• 6/4/2016
  • By Doosan Infracore North America LLC

Business: Westside Rock
In business since: 1997
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
Doosan machines: DL450-3 and DL300-5 wheel loaders
Doosan dealer: Feenaughty Machinery

Oregon quarry owner John Malnerich benefits from knowing and working with loggers in his state. He regularly sells them rock for constructing roads to their logging sites and some have become friends he turns to for advice.

A few years ago, when Malnerich asked some of these friends about their Doosan log loaders, he recalls that all of the responses were similar: They spoke very highly of the machines — well-built, reliable equipment supported by excellent dealer service.

“I thought that if a company has one line of products that is good, there’s a chance its other machines will be good as well,” he says. “I was in the market for a new wheel loader and, based on those recommendations, the Doosan brand was worth a look.”

After a visit to Feenaughty Machinery in Portland, Malnerich returned to his company, Westside Rock in Hillsboro, Oregon, with a DL450-3, a wheel loader he believes is perfect for the quarry business.

“Both the DL450-3 and the loader it replaced were capable of loading a dump truck in two trips, although the other loader was somewhat larger,” he says. “The big difference is fuel consumption. The DL450-3 uses 35 gallons during a nine-hour shift and the other (brand of) machine consumed 85 gallons. Both machines did the same amount of work. That’s a staggering savings of 50 gallons of fuel per day.”

Malnerich’s son, J.J., who operates the wheel loader, reports that the machine has excellent visibility, is exceptionally quick and productive, and very comfortable to work in during his nine-hour days at the controls. In the peak season, he loads as much as 7,000 tons a day.

At times, the firm’s newest Doosan wheel loader, a DL300-5, comes over to help keep up with demand at the quarry. The machine normally works at Westside Readymix, Malnerich’s concrete company in Forest Grove, Oregon, three miles from the quarry where the durable, dark-colored rock (Columbia River basalt) is mined. It is popular among contractors and residential clients alike. “This quality rock product has been a tremendous help to the business,” Malnerich says. “Everyone wants to buy good rock.”

Respecting residential customers

While Westside Rock has a substantial commercial business, Malnerich takes great pride in servicing his company’s residential customers.

“Those people were an important market when I started the company and, as a result, I like to keep taking care of the local folks,” he says. “Many other quarries sell their rock to a landscape service or a landscape supply company, but I want to work directly with individual homeowners.”

Several hundred residential customers typically purchase about five loads of rock a year, making that portion of Malnerich’s business more than worthwhile.

“That’s something our employees recognize, too,” he says. “They know most of our private customers and will go the extra mile to help them. For example, it takes us about three­and-a-half minutes from the time someone comes in for a load of rock until they are on their way. I’ve heard that it can take up to 30 minutes at some other quarries. My guys are focused on getting the customer in and out quickly.”

The DL450-3 wheel loader helps make that happen.