On young shoulders
Adam Slusser loves his job. And why not? At 34, the aggregates plant manager of the CEMEX Balcones Quarry in Texas oversees the largest producing quarry in the US and has used a hands-on approach to learn all there is to know about aggregates.
How did you get your start at CEMEX Balcones quarry?
I actually went to school for actuarial science. I even took the first actuarial exam, passed that and did a couple of interviews for actuarial jobs, but I think that they could tell that I wasn’t really into being an actuary. I graduated from Penn State and moved to Austin, Texas. After four years of landscape construction, I applied here to be a quality control supervisor at the quarry. They liked my statistical background for that role, and I was hired and started learning about aggregates. I got addicted to aggregates as often happens with people in this industry. Either you love it or you hate it. I love it.
What’s it like to be plant manager at such a large operation?
This is the largest producing quarry in the United States for the past six years in a row. This quarry has a hundred-year life, and right now sits on about 2,900 to 3,000 acres that comprises that hundred-year reserve life. Ultimately, as plant manager, you’re the person that’s responsible for everything.
Adam Slusser bio
Title: Aggregates Plant Manager
Hobbies: Religion, Pennsylvania State University sports, reading and research
Family: Married four years; two sons
under age 3
So, I’m out in the operation on a daily basis, looking at everything and helping the guys to be successful with what they do. I’m 34 years old and I’m a plant manager of the largest quarry in the United States. There’s a great support team here. I help them out whenever possible, and in return they have my back.
How has Sandvik equipment improved productivity at the quarry?
We have two Sandvik CH660 cone crushers in our new wash plant, and we have the ASRi system on our cones and the electric dump valve system for uncrushables. We also have the offline filtration system that constantly filters the lube oil, ensuring that we almost never have to change the oil. I think we’re at the top of what Sandvik offers with these crushers, and they’re performing well. Very well.
What is the most enlightening aspect of your work here?
A: I’ve learned everything about aggregates on the job. I’ve gone to the Quarry Academy seminar and CEMEX has sent me to a lot of training sessions, internal and external. That’s all been extremely helpful. But really, I’ve learned the most from being out in the operation and seeing how everything works. That’s the best way to learn