Shaw Brothers provide the aggregates and know-how to drive Maine construction

Shaw Brothers provide the aggregates  and know-how  to drive Maine construction

RockRoadRecycle staff writer

Shaw Brothers Construction, Inc. is now firmly established as southern Maine’s premier contractor for site development, heavy construction, highway, infrastructure and utility projects. With a significant bonding capacity, its work spans the transportation sector, local municipal infrastructure, underground utility work, airport work and commercial site development. Furthermore, it provides the region with quality aggregate resources from more than a dozen permitted gravel pits and quarries.

Shaw Brothers’ success is a direct result of its hard working and experienced personnel, its vast fleet of up to date equipment and its abundant aggregate resources. This expertise not only drives New England construction, but is now also being channeled into worthwhile causes via a charitable foundation.

Humble beginnings

Shaw Brothers began in 1977 with two brothers, two employees, one backhoe and a handshake. The company began with the same principles that it lives by today: work hard, satisfy the customer and respect the people you work with. The company now has more than 250 employees, hundreds of pieces of equipment and has completed thousands of commercial projects, ranging in value from $5,000 to $20 million, spanning a roughly 100 mile radius around Portland, Maine.

It is not just its contracting arm that drives Shaw Brothers these days, as the company now owns more than a dozen active pits and quarries in southern Maine. The company also sells many recycled products including screened loam, erosion control material and three sizes of reclaim made from crushed bituminous concrete, brick, concrete and gravel.  The major stone and recycled aggregates sites are located in Gorham, Dayton, Windham, Westbrook Freeport, Wales and Buxton as well as numerous smaller locations around the state. From these locations Shaw Brothers is able to provide materials for its own jobs and for other contractors, developers, towns and retail customers.

Utilities contractor

One of Shaw Brothers’ first projects goes back to 1977, when the company performed public utility construction for New England Telephone. Since then, Shaw Brothers project supervisors have leveraged their vast experience delivering results for Central Maine Power Company, Portland Water District, Fair Point Communications, Maine Natural Gas, Portland Pipeline and countless other local water and sewer districts. With its experience, knowledge, equipment and exemplary safety record, Shaw Brothers is now perfectly suited to tackle any underground utility project. “Shaw Brothers has been one of CMP’s ‘go to’ contractors for many years. They are reliable, professional and consistently demonstrate a customer-based focus. Dealing with the team at Shaw Brothers is a pleasure and their work has always been exemplary,” said Marc D. Geaumont, Portland Service Center manager, Central Maine Power Co.

Other contracting work

Shaw Brothers has also completed projects ranging from small site packages for local businesses to multi-acre corporate campuses and distribution facilities for national chains. Its experienced personnel have developed expertise at working in urban areas within extremely tight footprints. This expertise combined with its state of the art GPS enabled equipment has enabled the company to become southern Maine’s premier contractor for a broad variety of site work projects. This investment in the latest GPS equipment includes 16 base stations, 18 rovers, 10 machine controlled boxes, 2mm lasers and advanced network capabilities. The Shaw Brothers team works as the general contractor — or as a subcontractor — for a wide variety of general contractors and construction managers operating in southern Maine. The commercial site work experience includes shopping plazas, medical buildings, parking garages, school and corporate campuses, factories and bottling plants.  

Crushing and screening contracting

Shaw Brothers was the first contractor in northern New England to purchase a track mounted portable crusher with a magnetic separator. This has grown to now include 10 portable crushing plants, eight of them on tracks, enabling the company to work at multiple sites simultaneously or maximize material processing throughput at one large site. Track mounted portable crushers enable the company to recycle materials on the project site, so it does not need to haul construction demolition debris somewhere else for processing. In many cases, recycled aggregate can be used on the same project to further minimize transportation cost to and from the site, thereby minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.

Demolition and recycling

Crushing and screening contracting is directly related to Shaw Brothers’ expertise in recycling demolition and other construction materials, as safe and efficient demolition requires specialized equipment and unique skills and experience. Shaw Brothers is fully equipped with a fleet of late model hammers, pulverizers, grapples, shears, loaders and dump trucks to take down almost any structure quickly and with minimal impact to the surrounding environment.

The company has been involved in many different types of projects and proudly states that is has taken down any kind of structure that can be imagined, proving especially adept at managing waterfront demolition, including ferry terminals, mill buildings and dams. “Shaw Brothers’ staff, workforce and equipment are second to none. Our relationship over the years was built on trust and respect, things we must earn every day. While we may not have always agreed, we understood each other’s positions and were willing to negotiate to resolve any issues. Shaw Brothers has been one of my mentors, colleagues, associates and friends,” said Frank Meader, Portland Water District.

What’s more, Shaw Brothers has the means to recycle a wide variety of demolition debris at its DEP-approved recycling facilities, or onsite with its portable crushers. Working hand in hand with the onsite recycling capabilities of its portable crushers are 10 of Shaw’s recycling pits that are DEP approved to accept bituminous pavement and concrete demolition materials. These materials are processed (crushed) and sold as recycled aggregate products to be incorporated into a variety of construction projects. Shaw Brothers is also approved to accept stumps and wood debris at six of its pits, where the company grinds and recycles them into DEP-approved erosion control material to be used on project sites or sold to customers.

