Ghilotti Brothers, Inc. was founded in San Rafael, CA, in 1914 by James Ghilotti, a 23-year-old Italian immigrant, who began his business by carting rocks from the hills of Marin and Sonoma Counties with a horse-drawn sled and practiced his craft as a stone mason throughout the area. Today, Ghilotti Brothers is one of the largest employers of construction personnel in Northern California.
The company's work includes all kinds of commercial and residential projects, such as paving San Francisco airport runways, heavy highway and road construction, parking lots, sidewalks, driveways and retaining walls. "We also do major grading, excavation and demolition work, as well as underground utilities, sewers and storm systems," notes Michael M. (Mike) Ghilotti, president of Ghilotti Brothers. "So we use a lot of concrete and asphalt, and we accumulate a lot of concrete and asphalt rubble."
First but not last
In 1994, Ghilotti Brothers began looking at how it could use materials most responsibly and not have to dispose of as much material. "One major thing we decided was to go into recycling, for three basic reasons: to keep quarries from being drawn down; to save space in landfills; and to have fewer trucks on the road, which cuts fuel consumption and carbon footprint, reduces road wear and lessens traffic and noise," Ghilotti explains.
After a thorough investigation, the company bought the first Powerscreen 4242SR tracked impact crusher delivered in North America. Powerscreen of California brought the machine in on demo. "It performed so well we bought it right away," says Ghilotti.
In 2010, the 4242SR was replaced with the first XH320SR tracked impact crusher delivered in North America. "We were very happy with the 4242SR and had no plans to get rid of it until Paul Campbell, owner of Powerscreen of California, told us about its successor, the new 320SR. As good as the 4242SR is, the 320SR is better, especially for our purposes," Ghilotti states. "It is well designed for recycling and demolition applications, as well as aggregates. It is compact and maneuverable. That's important, since we move it a lot and often use it in tight quarters."
The XH320SR is a horizontal shaft impact crusher plant with two full and two half blow bars, hydraulic overload protection, fully independent under-crusher vibrating pan feeder, PLC controls for crusher speed variation, HFO clutch and fuel-efficient direct drive system. Power is supplied by a 230-hp Caterpillar C9 Tier III ACERT power pack. An overband magnet is optional.
Ghilotti Brothers uses the XH320SR for two basic types of applications. The first is at four crushing yards owned or leased by the company at Lakewood, Crockett, South San Francisco, and San Rafael. Concrete/asphalt rubble is trucked in by Ghilotti Brothers from its excavating, demolition and other sites to be crushed and used in the company's various construction jobs or sold on the market.
Area contractors also bring in and leave rubble to be accumulated and crushed, and usually leave with truckloads of crushed materials. These normally include 3/4" base and drain (clean) materials, plus 1" and 1/2" materials. Sometimes a little asphalt is blended in to make a sub-base product.
Secondly, the tracked crusher is used at various Ghilotti Brothers jobsites, such as road paving and demolition. The company also does contract crushing at customers' locations.
Much of the concrete rubble Ghilotti Brothers recycles contains steel mesh and rebar. "The 320SR impactor handles it well and has a quick-and-easy hydraulic hood opening if we need to clear any jams," says Ghilotti. The modular conveyor also includes a raise-lower feature to aid in clearing rebar.
"Our new impactor crushes up to 320 tph, depending on the feed rate and materials," Ghilotti notes. "High production is critical, since much of our business comes from public works bids, where cost is king and the lowest bidder usually wins.