Atlas Tree Surgery chose more grinding, less waste

When CEO Rich Kingsborough founded Atlas Tree Surgery in 1982, they started out doing residential tree work. Now the company has about 300 employees and several service divisions: residential and multifamily, heavy commercial, and mulch and recycle facilities. Recycling has always been important to the business.

“We’ve been recycling our material for almost as long as I’ve been in business. I’ve always looked at what we call ‘waste’ as more of a commodity. I’ve always wanted to recycle everything that we could from our tree activities. The first step in that is to incorporate grinding,” says Kingsborough.

Other grinders couldn’t keep up

Boy, do they grind. On a single jobsite, Atlas is grinding 200 tons a day, 6 days a week. That’s why they rely on Vermeer horizontal grinders, tub grinders, whole tree chippers and mini skid steers to help keep their operations running reliably and efficiently. Atlas has bought six grinders from Vermeer. Kingsborough and his crew especially like the Vermeer HG6800TX horizontal grinder.

“We’ve tried other grinders, and it’s just not the same. It’s an amazing machine and the guys love running it. They’d be very upset if I changed brands on the grinder,” says Kingsborough. “If I can give them machines to make their jobs easier and more productive… then that’s what we’re going to stick with. The employees are happier. They’re excited to get up and go to work because they know they have the best machines doing the work.”

We needed more and that’s why I chose the HG6800TX. We love it. We absolutely love it. The design of it is wonderful.

Atlas Tree Surgery CEO and Founder Rich Kingsborough

Built with ease of maintenance

The grinder keeps up, log after log. “It goes through like butter most of the time. And the maintenance on the machine is the best,” says Jackson Goad, an equipment operator with Atlas.

“Inherently with a grinding operation, dust and powdery substance settles on every nook and cranny of the machine if it’s not maintained and cleaned off. They’ve designed this machine (the HG6800TX) so the engine compartment and the hydraulic lines are always covered. It’s really easy to maintain, so that in itself saves hours of maintenance every day,” says Kingsborough.

More grinding and minimal maintenance means Atlas Tree Surgery can focus on the job and recycle more trees. “We’ve had nothing but great response from customers … knowing their tree in their front yard is not just going to be cut up and thrown away in a dump. They are 100% recycled,” says Heavy Equipment Manager Todd Eisenhauer.

The right machines to do more

In addition to their HG6800TX horizontal grinders, the crew at Atlas Tree Surgery uses a TG7000 tub grinder and a WC2500XL whole tree chipper. Employee Kadin Cuellar shared, “The WC2500XL has saved our crew a considerable amount of time and can get a job done in a matter of hours that would take another chipper a week. If this chipper disappeared tomorrow, the job simply wouldn’t get finished,” says Cuellar.

Atlas Tree Surgery invests in machines for the long-term advantages. “We don’t mind spending a little bit more money on stuff, if we know we’re going to make it back up over the life of the machine,” says Eisenhauer. He says Atlas has demoed machines from other manufacturers, and they always come back to Vermeer. They come back because of the quality of the machines, and they come back because of the service.

Service seals the deal

The crew at Atlas Tree Surgery knows they can rely on their dealer sales representative, Dave Steege, recycling account manager at Vermeer RDO. Kingsborough says Steege knows the machines inside and out. “If he can’t get a service rep out, he’ll come out himself and work on it,” he says.

Kingsborough added, “The support of Vermeer has been outstanding … you could have the best machine in the world, but if you don’t have the support behind it … you’re stuck.”

If you want to see how much more your operation can do with a Vermeer horizonal grinder, tub grinder or whole tree chipper, talk to your local dealer.

This article contains third-party observations, advice or experience that do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Vermeer Corporation, its affiliates or its dealers. Testimonials and/or endorsements by customers in specific circumstances may not be representative of normal circumstances experienced by all customers.

Vermeer Corporation reserves the right to make changes in product engineering, design and specifications; add improvements; or discontinue manufacturing or distribution at any time without notice or obligation. Equipment shown is for illustrative purposes only and may display optional accessories or components specific to their global region. Please contact your local Vermeer dealer for more information on machine specifications.

Vermeer and the Vermeer logo are trademarks of Vermeer Manufacturing Company in the U.S. and/or other countries. © 2022 Vermeer Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

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