March 26, 2015 - Mines and process plants around the world rely on belt conveyors as essential to the efficient movement of enormous volumes of material. This cargo must be handled properly to assure the productivity. For that reason, Richard P. (Dick) Stahura Sr. has focused on the mining industries in his quest to control “Durt” and improve belt conveying.
“Durt” (spelled with a “U”) is Dick Stahura’s coined word for fugitive material that escapes from a material handling system. It is not to be confused with dirt (with an “I”), the commonplace word for everyday soil. “Durt” –with a “U”–arises as carryback, spillage, or dust that escapes from conveyors to increase cleanup and maintenance expenses, shorten equipment life, and otherwise damage an operation’s bottom line.
For more than 50 years, Richard P. Stahura Sr. has searched for “Durt” and spread the gospel of proper design and hardware to improve belt conveyors and the operations that depend on them. When Dick came to Martin Engineering in 1963, he brought the notion that if belt conveyors were to run longer, safer, and more productively, ways must be found to eliminate “Durt.” So he researched, developed, and applied solutions. As a result, Dick Stahura is now recognized around the world as the the leading expert on controlling carryback, dust, and spillage from belt conveyors.
He approached the problem from all angles, calling on conveyor engineers, corporate executives, and plant operations and maintenance personnel alike to demonstrate how changes in equipment and practices would improve results. During his calls on conveyor designers and end-users, Dick Stahura would leave behind notes and sketches, all signed with a quick self-portrait. This caricature eventually became adopted as “TC,” a widely-recognized trademark for Martin Engineering. The name “TC” was selected as a shortened form of THINK CLEAN®, Martin Engineering’s philosophy for improving material handling.
Dick Stahura is a pioneer, a spokesman, an inventor, a raconteur, an entertainer, and an educator. Dick has led us, challenged us, inspired us, dared us, scolded us, argued with us, nudged us, badgered us, and evangelized us. He has arm-twisted, bull-dogged, watched-dogged, and championed. He has convinced us all--inside Martin Engineering, and out in the industries we serve--to do what is right; that is, to do what is required to control fugitive material and improve plant environments.
He has given countless presentations, from over-the-tailgate of the pick-up truck sales calls, to speeches at international conferences. He is as willing to do anything--from showing you the proper angle for a belt cleaner blade by cutting a slit in his business card before presenting it to you, to showing off his new boots by dropping his pants--all in the interest of making his point, and of making that point memorable.
Dick Stahura has pioneered and patented a number of products, always making sure that they were engineered to withstand operations when conditions are in their worst state, that they were easy to maintain by relatively untrained personnel, and that they provided benefits that paid back the cost of the new system many times over. Belt conveyor components he developed like the TRAC-MOUNT® Skirtboard Sealing System and TRAC-MOUNT® Belt Cleaners have been honored by industrial recognition programs, and accepted in plants around the world. His products can be seen as the roots of many systems, developed by a number of suppliers, in the market today.
His message was always in the interest of helping the bulk material handling industries, from the mine face to the process plant and on to the end-user--receive the benefits of operations that were cleaner, safer, and more productive.
In recognition of this leadership and service to mining and bulk handling industries, Martin Engineering is proud to nominate Richard P. Stahura Sr. –a.k.a. Dick Stahura, or “TC”-- to a fitting place in INTERNATIONAL MINING’s Technology Hall of Fame.
See International Mining here.