Building Legacies from the Ground Up
24 Jul

Building Legacies from the Ground Up

Rice Lake’s durable RoughDeck® AX-1 axle scale helps Endicott Brick optimize truckloads of their industry-leading products that build legacies from the ground up. 

THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY IS AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH WITH RECORD NUMBERS OF RENOVATIONS, EXPANSIONS AND NEW CONSTRUCTION NEEDS AROUND THE WORLD. The 2021 construction boom was sudden and unexpected, resulting in material scarcity and greatly increased costs. It remains to be seen how high the crest can rise or how long it will last but inevitably, the craze will subside. While Endicott Brick has seen countless peaks and valleys come and go over the past 100+ years, they are not in the business of anything temporary. Endicott manufactures the highest quality of brick products, built to last for generations and never go out of style. When the company decided to upgrade their 40-year-old mechanical axle scale in 2020, they chose a solution which mirrors their own durable products—Rice Lake’s RoughDeck AX-1 axle scale. 

Founded in 1920, Endicott Brick is logically headquartered in Endicott, Nebraska. The company specializes in architectural brick—primarily utilized by schools, churches, businesses, high-rises and stadiums across North America. Their prestigious sports clients include the Atlanta Braves (Truist Park), University of Minnesota Golden Gophers (TCF Bank Stadium), Indianapolis Colts (Lucas Oil Stadium), Green Bay Packers (Lambeau Field) and just about every other team playing in a classic-style brick residence.

Endicott’s unmatched brick quality is a result of uncompromising dedication to excellence as well as their unique geographic location. Positioned on land rich with clay, Endicott owns and operates four mines—allowing them to secure brick’s main ingredient themselves. Not only is the clay deposit plentiful, but “The clay has a natural ironspot color, which is usually the preferred aesthetic for most architects and designers” explains Russ Slater, mining supervisor for Endicott Brick. 

After it is mined, clay enters Endicott’s hammer mill, which grinds it into a fine and consistent powder. Next, a pugmill forms and shapes the material which is cut to size before entering a dryer for approximately two days. During this time, any remaining moisture is removed. Once complete, bricks are fired at 2,200°F to complete the manufacturing process. Before leaving the factory, bricks are strapped to pallets and loaded onto flatbed trucks. However, it is sometimes challenging to optimize truckloads that are close to, but do not exceed, the 80,000-pound highway weight limit. This was becoming increasingly difficult due to an aging mechanical axle scale that had far exceeded its prime. 

“We reached out to Rich Lincoln from Scale Sales and Service,” Slater remembers. “They have done our scale maintenance in the past and are always great to work with. When they recommended Rice Lake’s AX-1 axle scale, I didn’t need to look any further because their recommendations are always what we need for the long run.” 

Scale Sales and Service proposed the AX-1 axle scale because of its durable construction and space limitations at Endicott. The area where the scale was needed could not accommodate a full truck scale due to nearby brick storage. Also, because Legal for Trade certification was not needed, the more economical AX-1 was a perfect fit for the application. 

Endicott constructed approaches and an 18-inch cleanout area beneath the scale to remove any gravel or debris buildup. “It was easy to put in and has been trouble-free,” Slater says. “There are a lot fewer moving parts than our old scale. One thing I found interesting is we can pick up and move the scale to another location if we ever need to. We could just add portable ramps to use it in a temporary location. It’s an appealing option. Although I don’t foresee moving it anytime soon, our company is always evolving and adapting. As soon as I say we don’t need to move it, I’ll probably get a call tomorrow saying we need to move the scale.” 

Southern Nebraska sees a wide array of weather, from above 100°F to below zero. The AX-1’s heavy duty steel construction is designed to ensure performance under even the harshest conditions. “That scale is out in the elements.” Slater remarks. “It’s used year-round and needs to be up to the challenge. That’s the main thing out here. It has to perform…and it does.” 

Each element of Endicott Brick is key to its enduring success, from the equipment and materials to their hard-working employees. Indeed, Endicott has many similarities to the bricks they produce: When all the pieces come together, it is nearly indestructible. Just as one brick relies on another for overall strength, Endicott relies upon the AX-1 axle scale. Together, they are ready for whatever the future holds and many generations to come.