Hidden Treasures in Your Job-Site Debris
Among the many tasks inherent in getting a job site ready for engineering and construction is doing something with the construction-and-demolition materials created as a result.
While many jurisdictions require recycling of the C&D materials—as well as imparting restrictions on burning it—instead of shipping the materials offsite to be reduced to mulch, aggregate, or fill for someone else’s use, some companies are processing it onsite for onsite use.
Trendsetter Construction is a Gladewater, TX–based construction company that started out building house pads and, in the early 1990s, began to expand into oil field work. The company also constructs athletic fields. Client sites range from 2 to
“We were generating a lot of greenwaste on our sites, and it was costing dearly to have someone come in and grind it or haul it to a landfill,” says Joe Glover, the company’s safety director, who also oversees its recycling operations.
The company’s managers saw a need to recycle the waste and purchased its first CW Mill Equipment Co.’s HogZilla grinder.
“We saw it was a better alternative than taking the stuff to the landfill and filling up our landfills with greenwaste debris,” says Glover. “We would grind it and send it off mainly for biomass fuel.”
Trendsetter now uses the HogZilla to grind onsite and offers grinding services at its Tyler location, with the capability to grind up to 700 tons of debris per day.
“When we don’t want to bring our mobile grinders out and grind it, we’ll bring all of our greenwaste to one central location,” Glover says. “We’ve opened it up to public and let all of the tree trimmers and construction companies bring all of their greenwaste debris to us. We charge a small tipping fee and give the folks of Smith County an alternative place rather than going to the landfill.”
While the majority of what Trendsetter grinds is used for biomass fuel, a good deal of it is processed for horticulture and landscape mulch. The company also does composting onsite.
The resulting mulch products are sold to wholesalers and distributors in bulk for erosion control, landscaping, biomass fuel, animal bedding, and related purposes.
Additionally, the company offers live-floor chip trailer services where as much as 130 cubic yards of material can be transported and unloaded at any site.
Using the greenwaste as mulch for erosion control onsite is becoming an increasingly popular practice, Glover notes.
“In the past, every time we went out and cleared a 10-acre site, we’d grind it all and haul chips off for biomass fuel. But a lot of our customers are shifting to using it for erosion control on the location,” he adds.
Glover’s company also had a client where the onsite material was used to remediate soil by using the material to solidify different liquids before taken to the landfill.
While burning the waste has been a practice for years, many Texas municipalities are now banning open air and trench burning, notes Glover.
While that can be the less expensive way to deal with the waste, he concedes, and a method against which he cannot economically compete, it does not cost that much more for his company to grind it and leave it onsite or take it to his company’s recycling center.
“The impact on the environment is better,” he adds.
For those jurisdictions that require recycling, Trendsetter assists clients by giving them estimates of the quantities of material that will be recycled so they can take those numbers to the community to demonstrate that “while you’re going to lose some trees, you’re making that a marketable product that normally had been burned years ago,” Glover points out.
His company favors the HogZilla for its quality, Glover says.
“Price is always an issue, but it’s not the only issue,” he says. “Other companies will use a half-inch piece of steel; HogZilla will beef it up and use a 1-inch piece of steel.”
Glover also likes that the parts are locally available.
“You don’t have to wait two weeks for them to ship from another state or from overseas,” he says. “You can pick your parts up and you’re back up and running if you do have a failure.”
The speed offered by HogZilla brings efficiencies to his company’s operation, Glover says.
“You can sit on one spot and grind and produce 2,500 to 3,000 yards and never move the machine, never move the material,” he says. “It’s a user-friendly machine.”
CW manufactures 14 standard HogZilla models, ranging from mid-sized to large units, including self-propelled, track-driven, and self-loading units.
The TC models use a torque converter to drive the adjustable hammermill. The HC Series grinders feature a hydraulic coupling or optional torque converter, and the WC series is designed to offer the features of the other models in a smaller package. CW Mill also makes a track-mounted HogZilla Tub Grinder.
With the cost of diesel fuel increasing, the company’s electric-powered grinders have become more popular for their increased efficiency and reduced maintenance needs, says company president Tim Wenger.
