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King Of The Quarry

IN THE HEART OF MISSOURI, CAPITAL QUARRIES KEEPS THE BEAT WITH ITS 944K HYBRID WHEEL LOADERS

King Of The Quarry

IN THE HEART OF MISSOURI, CAPITAL QUARRIES KEEPS THE BEAT WITH ITS 944K HYBRID WHEEL LOADERS

NESTLED BETWEEN NEIGHBORHOODS AND FRESHLY BUILT SUPER STORES NOT FIVE MINUTES FROM THE STATE CAPITOL BUILDING IN JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI, SITS AN UNEXPECTED POCKET OF INDUSTRY. OTHER THAN THE CRISP LIMESTONE BLUFFS ACTING AS A BACKDROP, THIS QUARRY IS NEARLY UNDETECTABLE FROM THE SURROUNDING THOROUGHFARES, ALTHOUGH ITS PRODUCTS HAVE PLAYED A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN THE INFRASTRUCTURE THAT HAS SPRUNG UP AROUND IT. THE SITE IS HOME TO CAPITAL QUARRIES COMPANY AND JUST ONE OF THE ORGANIZATION’S 16 ACTIVE MINES.

 

Presiding over these quarries and all their operations is Keith Richter — a man who gives the impression that if a crusher went down, he could take its place. Richter’s unrelenting work ethic has served him well. “I started at the bottom of the hill at Capital Quarries in 1985,” he means both literally and figuratively. “After operating the crusher, I got moved up to being a machine operator doing stockpiling, then a plant superintendent, next I was area superintendent, and in 2011 I was promoted to general manager of all our operations.” And how does Richter fill his time when not fielding calls and putting out fires? “I also farm. In fact, come four o’clock I need to get out of here and go bale some hay, so let’s get this thing moving.”

Portrait of Keith Richter

PLAYING THE JESTER

 

While Keith Richter, general manager of Capital Quarries Company of Jefferson City, Missouri, has high and strict standards, he balances them with an unexpected playful side. When he sees an employee making a mistake, he’s quick to point it out and explain his expectations, but most importantly, Richter follows it up with a joke or comment to make the employee smile. It’s a management technique that simultaneously improves operations and boosts morale — two characteristics most companies can probably use more of.


Richter’s prankster nature extends to his relationship with local John Deere dealer Martin Equipment and the Deere organization, too. During an executive meeting regarding an equipment purchase, he had an employee fly their drone overhead prominently displaying a decal for a competitive dealership. “You wouldn’t believe their faces! Gotta keep them on their toes,” Richter lightheartedly recollects.

 

A ROLLING STONE GATHERS MORE GREEN

In a quarry, keeping things moving is what it’s all about — when material isn’t moving, money isn’t being made. “Obviously the more rock we can get to the plant, the more tons our plant can produce, the better production is, the more money we make, and the more we can grow,” says Jamie Jones, Richter’s right-hand man and vice president of operations for Capital Quarries.

 

“Something we noticed right away with the 

John Deere 944K Loader

 is that it could make three trips to the crusher in the same amount of time our previous machine could make two. On top of that, we can run it at a lower power setting, so even though it’s the same size as the machine it replaced, we saw fuel savings.” Equal production in less time, and with less fuel burn? This efficiency is what convinced Capital Quarries to purchase two more 944Ks, and Jones isn’t the only one excited about the machine. “Everything we’ve heard from the operators has been positive. In fact, it seems like we only get complaints when an operator is taken off one of the 944Ks.”

“EVERY TIME YOU GO INTO A PILE, THERE’S NO QUESTION IT [THE 944K LOADER WILL] COME OUT WITH A FULL LOAD.”

— Jeff Boessen, operator, Capital Quarries Company

PIT BOSS

At Capital Quarries’ Jeff City mine, the lucky man behind the wheel of the 944K Loader is Jeff Boessen. Like Richter, Boessen also farms on the side and has work ethic in spades. Another great quality? He doesn’t mince words. “It’s just got power,” Boessen proclaims his favorite aspect of the 944K. “Every time you go into a pile, there’s no question it’ll come out with a full load.”


And Boessen’s praises don’t stop there. “The cab is comfortable and quiet, and it has Bluetooth® for hands-free calling — I don’t have to stop working to take a call. It’s got great throttle response, and the hydraulic power is just unbelievable. The return-to-dig feature helps me save time feeding the crusher. It’s fast — it’d run circles around our previous machine. Maintenance checks are easy. The A/C is cool. The heater is hot. That’s about all you need. If I had to go back to the competitive machine? Well, I don’t believe I’d like that too much.”

KEEPING AN EYE ON THE NUMBERS

 

As the man in charge of the daily numbers, Jamie Jones, vice president of operations for Capital Quarries Company, Jefferson City, Missouri, appreciates any help he can get tracking them. When it comes to the company’s fleet of John Deere equipment, he takes advantage of JDLink™. “With large machinery there will always be issues with things, but it’s easy to diagnose issues ahead of time with JDLink,” says Jones. “One winter with cold temperatures we got notifications from our dealer, Martin Equipment, regarding low fuel pressure. That heads-up they gave us helped prevent the loader’s fuel from gelling up and causing the machine to go down. You can also see temperatures, fuel usage, idle time, and other numbers that add detail to our operating picture. The software is really responsive, and it works great.”

Protrait of Jamie Jones

BACKED BY THE BEST

96
MONTHS
8
YEARS
20,000
HOURS

John Deere is now offering a 96-month (eight year)/20,000-hour power electronic components warranty on the 944K Hybrid Wheel Loader.

 

The warranty is retroactive to existing machines in the field and provided on new 944Ks through October 31, 2018. What does it mean to those on the jobsite like Capital Quarries Company? “We put quite a few miles on our loaders, so hopefully we don’t have to put it to the test, but we are happy to know it’s there,” says Jamie Jones, vice president of operations for the Jefferson City, Missouri-based company. “To us it further exhibits the confidence Deere has in its product and the commitment to their customers’ success.”

Crushin' It.

FIRST IN LINE

First in line.

Capital Quarries Company, Jefferson City, Missouri, was the first customer to take delivery of a 944K Loader. During a Gold Key event at John Deere Davenport Works, their team met with the folks responsible for building the machine. “You could tell how proud they were of it,” reflects Jamie Jones, vice president of operations at Capital Quarries. “They were just as enthusiastic about the machine as we are about crushing rock, and that pride they showed gave us a lot of confidence in how well the 944K would perform.”

 

While many companies may be hesitant to try the latest technology, Capital Quarries was chomping at the bit to get their hands on a 944K Loader. “We saw the 944K for the first time at CONEXPO-CON/AGG® back in 2011 and were interested immediately,” says Richter. While only a prototype at that time, the model created interest. “After hounding our dealer contacts, they finally let us test one. Our next question was ‘How quick can we get one of our own?’ ”

 

A big aspect that fueled Capital Quarries’ confidence was their relationship with their John Deere dealer. “The people at Martin Equipment are really the ones who have made this work,” says Jones. “We bought our first couple of 844K Loaders from them in 2011, and they did such a great job taking care of us that we knew they’d do the same with the 944K. Obviously, with the industry and this kind of equipment, there will be little things here and there, but Martin always seems to have parts on the shelf and is Johnny-on-the-spot with fixes. We can’t say enough about what they’ve done and the overall uptime of the machines.”

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