Comparing stationary and mobile crushing systems


While crushing can be simplified as “turning big rocks into little rocks,” the process to achieve the end result can take a number of different paths.

Stationary and mobile crushing equipment are two solutions producers can turn to. A number of producers incorporate both kinds of equipment to allow for added flexibility within their operations.

But, when making a purchasing decision between stationary and mobile crushing equipment, Wirtgen Group‘s Evan Haddix says each offers advantages and disadvantages that producers must consider.

Key considerations

For starters, the processes around stationary and mobile crushing are somewhat different.

With stationary crushing, materials are blasted, loaded, transported, crushed, processed and stockpiled for inventory. Stationary crushing processes often require no further size reduction, meaning material is ready to be hauled quickly.

Utilizing either rigid or articulated heavy trucks to transport materials is beneficial, Haddix says.

This allows aggregate operations to easily adapt under changing conditions.

Mobile crushers offer short planning and installation time, reduced in-pit transport costs and added on-site flexibility, according to Wirtgen Group’s Evan Haddix. Photo: kozmoat98/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

With mobile crushing, however, the truck haulage is eliminated.

In this application, material is blasted, crushed and then conveyed or stockpiled directly at the mine face.

“This method (mobile crushing) is putting a primary crusher at the mine face and then conveying to the plant,” says Haddix, who serves Wirtgen Group as technical sales manager.

By utilizing a conveyor to transport material, Haddix says mobile crushing can provide higher efficiencies compared to the heavy-duty trucks within a stationary crushing application.

Utilizing a conveying system to transport material also makes it easier to manage high gradients, Haddix adds.

“As your mine develops and your quarry gets larger, [mobile crushing] becomes much more efficient than hauling,” Haddix says.

Still, Haddix says the capital cost of conveyor systems is higher than the initial investment required for heavy-duty trucks.

But despite the larger upfront investment, Haddix says a used mobile crushing plant is much more resaleable compared to a stationary plant.

Additional benefits of mobile crushers include short planning and installation time, reduced in-pit transport costs and added on-site flexibility, Haddix says.

Mobile equipment can also be more easily relocated to serve different projects, he adds, and it’s adaptable for small or large jobsites in a range of applications.

“It’s much easier to change the process if you need to add equipment,” Haddix says. “So if you need to add a secondary or tertiary crushing phase, you could more easily do it than you could with a stationary plant.