Aylworth Quarry – If at First Your Don’t Succeed…

by Diana Barnum Correspondent

Kenny and his dad, Ellis Aylsworth, owners of E.A. Construction Inc. encourage beginners to remember a start up business now takes 7 to 10 years to catch on. If you think it’s worthwhile, do everything in your power to make it fly. Go for broke, cut back on other activities and focus on your business. Justify your start up.

How many times should you keep on trying? The owners of E.A. Construction Inc. of Shreve, Ohio can tell you. They were between a rock and the end of the road, forget the hard place. Co-owner Kenny Aylsworth went and sold his house, went without a paycheck and almost went belly-up.
“Originally we had our plant on a rental property and the landlord sold it out from under us four months after we’d set up,” said Aylsworth. Luck was on their side, though, when they found out that the new owner only wanted lumber off the property. About a year later, he sold them 88 acres.
But that didn’t end their troubles. Kenny and his dad, Ellis Aylsworth, could not find the right equipment to fit their needs. They had their original plant back, an old Universal jaw plant with an 18 x 24-inch crusher. But it was too small. At that time, there were no used plants available and $300,000 for a new plant was not in the budget. “We were new, so the manufacturer wanted payment ‘lock stock and barrel,’ not spread out over five years, “ said Aylsworth. “And we were entering a new market. There was more risk.”
What Alysworth’s Quarry produces is not white at all. It is brown and is what you find on top of sandstone. Their product is cubical, not round, and is all crushed, yielding a little lighter density than limestone and gravel. Where limestone and gravel weigh 3,500 pounds per cubic yard, their crushed rock weighs 3,000 pounds per cubic yard. Alysworth’s manufactured sand is also easier to level out; it packs better. Without funds for new equipment, the Alysworths persevered with the old for six years. Then they purchased a 30 x 42-inch Birdsborro jaw plant from Stone Products. They ran that about a year, but were not happy with the tonnage per day. During that year, the plant dropped a bearing, so E.A. Construction rented a crusher in the meantime to maintain their tonnage. But Stone Products told the quarry owners that particular crusher would generate fines that would be of no use to them and that the cost per ton would be too high. Silica sand would eat up the crusher too fast. Despite the advice, the Alysworths went ahead. Production increased from 150 tons per hour to 300 tons per hour.
Things were stable, but they needed a better solution – one they could afford.
Stone Products recommended the Trio 40 X 52 Impactor. “It was half the price of the machine we were renting, weighs more, and is an older style,” said Dave Hayhurst, foreman at E.A. Construction. “But it was $40,000 less. New machine, old price.”
Even though there was more wear and tear on the equipment, production doubled, allowing for more than enough to cover the extra wear costs.
And E.A. Construction managed to locate markets for their fines. And some they donated for ballfields in the neighborhood.
“We had to spend money to make money,” said Kenny. “That impactor made a big bang. It takes soft stone out so we just produce the hard stone. Our contractors like it that way.”
A couple of their clients are Bogner in Wooster, John DeChant and King Paving. Bogner is a general contractor who specializes in large buildings and DeChant in waterways, tile work and site prep. DeChant buys base material for driveways and OR and N/304 for waterways. King Paving uses their 304 under roads because it is more cost effective than limestone. They especially appreciate that Alysworth’s stone has no lime residue that kills trees.
One of E.A. Construction’s newest products of interest is raw shale. Contractors are buying Alysworth’s 18-20-inches thick shale to place in pockets of mulch surrounding flowerbeds and waterfalls.
No stranger to waterways and waterfalls himself, Ellis teaches waterway classes at Wooster ATI and participated in the LICA (Land Improvement Contractors Association) Field Day 2002 at OSU (Ohio State University) – Lima. He worked with many other contractors to install 6,000 feet of systematic subsurface drainage tile, replace a tile main and complete five stream bank stabilization projects on campus.
Hang in There Tips
Kenny and his dad agreed that where it used to take from 3 to 5 years for a business start up to catch on, it now takes 7 to 10. They offered these tips to beginners:
• Read your lease agreements over carefully. They sign 25-year leases now or purchase the property.
• If you think it’s worthwhile, do everything in your power to make it fly. Go for broke, cut back on other activities and focus on your business. Justify your start up.
• Figure your start up, then double it.
• Attend industry events when possible, like quarry and mine shows.
• Keep business in the neighborhood – buy from people who buy from you and/or recommend you.
Quick Facts
E.A. Construction, Inc, 7013 S. Funk Rd., Shreve, OH 44676. Call: (330) 496-2531 or (330) 496-2618, or fax inquiries to: (330) 496-2874.
Founded 1993
Crusher : Trio 40 X 52 Impactor
Cat Loaders: 2-980’s, 2-235 excavators, a 225D excavator – from Ohio Machinery
Conveyor : 36-inch channel Kolberg-Pioneer 24 foot X 100 foot conveyer
Screens: Cedar Rapids 3 1/2 deck screens; 3-deck 6 X 16 Kolberg-Pioneer