Wenger notes that while an increasing number of end users are taking the material they’ve ground up offsite for compost or mulch in response to the demand for wood material in the housing slowdown, others are applying it around the perimeter of the property for erosion control or use it to build roads on the property.
Right-Sizing in the Northeast
Cavaliere Industries is a 60-year-old construction company in Stamford, CT, that uses a mobile onsite-crushing unit to perform various onsite crushing and recycling projects throughout the Northeast.
“The one main benefit of crushing waste material onsite is to reduce trucking and dump fees normally associated with the waste concrete and rubble,” says D.J. Cavaliere, the company’s co-owner. “There our obviously many more benefits. As our industry forges ahead into the ‘green’ movement, you can open the eyes of people when you look deeper into the benefits of our environment and fuel consumption.
“By crushing onsite, you may eliminate the need for numerous dump trucks to haul out rubble and import virgin material to a site,” Cavaliere says. “The comparison from operating one crusher to as many as 10 trucks in an eight-hour shift is staggering, from the wear and tear on local roads to maintenance on a dump truck and then even more in-depth would be the exhaust emissions from 10 trucks to only one crusher.”
|Photo: CE Attachments
Static asphalt cold planer
|Photo: CE Attachments
An asphalt cold planer in action
Another favorable point is the insurance liability of operating dump trucks over the road and eliminating the risk of accidents, Cavaliere adds.
The company has always used Rubble Master products.
“We feel that the Rubble Master is one of the finest-engineered units on the market today,” says Cavaliere.
“They have infused ease of operation, maintenance and safety all in one machine. Their fuel economy to production is unmatched, as well as the cost per ton to maintain and operate.
“The fact that the Rubble Master be easily transported to a site in one load and set up for crushing in less then 30 minutes has increased our percentage of winning bids because we do not spend much time setting up.”
Alexander Taubinger is a sales manager for North and South America for Rubble Master Americas, which manufactures mobile compact recycling crushers and screens.
“One of our main concerns is to supply our customers with mobile and highly versatile equipment,” says Taubinger. “Mobility is a big issue, because 80% of the time these guys do a lot of onsite crushing, starting at 500 tons, usually up to 10,000 tons. They do not necessarily use their machine at one location are all the place.”
Land clearing and parking lots are the primary work sites for those who use Rubble Master systems, Taubinger notes.
Recycling and onsite reuse means eliminating costs in labor and trucking costs, Taubinger says.
One of the favorable aspects of the Rubble Master crusher is its diesel electric drive that helps operators derive fuel savings.
“We are talking 6 to 6.5 gallons an hour versus 16 to 20 gallons on other machines which are diesel hydraulic,” says Taubinger.
The machine’s noise levels also make them idea in urban areas, he adds.
“We have an end user in Orlando, FL, who’s working in the middle of a housing area, and the only reason why he has the job there is because ours is the most quiet and most environmentally friendly crusher or recycler,” Taubinger says.
Right-of-Way Action in West Virginia
Travis Lint, large equipment sales manager for Bandit Industries says there are a lot of tough jobs being done by contractors in the mountains of Pennsylvania and West Virginia using the company’s Beast recyclers (horizontal grinder) and track chippers to clear forestry and process the waste onsite.
According to Lint, there is a definite trend toward track-mounted machines. “The rough terrain dictates that it would be virtually impossible to clear the land with towable units,” Lint says.
One of those contractors is Tom Cogar of Cogar Right-of-Way Clearing Inc. in Webster Springs, WV.
Cogar’s company focused on the logging business until 2008, when the housing downturn forced his company do go in another direction.
“We jumped into land clearing for Marcellus gas because it’s a boom around here on the East Coast now,” Cogar notes. “It was a godsend; we would have been out of business if we hadn’t done that and jumped into the right-of-way clearing business.”
Now his company focuses on gas-line right-of-way clearing, although employees are also found working on sites for windmills, power lines, and rail lines, as well as a streambank stabilization project for DuPont on the Ohio River.
