For well over 30 years, Champagne & Marx Excavating Inc. has been providing excavation services throughout mid-Michigan. With a wealth of experience in site development, highway construction, roadbuilding, and other related applications, the company recently branched out into the recycling business.
Now that their recycling business is as mature as their excavating business, Champagne & Marx relies heavily on productive and dependable equipment to ensure they maintain the most efficient operations possible. Founded by Tom Marx and his partner, Frank Champagne, the company was eventually acquired in full by the Marx family. And having since retired, Tom's son, David Marx, now leads the organization.
Marx recalled the catalyst that eventually led to the addition of recycling services at the excavation company.
"At the time, much of the concrete from our jobsites was either being taken to landfills, or being stockpiled back here at our facility," he says. As tipping fees and transportation costs increased, recycling the material began to make sense, he notes.
"We recognized that we could recycle that material, and repurpose it as road stone, driveway stone and other filler material," he says.
In the beginning, it was clearly trial and error with regard to the proper equipment for the task.
"We bought a jaw crusher and had this little screening plant, and we thought we were going to run this crusher and separate the material on the screen plant, and in 15 minutes we had completely buried it. That's how little we knew back then," says Marx. "So we went out and got a used Pioneer 6x16 triple-deck inclined screen and some conveyors to use with it and got the job done. We actually still run that screen on a daily basis."
A robust operation
Today, Champagne & Marx operates a very robust recycling division, processing concrete, asphalt, and occasionally some limestone. In addition to the material they generate from their own excavation projects, they also perform contract services, crushing material wherever the need may exist. Marx characterizes the division as 'recycling gypsies.'
"We run around looking for material to recycle wherever we can find it," he says.
With the volume of material they recycle annually, Champagne & Marx has plenty to keep for their own needs, and plenty more to sell back into the market place.
"The market for recycled product has been strong, and we've been able to employ quite a bit of it back into our own projects," Marx adds.
In keeping with the ever-increasing demands of their growing recycling business, Marx has at some point used most brands of crushing plants available, with varying degrees of success. But with multiple plants in operation, and still greater volumes of material to tackle, it was clear they needed a complete high-volume solution that provided quick set-up and easy mobility to meet their recycling needs. Marx turned to Kevin Bushinski at AIS Equipment, and they explored the options.
"The crusher we had been using to process asphalt had to have the hopper removed to transport it effectively, and it just wasn't very efficient for what we needed," explains Marx. "So we called Kevin and he brought in Kolberg-Pioneer to sit down with us to design a plant and conveyor system to revolve around a screen we are using."
Marx was aiming for more mobility, with easier tear-down and set-up to allow them to relocate the plant in only one or two days.
"Portability, portability and portability," he emphasizes. "We need to be able to get the plant from site to site without wasting much time in between."
The solution provided by Kolberg-Pioneer was a model 5260 horizontal-shaft impact crushing plant on a wheeled chassis, with a few key customized changes to meet some specific needs for Champagne & Marx's operations.
Big capacity, small footprint