stream of recyclable materials such as old concrete.
Whether a project calls for raw or recycled materials, Stevens Creek Quarry supplies them. The fourth-generation family business produces aggregates from five locations throughout the Bay Area. It maintains its original quarry in Cupertino, which also does recycling; along with recycling facilities in Sunnyvale and San Jose; a quarry/recycling site in Sunol; and a sand plant in San Juan Batista.
“We have good, central locations throughout the Bay Area that allow us to serve customers with minimal trucking,” said President Rich Voss, who owns Stevens Creek Quarry as well as Rich Voss Trucking. “In terms of delivery, we cover most of the Bay Area to San Francisco on the west side and Hayward on the east. We also go as far south as Gilroy.”
Rich is the third-generation owner of Stevens Creek Quarry, which was founded by his grandfather, Tony Voss, in the mid-1930s. A farmer at the time, Tony moved into paving and grading before opening the quarry. He eventually sold the construction business to focus solely on aggregates and brought his son, David, on board. Rich joined full-time in 1976 and took over from David approximately 20 years later. Rich’s sister, Diana Voss, is Vice President and his son, Jason, is Operations Manager.
“We started recycling about 25 years ago and have expanded that side of the business considerably in the past few years,” said Jason. “Those operations accept materials from demolition and other contractors; crush and turn them into aggregate base rock and manufactured sand; and sell the resulting products all in permanent locations.”
More than 20 products
Between recycling and traditional quarry operations, Stevens Creek Quarry produces 20-plus products from sand to boulders. It helps customers who need specialty materials as well.
“Our clients range from the homeowner, who wants a five-gallon bucket of rock to large-scale contractors looking for hundreds or thousands of tons of product,” said Rich. “No matter the size or amount of material, we have the capabilities and experience to meet their specific needs.”
The company has a staff of nearly 100, many of whom have been with Stevens Creek Quarry long-term. “When we had the construction-contracting side, our employee numbers fluctuated based on the time of year and the number of projects we had,” said Jason. “For the past couple of years, we have concentrated solely on the quarries and recycling, so we maintain a steady number of staff members. They are a great, hardworking group and deserve a lot of credit for our continued success.”
Komatsu loaders increase efficiency
Stevens Creek Quarry purchased its first Komatsu, a WA500 Yard Loader, in 2016. It has since added two more of the 79,000-pound-plus machines. The company uses two to feed crushing plants at the San Jose and Sunnyvale recycling facilities and the third to move materials and load trucks at the Cupertino location.
“The breakout force and power are exceptional, even when running in Eco mode, which increases fuel efficiency,” said Jason. “With a load-out bucket, the loader at the Cupertino quarry will one-pass a transfer box, so it saves a couple of cycles compared to what we ran before. This is a huge time-saver and lowers our owning and operating costs. We also appreciate how quiet they are.”
The Vosses called on Road Machinery & Supplies Account Manager Dennis Belli to purchase the loaders. Road Machinery covers scheduled maintenance for the first 2,000 hours or three years under the Komatsu CARE program. “I like that their technicians do the work because they are knowledgeable and experienced with Komatsu products,” said Jason. “They call us and schedule it for a convenient time. Service like that is a big factor in our equipment-buying decisions. Dennis and Road Machinery have been great to work with.”
Potential expansion, same focus
The Vosses are always on the lookout for new locations and opportunities. This ongoing pursuit is one key to the growth of Stevens Creek Quarry.
“If we weren’t on our toes, we may not have secured some of the sites we have now when they became available,” said Rich. “Expansion is something we seek, so we keep scouting for places to put new recycling operations or that may have natural aggregate resources. Other factors in our success are old-fashioned hard work and a focus on exceptional customer service. Those have been our hallmarks for nearly 80 years, and that will never change.”