“We’ve done more than 200 miles of right-of-way clearing for the gas lines this year,” Cogar says. “2010 was a record year and 2011 is also going to be a record year for us in business.”
To help his company execute these numerous jobs, Cogar depends on Bandit products. His company has the 3680 Bandit Beast horizontal grinder; a 3090 track chipper; two 2290 drum-style track chippers; a 1900 and two 1850 disc-style chippers on tracks with knucklebooms on them.
The company also has a tow-behind system and access to Cogar’s brother’s 4000 stump grinder.
All of the waste that Cogar Right-of-Way Clearing processes stays on the site for onsite use, primarily for erosion control.
“The chips will hold the water and sand back to a certain extent,” Cogar notes. “Most of the time our material stays on the right of way. Because we’re on such rugged terrain, it’s so hard to get it out. That’s the reason why we have the track chippers is because of the mountainous terrain—you can’t get the material out to where you can get a truck to it.”
Economically, it makes more sense to keep the waste onsite, Cogar adds.
“You only get $40 a ton tops for it, and you spend more than that in producing it,” he says.
Cogar says he chooses Bandit products for their availability, parts accessibility, pricing and service.
“Not too many people are making track chippers for the rugged terrain,” he adds.
Attachments to Meet Omnivorous Diets
Many of the products of CE Attachments can be used to process construction waste onsite, notes Ron Peters, project manager for CE Attachments.
One such product is the cold planer, which allows contractors to grind up asphalt and reuse it for fill, road repairs or on the shoulder of the road, Peters says. The attachment comes in standard flow, high-flow, and high-flow heavy-duty.
The company’s rotary mowers enables contractors to cut up 2- to 3-inch diameter saplings and create mulch.
“It looks like wood chips lying on the ground when you’re all done,” Peters says.
The rotary brush mowers come in widths from 48 inches to 90 inches for standard or high-flow hydraulic systems. The brush mowers have a direct-drive hydraulic motor, requiring 8 gpm–40 gpm, and a heavy-duty stump jumper.
Greenwaste can be handled by the mulcher attachment, Peters says.
The standard-flow Edge Brush Mulcher attachment is made for land-clearing applications on low-flow hydraulics. It’s equipped with a safety pusher bar to push brush or small trees down and allow the mulcher teeth to contact the lower portion of the brush to mulch it up to one inch below grade.
The remainder of the plant is mulched as the machine moves through the working area. The mulcher has 104 carbide-tipped teeth and is designed with four staggered rows of teeth around the circumference that cut into and mulch wood material as it moves into the rotor.
A pressure gauge on the back of the mulcher allows the operator to monitor hydraulic pressure, and a relief valve in the hydraulic circuit prevents overloading of any drive components.
The Bradco Stump Grinder by Paladin Construction Group attaches to skid-steers for landscaping, construction, and maintenance stump removal needs. Choose from cutting depths up to 10 or 12 inches below ground with a multidirectional tooth pattern that permits cutting from side to side and vertically. Optional square-threaded single-bolt teeth or shark style universal bolt-on teeth are available. Both standard-flow and high-flow models have proven heavy-duty gearbox drives with torque arm motor support for longer motor and drive system life. The offset design offers excellent visibility and can be used in tight spaces around buildings, homes, trees, and other obstacles. The built-in grouser pads provide cutting stability and grip for uneven ground and hillsides.
The stump grinder provides a 60-degree swing arc geometry and can cover 45 inches in a single sweep. An adjustable speed control allows the operator to adjust the speed of the swing and lift functions to achieve maximum
Easy access to all drive components allows for quick maintenance while the quick attach mounting plate allows for easy hook-up and disconnect. The SG26 standard-flow model requires 14 gpm to 22 gpm and has a 26-inch-diameter cutting wheel, allowing for up to 10-inch cutting depths. The SG30 high-flow model requires 29 gpm to 44 gpm and has a 30-inch-diameter cutting wheel, allowing for up to 12-inch cutting depths.
A Big Appetite for Greenwaste
The Peterson Pacific Corp. manufacturers horizontal grinders from 550 horsepower to 1,200 horsepower, depending on the application. They come in both a wheel and track version.
