When it comes to a working relationship with a drilling and blasting company, quarry operations are looking for a company that they can trust. For Brox Enterprises, Inc., Methuen, MA, Maine Drilling and Blasting (MDB) tops the list. “We have been working with Maine Drilling and Blasting for nearly 30 years,” said Doug Perry, Brox Materials division manager, during a recent visit to the company’s Dracut, MA facility. “We use them in all four of our quarries, this one in Massachusetts and our three in New Hampshire.”
Perry explained that all of their drilling and blasting work is sub-contracted to MDB because of the unfailing way that MDB meets their drilling and blasting needs. “We haven’t run out of rock (for production needs) since we began using MDB. They are extremely reliable. They use the latest technology and if they need to bring in more drills to meet our production needs, they have them on site promptly. They were the first blasters in the area to use electronic detonators.”
“MDB does pre-blast surveys and seminars for the neighbors surrounding our operations,” he went on. “They hold consumer conferences to help educate the residents near our quarries. They’ve even created training videos that they have provided to nearby home associations on our behalf; so that the residents would have a better understanding of what was taking place when we were blasting. At this location, we have three nearby associations. There are approximately 250 homes in the area. We have 130 people on our call list that receive calls to let them know that a blast will be taking place. We also have local fire department officials here as observers. MDB is extremely safety conscious. If there are any complaints from people in the area, an MDB safety person contacts the individuals to handle the inquiry for us.”
When it comes to laying out the blasting patterns and doing the on-site drilling, Perry said Brox makes the suggestions as to what they are wanting to do at any particular site and then they follow MDB’s lead. “They are the experts,” he said. “They determine the pattern size and drilling specs, the timing of the shot, the products they will use, that sort of thing. We trust them completely.”
Perry said MDB has someone on site daily from mid-March to the end of November to do the drilling and blasting. As we approached a new bench that has been under development for a short time, Perry said the surface work will be completed in early 2016 and that area of the pit will begin being mined at that time. A driller was busy drilling a pattern for the next blast.
“Much of the aggregate from our plants goes to supply the ten asphalt plants that we have at nine locations throughout out the region,” he noted. “Maine Drilling and Blasting will be drilling and shooting about 2.5 million tons of material for us in the coming year, with over one million tons coming from Dracut plant alone. They do a great job. We really trust them to get the job done.”