On a crushing site, there are many moving pieces and parts that work together to ensure that production is optimized and remains issue-free, like the loaders, the crushers, screening plants, conveyors, etc.
Loaders transporting material to the crusher have the important responsibility of feeding enough material into the hopper to keep the rest of production flowing smoothly at an efficient rate. Because of this responsibility, there are a few fundamental ideas that loader operators should bear in mind as they feed material for crushing.
Foremost, material like aggregate, concrete, or asphalt should be sized appropriately before being fed into a portable crushing plant. If material is too large, it could lead to jamming or bridging in the hopper, impactor, or jaw crusher. Crusher manufacturers, like Eagle Crusher, will advise customers as to what the maximum size material can be in relation to the feed openings of crushers. Generally, the maximum feed size will be less than the feed opening to ensure that the material can be efficiently crushed with little risk of causing a jam.
Material that is too large must be prepped beforehand. This is usually accomplished by means of a hydraulic hammer or breaker. However, it is usually more efficient to start with material at or below maximum size for your crushing system. For aggregates, this generally means tighter spacing in your blasting pattern. For concrete and asphalt, this means demoing a job into smaller pieces prior to crushing if crushing is offsite. For yards that accept C&D materials, it can mean setting a maximum material size for accepted loads. Oversize material charges can be applied to help defray additional costs of prepping material prior to crushing.
If the material is frequently oversized, it may be worth considering upgrading to a crusher that can accommodate larger feed material. The larger upfront investment may quickly pay for itself compared to the slower process of sorting and prepping material prior to crushing, thus increasing efficiency and total output.
As material is being collected and fed into the hopper, loader operators should be sure not to overfeed the hopper, as an excess amount of material could lead to increased wear as well as jamming.
One other note is to avoid overflow or spillage around the hopper. Spillage like this can reduce efficiency in production as well as introduce safety hazards to any team members who may be working in the vicinity of the hopper.
For more information about properly feeding material for crushing, we invite you to contact Eagle Crusher to speak with a Team Eagle representative who will be happy to help.
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