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Pattison Sand Commissions New Tunnel Feeder Plant


Pattison Sand Co. (PSC) is commissioning a $2.2 million tunnel feeder plant to enhance its aggregate production facility in Clayton, Iowa, while improving quality and response time to customers.

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PSC has long been known for its innovative approach to problem solving. The project has been under development for 16 months.  

The tunnel feeder idea was born from rapid growth in its aggregate and sand business resulting in hiring 200 new employees. This brought on new challenges including a shortage of resources causes by the immediate demand for high-quality aggregate materials at its multiple transload sites throughout the state.

This project features a 500-tph conveying system that allows PSC to directly load high-quality, dolomitic limestone into rail cars without requiring additional material handling, manpower and equipment. 

“This project fits the mold of our company by pushing the boundaries of normal aggregate business practices in Northeast Iowa and improves how our aggregates are produced, handled and delivered,” said Chance Harvey, director of engineering.

The project consists of a 300-ft.-long tunnel and conveyor system by TCI Manufacturing out of Walnut, Ill., installed below grade with three inlets and one drive-over hopper section for haul trucks. The combined system conveys material to a state-of-the-art rail car loading structure.

The three inlets allow PSC to build surge over any of these areas while running independently. This innovative approach provides the ability to stockpile different grades at different times.

The drive-over hopper section will allow PSC to quickly adjust loading products staged on site. The new plant features a large 33,000-sq.-ft. concrete slab that will hold up to 8,000 tons of stockpile capacity. The segmented slab gives PSC greater ability to maintain high-quality control standards, while avoiding pile contamination and material handling breakdown.

The overhead rail car loading system is fitted with a 50-ton surge hopper to improve efficiency while moving railcars. This hopper will continue to fill as the cars are moving, increasing efficiency while reducing the amount of time required for load out.

“Our team is committed to providing superior quality aggregate at the most competitive prices. This new tunnel feeder facility is one more example of that commitment,” noted Kyle Pattison, company owner.