More than 75 years ago in Tennessee, Charles L. Blalock began a business endeavor that grew into Blalock Companies. Today, the companies started so long ago are still operating successfully, including divisions for highway and bridge construction, site excavation and utilities, asphalt paving and production, ready mix concrete production, concrete and precast construction, property development, and building material sales.

Asphalt Producer

It was 1963 when Charlie and his sons formed Charles Blalock & Sons, Inc. This venture was dedicated to road construction and became a major asphalt supplier in Sevier County, Tennessee.

The answer to long-term storage of mix rests in Astec's New Generation storage system.

With more than one asphalt plant currently in the Great Smoky Mountains area, being environmentally aware is a top priority, which means using the latest technology to reduce the impact on the surroundings. To meet this need and requirement, Will Smith, asphalt plant manager with Charles Blalock & Sons, made the Astec introduction to Kevin Blalock, vice president of Charles Blalock & Sons.

"We met with Don Brock and discussed the plant features and options that would be best for our location to meet environmental standards," said Blalock. "We aim to be good environmental stewards across all platforms of our business, from construction to plant design to utilizing recycled materials."

State-Of-The-Art Asphalt Plant

After finalizing the plant design, Charles Blalock & Sons purchased Astec's Relocatable 400 TPH (363 MTPH) Double Barrel® plant for the Park Road location in Sevierville, Tennessee.

The new asphalt plant features natural gas heating, recycled aggregate feeds, and grid power to minimize its environmental footprint while increasing output. Another key feature of the new plant is the four-silo configuration consisting of the 600 ton (544 tonne) New Generation storage system (two silos) and two additional 300 ton (272 tonne) silos. The silos increase the number of mixes that can be offered during a production cycle. This gives customers more options for their paving needs.

Long-Term Storage of Mix

Astec New Generation storage silos are designed to store mix for four days without loss of mix quality, with the exception of polymer modified and open-graded mixes.

  • Can be used as conventional surge bins during uninterrupted production or for long-term storage
  • 12 in (30.48 cm) of insulation at top of silos; 6 in (15.24 cm) of insulation along the cylinder; 4 in (10.16 cm) of insulation at the cone
  • Insulated cone design incorporates electric heating blanket
  • Fully enclosed, insulated batcher with manual grease seal
  • Oil-heated discharge gate

"We supply a majority of the asphalt on the Tennessee side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park," said Blalock. "Having the ability to store mixes maximizes the availability to provide materials to our customers on demand."

Prior to the New Generation storage system, Charles Blalock & Sons had not used long-term storage for its mixes. This adjustment meant learning new skills for productivity.

"Our operators had to learn to put the mix in at the right temperature," said Blalock. "Once we overcame the learning curve, the storage of our mixes has been fantastic. I would recommend to anyone looking into an asphalt plant and considering long-term storage to speak to Astec. We have consistently stored mix for up to three days knowing the silos could store up to four days."

Smith added: "We've sent operators and other staff, including myself, to Astec's Advanced Customer Schools to increase our knowledge and hands-on ability to make our plant as efficient as possible."

Other Benefits

According to Blalock, the Astec Double Barrel® plant is running RAP (reclaimed asphalt pavement) for various projects.

"The plant is equipped to run RAP up to 50 percent, which is what we used to pave our parking lot. The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) specs 35 percent in its mixes. We've been running at maximum capacity since we fired up the plant."

Smith explained further: "Other notable features include the variable speed motors, which have been a great benefit to us—not just on energy savings, but helping us control heat and production. We have the Self Cleaning System on the Double Barrel® drum mixer and it all but eliminates the buildup."

Long-Term Storage

Blalock continued: "As an asphalt producer working to maximize the potential job opportunities in a certain market or region, having the ability to produce various mixes is crucial, and so is the means for storing the finished products for availability upon demand. The benefits of having long-term storage silos can mean the difference between having a good year and having a great year; we're off to a great start."

For Smith, having a plant with the latest in technology has its advantages. "It's a good thing to not have to get up as early to make the mix; the storage silos are a time-saving feature we didn't have before and that's a good thing."