Aggregates production

Shaw Brothers owns more than a dozen active pits and quarries in southern Maine, totaling approximately 1,700 acres of DEP-permitted resources. Here the company produces, uses, sells and delivers more than 20 types and sizes of aggregate throughout southern Maine. Products include unscreened and screened sand, private gravel to any MDOT material spec and crushed stone. In addition, many recycled products are now produced and sold, including screened loam, erosion control material and three sizes of reclaim made from crushed bituminous concrete, brick, concrete and gravel.


Latest addition to the armory

Shaw Brothers has a relationship with Astec Industries and its subsidiary companies going back  many years. It now uses a variety of Astec and Telsmith equipment, with the very latest addition to its equipment fleet being a 400 ton per hour Astec asphalt plant. This plant is permitted to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is said to be the most environmentally friendly plant in New England. The plant has eight virgin cold feed bins and three RAP bins, four 200 ton heated silos, an Illinois Fines System, double-barrel drum drying and mixing technology all powered by natural gas. The plant is capable of servicing all of Shaw Brothers needs along with those of its customer base, and through it, manufactures Maine DOT spec, Superpave hot asphalt mix designs (including 9.5mm, 12.5mm, and 19.0mm) and custom asphalt mix designs.

New advanced crushing plant

Even though the company has an extensive fleet of mobile equipment, the real star and the main provider of high quality aggregates is Shaw Brothers’ newly installed Telsmith-supplied crushing plant. Located in Gorham, Maine, the plant was built on a new 37 acre paved site to reduce cross contamination and contains 4,099 feet of conveyors.  The extensive conveyor system also reduces emissions from trucking and loading equipment and has the ability to stockpile over 800,000 tons of various stone and gravel under the radial stackers.

The crushing and screening plant is equipped with a Telsmith 4448 Giant jaw crusher, two Telsmith T400 cone crushers, three triple deck 8×24 Vibro-King TL screens and a Nesco DustoPro water spray system. In addition, Telsmith also supplied Shaw Brothers with three 42×84 vibrating pan feeders, a 60×24 vibrating grizzly feeder, a 4448 modular support structure and rockbox dump hopper and the plants electrical system.

The key component at the heart of the plant is its 4448 Giant jaw crusher. The Iron Giant™ is available in two sizes, 4448 and 5060, with the 4448 weighing 126,000 lbs. (57,154 kg) and the 5060 weighing 191,000 lbs. (86,638 kg), respectively. Iron Giant™ jaws are designed with a long crushing chamber that provides both high volume crushing and aggressive crushing action to deliver reliable performance even with the hardest materials, such as basalt.

To lower maintenance costs and maximize uptime, the Iron Giant™ jaws incorporate maintenance features not normally found in jaw crushers, such as replaceable liners that are built into several areas to protect major components from wear. Safety is engineered into every Telsmith piece of equipment, with one of the main safety features of the Iron Giant™ being its trouble free wedge lock adjustment system, which is safe even after years of service in the toughest operating conditions.

When the need arises, in order to begin adjustment, hydraulic cylinders do the heavy work of unlocking the wedge and moving the beam forward. Easy to handle lightweight shims are then used to fix the setting. Hydraulics then drive the wedge in place, firmly locking the beam into position. No special tools are needed to carry out the adjustment. The wedge lock system also incorporates a unique tension spring bracket that moves with the beam during adjustment. This saves time by eliminating the need to reset the spring each time the crusher setting is changed, getting the operation up and running quickly.

Telsmith’s Iron Giant jaw crusher and the other components of the aggregates plant were chosen by Shaw Brothers as Telsmith is considered to be easy to work with and has a good handle on stationary equipment. In addition, Telsmith was able to act as a one stop shop for providing their equipment, electrical, conveyors, parts and service. “We were very impressed with Telsmith’s equipment and their sense of urgency on this project. You can tell they stand behind their products, and we can get the parts when we need them. They are good people who know what they are doing,” commented Danny Shaw on Shaw Brothers’ relationship with the suppliers of its flagship aggregate plant.

Shaw family foundation

Business is important, and in many cases it’s a way of life. However, Jon and Dan Shaw have now created a non-profit private foundation called the Shaw Brothers Family Foundation.  This was set up to share the success of Shaw Brothers Construction by giving back to the community.  The foundation will be used to support recreational, agricultural or other charitable causes, acquire and preserve farmland in the town of Gorham and construct and maintain a community recreational park and trails for walking, riding and snowmobiling, as well as operating an educational farm providing land for a future farm market to sell local foods.  The foundation’s vision is quickly coming to fruition through the purchase of a 258 acre parcel of land on Route 25 in Gorham.  A large part of this parcel has been cleared for hayfields and currently trails are being constructed.  This development should be an enormous benefit to the town of Gorham, its citizens and the surrounding communities.

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