Morrisville, Pennsylvania-based C&D materials recycling firm Britton Industries has acquired several different types of Strickland attachments from Lumberton, New Jersey-based Ransome Attachments. A news release from Ransome calls Britton Industries’ acquisitions “part of a carefully orchestrated strategy” and part of an effort to improve the operational efficiency of the company’s four locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The C&D recycling firm, founded by Jim Britton in the late 1980s, furnishes the eastern Pennsylvania and central New Jersey landscaping and construction markets with aggregate products, screened topsoil, mulch and leaf compost. Britton has accumulated a variety of equipment over the years, and Britton says his philosophy was to buy inexpensive (often used) equipment from various sources to tackle projects as needed.
In early 2017, however, Jim Britton says he scrutinized his buying habits. “It’s a volume game,” Britton says of his operation. “We need to weed out the inefficiencies and keep plugging in new efficiencies.”
Britton says standardizing the brands, sizes and interchangeability of the equipment throughout the company’s locations was a conclusion he reached after his study.
The company began the standardization process by acquiring 17 wheel loaders and excavators made by Case Construction to distribute across his yards. He had the excavators fitted S-Type quick couplers made by Virginia-based Strickland US while the wheel loaders were outfitted with roll-out buckets and couplers made by Volvo Construction Equipment.
Having attachments that would be quickly interchangeable between machines was critical, so Britton approached Lumberton-N.J.-based Ransome Attachments to buy an assortment of Strickland grapples, stump splitters, pulverizers, and buckets. Ransome is also assisting with the replacement of roll-out buckets for the wheel loaders and hammers for the excavators.
Britton Industries has used an “infinite” number of attachment brands and sizes and has owned hundreds of pieces of equipment, he says. “I would put Strickland up against all of the brands we’ve worked with: design, durability, you name it,” Britton comments, “and I put my money where my mouth is.”
The Britton team engages in tasks such as breaking a five-foot hunk of concrete with rebar down to one-inch pieces, or turning an eight-foot-diameter tree stump into mulch. “The abuse these attachments take is extreme,” Britton says. “They’ve (Strickland) done a really good job with the engineering and durability.”
Britton says he considers serviceability even more important than the equipment itself and recognizes that each dealer has a different philosophy. Although his relationship with Ransome Attachments is new, he expects it to last. “Honestly, I wish I had been doing business with these guys 20 years ago,” he comments.
The equipment standardization process has resulted in the hauling of attachments, not machines, between facilities. Britton views this as the beginning of an ongoing quest to further eliminate downtime. His long-term vision involves having a comprehensive spread of Strickland attachments at each location to eliminate transportation altogether.
“You need to be able to nail your process down to the penny and make sure you’re using the same process in every location,” Britton says. “Now we have a standard and we’re going to expand on it.” With equipment utilization soaring from roughly 50 to 90 percent, it would appear his strategy is off to a positive start.
Ransome Attachments, an affiliate of Ransome Equipment Sales, was established to offer new and used demolition and recycling attachments including grapples, pulverizers and wood splitters. The firm has been a distributor of Strickland attachments since 2002.