Chip Drewry saw an environmental need. Drewry followed his gut instinct, shifting his business from excavating and site preparation to recycling, and in four years, the concrete and C&D recycling side of Drewry's business has ballooned from zero to 60 percent. As president of Port Orange, Florida-based Chip's Dozer Service, he expects the future will produce even greater profits. Even now, recycling accounts for 20 percent more gross revenue than his excavation business.
"I knew down the road it would be big," says Drewry, who is the first and only recycler in this community located just south of Daytona Beach . "And now instead of illegal dumping in wooded areas or a landfill with tipping fees, customers can dump here for free."
Drewry processes 60,000 to 80,000 tons a month with a primary/secondary UltraMax® 1200-25cc crushing system manufactured by Galion, Ohio-based Eagle Crusher Co., Inc. The UltraMax 1200-25cc, which is equipped with an on-plant 5' x 16' double-deck vibrating screen, delivers three salable products from the broken reinforced concrete, asphalt, and C&D debris fed through its 48" x 34" feed opening. Though the UltraMax 1200-25cc is portable, Drewry keeps it in a central location. "We have so much material coming in here that we can be profitable in a central location,” he explains. “We're taking in concrete from as far away as Orlando."
Eagle Supports Builds Success
After talking with other recycling contractors and crusher operators, Drewry settled on an Eagle Crusher UltraMax 1200-25 for several reasons. His obvious goal was to start making money from his capital equipment investment as cost-effectively, as quickly, and as efficiently as possible. Training, on-site assistance, service after the sale, and reliable equipment were the factors in Drewry's selection.
"Other salesmen talked about how much their crushers would produce, while Eagle spent a lot of time showing me how their equipment works in various applications, what it will produce, and how we can make money in the recycle industry," Drewry says. "They didn't just say ‘this is what the crusher costs, this is what it will put out,' and walk off leaving me to learn through trial and error.
"They made sure I learned how to run the plant properly, which takes a while when you're not used to anything like this. Now, we know every nut and bolt."
Maintenance has been minimal, says Drewry — "just the usual wear and tear." "As far as the machine is concerned,” he adds. “I feel it is top of the line."
Clearing the Way to Greater Profits
Chip's Dozer Service didn't leap blindly into the recycling market. Drewry took time to learn. He began preparing for his business evolution in 1993, devoting time and equipment he already had to a 10-acre site behind a cement plant where old leftover and unused concrete had been discarded over several years.
"We cleaned it up and I stockpiled material for a year before getting the crusher," Drewry says. "We had to learn what would meet specs and what specifically the state requirements were. I used a screening plant to separate the bigger concrete and probably hauled in 250 yards of concrete before I brought in my crusher. You can't just start out with a handful of concrete on the ground, because a crusher like this one will eat up a lot of concrete."
If Drewry had any doubts about his leap into this new business venture, they were soon dispelled — particularly after he was given the thumbs-up by the area's EPA representative.
"He walked around and looked everything over," Drewry recalls. "He was here for about three hours — and as he was leaving, he told me, “I can't believe you're taking all that concrete and junk, and making these products you can use anywhere — there's nothing wasted.'"
Taxpayers Are Saving Money, Too
Taxpayers save up to $600 a load when local and state government agencies access Drewry's site rather than paying $32 per ton in landfill tipping fees.
In addition, by using recycled products in local, county, state road, highway, and building projects, private contractors and government departments minimize the high cost of hauling in aggregate from outside of Florida.
"The city and county buys it all back locally right here," Drewry explains. "They use it as road base and underground bedding, and for reuse in concrete. It meets state specs, and it's better than limestone, for instance, because the LBR [load bearing ratio] is so much higher in recycled concrete."
Drewry recycles everything dumped at his site — even the steel and iron. Equipped with an optional magnetic separator, the UltraMax 1200-25cc separates the rebar and ferrous metal into a separate stockpile, generating as many as three loads a week. With revenues of up to $250 a load, Drewry makes an additional $3,000 in a month's time.