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NSSGA Dredging Forum Addressed Vital Topics As Producers Gathered in Omaha

Aggregate producers gathered in the exhibit hall for a reception on the opening night of the forum. Photos courtesy NSSGA.

Aggregate producers gathered in the exhibit hall for a reception on the opening night of the forum. Photos courtesy NSSGA.

One of two slides from Steve Hatfield’s talk on  moving a dredge by rolling it on heavy duty rubber bags manufactured by Eddelbuttel & Schneider of Germany.

One of two slides from Steve Hatfield’s talk on moving a dredge by rolling it on heavy duty rubber bags manufactured by Eddelbuttel & Schneider of Germany.

One of two slides from Steve Hatfield’s talk on  moving a dredge by rolling it on heavy duty rubber bags manufactured by Eddelbuttel & Schneider of Germany.

One of two slides from Steve Hatfield’s talk on moving a dredge by rolling it on heavy duty rubber bags manufactured by Eddelbuttel & Schneider of Germany.

At Western Sand and Gravel, visitors examine a dredge pump casing prior to boarding the dredge.

At Western Sand and Gravel, visitors examine a dredge pump casing prior to boarding the dredge.

Dave Brakenhoff, left, of Western Sand & Gravel with Steve Lenker on the field trip at Western’s dredging site.

Dave Brakenhoff, left, of Western Sand & Gravel with Steve Lenker on the field trip at Western’s dredging site.

NSSGA members visit Western Sand and Gravel’s dredge during the field trip. The dredge and processing plant were designed and built by the company. The dredge uses an Eagle chain ladder feeding into a Pearce 20 x 18 pump, and the 100-foot ladder can di

NSSGA members visit Western Sand and Gravel’s dredge during the field trip. The dredge and processing plant were designed and built by the company. The dredge uses an Eagle chain ladder feeding into a Pearce 20 x 18 pump, and the 100-foot ladder can di

Members tour the dredge at Mallard Sand and Gravel. It is a DMC with a 92-foot ladder, 14 x 12-inch Thomas pump with 40-inch impeller. It is driven via an angle drive gear box by a 3412 Cat engine, pumping through approximately 1000 feet of 14-inch I.D.

Members tour the dredge at Mallard Sand and Gravel. It is a DMC with a 92-foot ladder, 14 x 12-inch Thomas pump with 40-inch impeller. It is driven via an angle drive gear box by a 3412 Cat engine, pumping through approximately 1000 feet of 14-inch I.D.

Members of the audience listen intently to the opening session.

Members of the audience listen intently to the opening session.

Safety panel with, from left, Alan MacVicar of Rinker Materials, Stan Benke of Lyman Richey Corp., and Scott Oberholzer of The Shelly Co.

Safety panel with, from left, Alan MacVicar of Rinker Materials, Stan Benke of Lyman Richey Corp., and Scott Oberholzer of The Shelly Co.

A slide from Scott Oberholzer’s safety presentation. He outlined safe procedures for operating on and around dredges, concentrating on the dangers of confined spaces, pointing out how fast certain atmospheres can kill a person. 

The slide was labele

A slide from Scott Oberholzer’s safety presentation. He outlined safe procedures for operating on and around dredges, concentrating on the dangers of confined spaces, pointing out how fast certain atmospheres can kill a person. The slide was labele

Mike Fahey, Mayor of Omaha, welcomed the aggregate producers to the city.

Mike Fahey, Mayor of Omaha, welcomed the aggregate producers to the city.

“Not good,” declared Jerry Mock in the first slide his talk on what to do when a dredge sinks. “To err is human; to forgive is not company policy,” he quipped before proceeding with detailed instructions on how to proceed when a dredge sinks.

“Not good,” declared Jerry Mock in the first slide his talk on what to do when a dredge sinks. “To err is human; to forgive is not company policy,” he quipped before proceeding with detailed instructions on how to proceed when a dredge sinks.

1 of 2. Extracting a sunken dredge from a pit, two slides from Jerry Mock’s presentation.

1 of 2. Extracting a sunken dredge from a pit, two slides from Jerry Mock’s presentation.

1 of 2. Extracting a sunken dredge from a pit, two slides from Jerry Mock’s presentation.

1 of 2. Extracting a sunken dredge from a pit, two slides from Jerry Mock’s presentation.

NSSGA members looking over Mallard Sand and Gravel’s dredge.

NSSGA members looking over Mallard Sand and Gravel’s dredge.

The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) dredging forum on June 3 through 5 drew 150 enthusiastic aggregate producers and suppliers.

Held at the Hilton Hotel in Omaha, the event underlined the importance of dredging in the aggregate industry. Companies that have been digging in the dry are purchasing dredges when their deposits go below the water table. Those dredging in flooded pits are having to replace or upgrade equipment to dig deeper, as it is becoming more difficult to obtain mining permits in areas where residences are surrounding new deposits.

