Wake stone

The customer will then stop by our weighmaster to either pay for the material or receive a scale ticket so that their sales account can be charged. The average time the customer is in the plant picking up a load of crushed stone, getting weighed, and getting their sales ticket is only about 6 minutes!


Wake Stone Corporation has a long history of providing educational opportunities for local schools. The Knightdale Quarry welcomes well over a thousand students every year to learn about the mining industry and how it operates, as well as a little bit of local geology. Students range in age from 1st grade to graduate level college students. For more information about school field trips, or to schedule a visit to our Knightdale Quarry, contact Cole Atkins by email at coleatkins@wakestonecorp.com.

Mining is an essential part of our every day lives. Imagine the difference in our quality of life without metals, paint, plastics, medicines, glass, wallboard, vinyl, brick, roofing tile and shingles, minerals for agriculture, and more. If it can’t be grown, it has to be mined. Crushed Stone in particular is the foundation of our nation’s infrastructure. This basic resource is essential for building highways, roads, sidewalks, bridges, houses, shopping centers, parking lots, schools, hospitals, airports, and railroads. Below is a brief explanation of the process of locating, opening, and operating a crushed stone facility.

First, management begins the search for potential quarry locations with the help of company geologists. The key challenge is to locate large enough tracts of land with adequate road accessibility, suitable geology, and a nearby market demand for stone products. Geologic map studies, ground investigation, test drilling, and even chemical analysis may be required before moving forward to develop a new site. Land acquisition or lease agreements may be made, and then the process of obtaining the necessary local, county, state, and federal required permits begins. This process alone can take many months or even years to complete. Finally, construction of processing plants and removal of overburden (the dirt and weathered material that sits on top of most rock) can begin.

Once an initial pit/mine area is established, large drills are used to bore holes down into the rock 40 or 50 feet deep. Many holes are drilled over a certain area, and then all holes are loaded with explosive material. Everyone is then evacuated from the area, except for 1 or 2 people who stay behind and get inside a steel enclosure we refer to as the “doghouse”. From inside this enclosure about 50 feet from the blast area, the explosives are electronically detonated, fracturing the rock into sizes small enough to load into haul trucks (large dump trucks) that then carry the material to the primary crusher.

Wake Stone uses modern explosives and blasting technology to start this first step in producing stone products, focusing on safety, efficiency, and the environment. Carefully engineered drill patterns and electronically timed detonation sequences ensure that the rock is sufficiently fractured while minimizing dispersion and ground vibrations.

Once the rock has been blasted, hydraulic shovels and loaders begin placing the fractured rock into haul trucks, which carry the material to the primary crusher. Wake Stone uses pit dump trucks that can haul up to 65 tons of rock at a time. Typically, several haul trucks are being constantly loaded, often from more than one area in the pit at any given time.

The primary crusher is a large machine capable of crushing rocks from 1 to 5 feet across down to about 6 to 8 inches at a rate of up to 1800 tons per hour. At this size, the rock can then be transported by conveyor to additional processing equipment, including smaller crushers, sizing screens, rinse screens, and eventually to stacking conveyors that discharge finished products into stockpiles.

Most crushed stone processing facilities also separate their plants into at least two circuits. The primary circuit is usually separated from the secondary circuit by a “surge” pile. The surge pile is a large pile of material with a tunnel, conveyor, and feeder underneath. This allows the circuits to run independently, either building up the surge pile for later processing or operating the secondary circuit from material that has been previously stacked. This system allows for maintenance of equipment without interrupting production, as well as allowing plants to operate efficiently with smaller, well-trained crews.

Processing plants are often complicated systems of dozens of conveyors, 3 to 4 crushers, and various sizing screens that route and re-route material throughout the plant. Most plants can produce several different products, including erosion control materials, road base, and different specifications of “clean stone” (asphalt and concrete materials, and filter stone materials), all simultaneously. Larger plants can produce over a million tons of stone products per year.

Finished products are stockpiled either by truck or conveyor into separate piles determined by the size or combinations and percentages of sizes (gradation) that make up the particular product. Customers trucks are then loaded from the stockpile by wheel loader. Customers then drive across one of our bridge scales to be weighed, so that we can calculate how much material they are purchasing by subtracting the weight of the vehicle.