“Our horizontal grinders are particularly good at producing any sort of a greenwaste—trees, brush, stumps. Pretty much if it grew in the ground and it’s green, we can reduce it,” says Michael Spreadbury, marketing manager for the Peterson Pacific Corp.
“We have a variety of screens or grates that we run after the machine to size the material to what the spec is,” Spreadbury says. “If they just want to knock it own, we’ve got large grates with a 6- or an 8-inch opening. We can go down to a 1- or a 2-inch, but that would typically be for a mulch application. For just initial land clearing, we’ve got big grates to reduce the
There are some companies in the land-clearing business doing pipeline work that are using Peterson Pacific Corp.’s drum chippers, Spreadbury says.
“We make a tracked and a wheel version of the drum chipper, the 4300 and 4310,” he says. “If they were doing a pipeline job and were cutting a 100-foot wide section of forest out to do a pipeline job, they need something where they can quickly process the material and move on.
“For trees, they can quickly run through that material and blow it onto the edge of the forest. That’s very quick and efficient. However, it won’t do stumps. You have to have something else to handle that. The horizontal grinders are the best bet for doing basic ground clearing.”
Ground material or chip material can be run through one of the Peterson Pacific Corp.’s blower trucks.
“They can blow that material—especially a mulch—into an expandable sock,” Spreadbury says. “Filtrexx is a company that we would typically work with, and that sock can come in sizes from 1 foot to 3 feet in diameter. They’ll fill that material and use it for erosion control.”
Peterson Pacific Corp. is supportive of onsite waste processing for onsite use, Spreadbury says.
“Anytime you’ve got to handle it or truck it or move it, it’s going to cost you money,” he points out. “Our philosophy is that it’s cheaper to move the machine on the site, especially if you have a tracked version that you can move from pile to pile. You can quickly process it even if you’re putting it down on the ground. It’s a green solution without having to incur the additional expense of handling that material two or three times.”
Breaking Boulders Into Bite-Size Chunks
Lee Horton, president of Leading Edge Attachments, says his company’s Multi-Ripper Bucket and High-Cap Multi-Ripper bucket allows contractors to rip rock, frost, coral, or stumps.
“It breaks it into smaller chunks versus having to, in some cases, break up big rocks or pry up boulders,” he says. “If there is a big boulder in the ground, you can rip it apart for the most part. It allows you to get down to workable-size pieces instead of having to pry out a big slab and try to load them in the truck.”
Contractors can break the material up immediately, he says.
“If you’re a utility contractor ripping the rock and turning it into smaller pieces, you can collect that, and if you are laying a pipe, you can use that material for rock bedding and backfill instead of having to haul it somewhere to be ground up,” he says.
There are several economic advantages to processing waste onsite, Horton points out.
“It depends on the size of the job, but normally if you’re pulling out slabs, boulders, or big chunks of rocks, and you’re having to process them, it would save you the time to process the material to either haul it somewhere or to break it up further on the site and then even screen it because our Multi-Ripper breaks it into uniform size pieces.
“Unless you need to screen it down to little fine pieces into different textures, you can break it down into a workable part,” he says. “You’re saving from having to process the material. Our Multi-Ripper is four times faster than a hammer and it’s seven to 10 times faster than a single- pointed ripper.”
Leading Edge Attachments also makes the Single Pointed Ripper Bucket.
“It’s like a single-pointed ripper, except it’s a very steep V bucket. If you’re a utilities contractor and you’re digging in rock and you have to lay utilities or pipes, putting in irrigation systems or sprinklers or cables or lines, it will rip through the rock and instead of having to take out an entire rectangular trench to clean down to the bottom where you then have to lay the pipe in there and then backfill with broken material to lay the pipe on and fill it all back up, it cuts a nice V shape in the rock and then it saves on the amount of ripping because you don’t have to rip the corners out of the bottom of the trench and it saves on the material you’re backfilling with in the rock. If you’re laying lines through rock, the Single Pointed Ripper Bucket saves a lot of money.”
Carol Brzozowski specializes in topics related to stormwater and technology.