Tri-Parish Sand and Gravel is a dry mining operation located in Walker, Louisiana. They produce C-33 concrete sand, pea gravel and #57 concrete gravel for use in their ready mix operation, Parish Ready Mix.
James Nolan, who owns Tri-Parish Sand and Gravel with his wife, Gail, has always been concerned about the cleanliness of the products they use in their ready mix facility. They strive to deliver quality products on the concrete side of their business, which starts with the material used to make those products.
To better control the quality of their concrete products as well as lower their production costs so they could pass those savings onto their customers, the Nolans purchased land for dry mining their own sand and gravel. They looked at a few wash plants in different parts of the country for processing the feed and separating it into the various products needed at their ready mix facility.
In 2020, Tri-Parish purchased the McLanahan UltraWASH 6206 Modular Wash Plant that debuted at CONEXPO/CON-AGG in Las Vegas. Availability was a key factor in the purchasing decision. Tri-Parish needed a wash plant quickly, and the McLanahan UltraWASH offered an entire wet processing plant in one compact, modular unit that was ready to run.
“We bought the plant, and we’re very, very pleased with it,” James Nolan said. “It definitely does way more than they said it would do.”
The UltraWASH features a McLanahan Inclined Vibratory Screen for sizing up to three aggregate products (the oversize, the pea gravel and the #57 gravel in Tri-Parish’s operation). It also features a sump, two McLanahan Pumps, two McLanahan Hydrocyclones and a McLanahan Dewatering Screen for washing, classifying and drying the sand product. This particular UltraWASH model is a double wash system, which processes the sand twice before discharge for a cleaner end product.
A modular plant, the UltraWASH arrived at Tri-Parish in several partially pre-assembled and pre-wired pieces.
“It went together very easily,” said Operations Manager Danny Graham. “You could almost do it by pictures alone.”
Graham added that the modularity of the UltraWASH would be beneficial if they need to move the plant closer to the area in which they are mining in the future.
“It could be somewhat portable. You can take it and move it in a matter of a day or two,” he said.
Besides availability, one of the aspects that attracted the Nolans to the UltraWASH was the rated tonnage of the machine, but this exceeded their expectations in the field.
“It’s delivering way more than we’ve ever dreamed, so I’m really happy with it,” James Nolan said.
“We’re actually outrunning our guys who are stockpiling raw material,” Graham added. “Production-wise, it’s better than expected. We’re keeping up very easily with this product; it hasn’t been a problem. The UltraWASH is doing a great job.”
Since they started operating the plant, James Nolan said the biggest benefit of the UltraWASH is how quiet it is. The Tri-Parish property borders a housing development, and the neighbors can’t hear the plant when it is running.
Graham likes that the UltraWASH is easy to operate.
“I really like that it’s one central unit,” Graham explained. “Everything’s maintained in one electrical panel. It’s easy to work with; the PLC and everything make it very user-friendly. It’s automated stop/start, so there’s no guesswork and there’s no manually starting different components. You start it, it runs; you stop it, it stops. You can’t beat that.”
In addition to the UltraWASH’s performance, James Nolan is also pleased with the cleanliness of the product coming off the end of the machine.
“I guess I’m bragging on it, but it needs to be bragged on. It turns out a real good material. It’s clean. I’m proud of it,” James Nolan said. “Even the guys at the plant, they realize the change in the material because we have started running out of here now and it’s a whole lot different. We don’t have to be looking for mud balls and sticks and stuff like that because we send out a good product. We’re not going to send it out dirty, but this plant definitely helps us with a lot.”
The UltraWASH allows Tri-Parish to supply the concrete side of their business with a clean, high-quality product.
“Our goal and business is quality, and we’ve achieved it at this point,” James Nolan said.
The Tri-Parish team was also pleased with the support they received from everyone at McLanahan, from sales to project management to field service.
“My experience with McLanahan has been wonderful,” Graham said.
“They were all great in helping us facilitate getting the plant off the ground,” Gail Nolan shared. “They never left us behind. Any time we called them, they were always there and giving us an answer in a timely manner.”
“The machine is a good machine, but without service, it’s nothing,” James Nolan said. “The McLanahan team helped us out a lot. Without them, we couldn’t have made it.”