Forum attendees listened to two days of practical advice on various aspects of dredging, and visited two nearby aggregate operations.

Steve Hatfield of Cornejo Materials in Wichita, Kansas, was with the National Aggregates Association prior to its merger with the National Stone Association to create the NSSGA. He is on the task force to organize the dredging forum and producers events.

“I took two of my key people who were able to see different dredging applications and attend the seminars,” he said. “We came away with an important piece of information, that a lethal gas can form in dredge tanks as a result of algae growth. If this knowledge saves even one life, it was worth attending the seminar,” he said.

Cornejo Materials runs two dredges and is getting ready to launch another – a used dredge that they refurbished and put into service. They provide sand and gravel to the Wichita, Kansas area and to southeast Kansas, where there are no deposits. Sister companies provide ready-mix concrete and asphalt.

Hatfield presented a talk on moving a dredge over land, using his experiences with heavy duty rubber bags manufactured by E&S of Germany.

Jerry Mock is on the NSSGA committee for dredging. He sees the dredging forum as a gathering of individuals who are targeting the same piece of machinery, identifying the problems and solutions in one aspect of the mining industry.

He is operations manager for Shelly Materials in Thornville, Ohio, and presented a talk on how to recover a dredge that has sunk. He quoted Thomas J. Wetta III at the beginning of his talk: “There are two kinds of dredges. Ones that have sunk and ones getting ready to sink.”

Mock urged dredge owners to be pro-active if a dredge sinks, with information and procedures in place ahead of time. In his presentation, he described measures for safely raising a dredge.

The Shelly Company Safety Officer Scott Oberholzer participated in a panel on dredge safety, along with Alan G. MacVicar, Rinker Materials and Stan Benke, Lyman-Richey Corp.

“Safety is the number one priority in our company,” said Mock. The safety officer manages the safety procedures for the company’s 20 operations, aided by a safety representative from each operation.

“Last year we beat the world safety standards,” said Mock.

The full schedule of the forum was as follows:

“Dredge Safety In The Aggregates Industry, Mission Critical Safety Principles And Behaviors”, Alan G. MacVicar, Rinker Materials, Stan Benke, Lyman-Richey Corp., Scott Oberholzer, The Shelly Co., (Division of Oldcastle, Inc.);

Case studies and tour previews: Western Sand and Gravel, Ashland, Nebraska Operation, Dave Brackenhoff, Western Sand & Gravel Co., Mallard Sand and Gravel, Valley, Nebraska Operation, Mike Stratman, Mallard Sand & Gravel Co.;

“Everything You Wanted to Know About Pumping But Were Afraid to Ask”, by Jeff Boone, Metso Minerals – Thomas Pumps Division;

“How to Spec a Dredge: Matching the Application to the Right Equipment and Considering the Cost Alternatives”, by William Wetta, Dredging Supply Company;

“Basics of Mechanical Dredging”, by Chris Nelson, Rohr Corporation;

“Moving a Dredge: Practices to Move a Dredge Short and Long Distances. Moving Various Sizes of Dredges.”, by Steve Hatfield, Cornejo Materials;

“Preventing Breakdowns with Proper Dredge Maintenance Strategies”, by Rick Parton, Sahara Sand, Silvi Companies;

“Honey, I Sunk the Dredge: Underwater Salvage and Repairs on Dredges”, by Jerry Mock, The Shelly Co.;

“Automation Products Specifically for Dredging”, by Jay Wise, Kruse Controls;

“Use of Soy-Based Biodiesel As A Fuel Alternative”, Eric Ziph, Sapp Bros. Petroleum, Inc. and Tim Stalp, Stalp Sand and Gravel.

The primary sponsor of the event was Dredging Supply Company, and co-sponsor was the Nebraska Concrete and Aggregates Association. Exhibitors included DSC, Cornerstone Industries, Custom Dredge Works, Greystone Inc., Krebs Engineers, Kruse Controls Inc., McLanahan Corp., Metso Minerals-Thoms Pumps, Pearce Pump Supply, Polydeck Screen Corp, Rohr Corp., Rotonics Manufacturing, Supreme Manufacturing, Tema Isenmann Inc., and the Twinkle Company.

Steve Lenker, vice president of Operations and Engineering for NSSGA, who organized the forum, said “it could not have gone more smoothly. In the post-event survey the attendees rated the forum more positively than the organization’s most positive events. The tours went very well, and everyone got onto the dredges in both operations,” he said.

The dredging forum has traditionally been held very two years, and is planned as part of a new NSSGA event, the World of Aggregates, scheduled for March, 2009 at the Orlando Convention Center.

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