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Robert Jacobs Incorporated:


Family businesses are the lifeblood of America, but with tough economic times small companies face many challenges. Bobby Jacobs, manager of Robert Jacobs Incorporated, an excavation company outside Cincinnati, Ohio, has followed his father’s secret to success.

Continuing a 70-year-old family business is no simple task. Founded by his grandfather, Robert John Jacobs, and expanded by his father Robert Lee Jacobs, Bobby Jacobs took the reins in 2009.

“We are a small, family-centered company built on traditional values.” Bobby Jacobs; Manager, Robert Jacobs Incorporated

“We are a small, family-centered company built on traditional values,” Bobby Jacobs said. With around 16 employees, the company focuses on residential and commercial dirt work. “We do a bit of everything from digging basements and readying building sites to hauling topsoil.” Looking to capitalize on a business opportunity, Jacobs turned to Columbus Equipment Company and an Astec GT440 Mobile HSI (Horizontal Shaft Impactor) Crusher Plant.

Jacobs attributes the continuing success of his company to the foundations laid by his father and grandfather. “My father has always said success depends on the people that surround you.” Jacobs believes working hard by day and then choosing to hang out together after work has cemented an incredible team where each individual is personally invested in the success of the business.

Robert Jacobs Incorporated’s Astec GT440 Mobile HSI Crusher Plant relentlessly stockpiles crushed shale into 3,000-ton cones. Along with larger aggregate, liners and rubber chips, the finely-crushed shale is used as an effective surrogate for clay to line a large, new landfill cell.

However, the success of a business goes beyond its employees. Long-term success depends on those companies and products that function in a supportive role. “I owe this chapter of my life and success of the business to Columbus Equipment Company, the great group of guys there, and their knowledge and expertise related to the reliable equipment they offer,” Jacobs noted.

Working with an expanding, landfill operation, Jacobs’ team put their Astec GT165 to work screening clay for the cell lining. Running out of clay, the landfill turned to its abundant, onsite shale deposits. Shale is an acceptable liner when crushed to meet state specifications.

“The Astec 165 dirt screener has been reliable and performed as advertised, and the Columbus Equipment team has been just as reliable. With the opportunity to expand into crushing, I looked to Columbus Equipment Company and Astec first,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs presented the job specifications to Material Processing Sales Manager Jesse Garber, who believed the GT440 would match the job well. Aggregate Specialist Danny Loughran, Product Support Aggregate Specialist Josh Lovett, and Garber went to work on the specification to ensure the machine met the staterequired-sized shale. The team also took a hard look at the economics of the job by crunching numbers to help Jacobs place a realistic bid and ensure the GT440 would become an asset for the business. “The team went above and beyond for me,” Jacobs said.

“The Astec GT440 has performed great. We are surpassing the state requirements for shale size.” Bobby Jacobs; Manager, Robert Jacobs Incorporated

Jacobs outbid two competitors for the six-figure job, and Robert Jacobs Inc. expanded its business to include crushing.

“The Astec GT440 has performed great. We are surpassing the state requirements for shale size thanks to Danny’s expertise in making adjustments; everything has progressed smoothly,” said Jacobs.

This particular machine has important versatility making it ideal for Jacobs and other excavation companies, noted Garber. “Capable of crushing and screening, with a detachable onboard screen plant, the GT440 is able to crush different types of aggregate meeting specifications for various applications. A closed-circuit enables aggregate to return to the crusher ensuring size specifications are met,” he added. “The hydraulic-driven rotor allows speed adjustments to finetune product size and enables better serviceability and greater access to the rotor. In addition, this machine can run multiple operations from one power plant since you can attach an additional stacker.”

“Transportation to the site was simple since the machine folds up and is legal road height. All the shale must be under 2 inches, ninety percent needs to be under 3/4 inch, and 51% or greater of that has to pass through a 200-sieve. Basically, we crush the shale to powder. When we first ran the machine, the particles were not fine enough. With adjustments to steepen the screen slope and tweak the rotor speed, Columbus Equipment helped us exceed specs, running from 55% to 63% passing the fine sieve,” Jacobs said. “All the capabilities of this machine combine to save fuel and reduce man-hours. Producing approximating 200 tons of shale liner an hour with no waste, the machine is a great asset and has opened doors for us.”

Jacobs is looking forward to purchasing his next piece of equipment. “Columbus Equipment Company is invested in the success of businesses they serve. One phone call and they are here. Everything they do, they do it right.”


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