Ener-Con, Inc. stakes its claim as the largest wood recycling company in the state of Wisconsin, specializing in making high-quality landscape mulches for large landscape companies and garden centers.
Strong seasonal demand requires a reliable high-production tub grinder that can consistently produce high-quality mulch. The solution came in the form of the Vermeer TG9000 tub grinder that packs the power for large wood processing applications and features a large 11-ft (3.4-m) tub opening.
“The TG9000 is very consistent, very reliable and very high production. We have been upward of 1,400 yds3 (1,070.4 m3) per hour of finished product through that machine,” said Jeff Justman, co-owner, Ener-Con, Inc. “It gives us an advantage over our competition. It can almost do the work of two machines. If we didn’t have the TG9000 on our site, we would have to rely on two more workdays per week, which we don’t have in the busy season.”
Getting more done leads to more time at home
The TG9000 provides optimal cutting performance with its patented Series III duplex drum.
“It is faster than anything I ever ran. I can barely keep up with it,” said Kyle Wolf, manager at Ener-Con, Inc. “Working with other machines, the day just dragged on. I had to work 14 or 15 hours a day. Now I get out of here in nine hours and I have twice as much done. The Vermeer TG9000 tub grinder gives me a lot more time at home.”
A powerful 1,125 hp (838 kW) Tier 4 Stage V engine and a smooth, 63-in (160-cm) belt that enables high-volume product removal help Ener-Con get more work done every day with its high production tub grinder.
Grinding inconsistent source material is no problem
Paper mills and sawmills provide Ener-Con, Inc. with a steady source of material. But every supplier has a different procedure for removing bark, which results in inconsistent source material that varies widely in size. The tub grinder needs to be able to handle this material and produce a consistent end product. The TG9000 rises to the challenge.
“The consistency of the product is great,” said Justman. “We don’t worry about going back and looking for spears or inconsistency in our product. Everything comes out perfect the first pass through the grinder.”
Ultimately, minimizing the need for second passes during the grind process saves Ener-Con, Inc. time and labor.
Big versatility for such a big machine
Despite its large size — the TG9000 comes in at just under 12 ft (3.7 m) wide — positioning this high-production tub grinder on the jobsite for maximum productivity is convenient, especially with the remote-controlled conveyor.
A radial stacking rear discharge conveyor oscillates 60 degrees, allowing the operator to place processed material where it is needed without moving the machine. At first, Justman questioned whether the remote-controlled conveyor was going to be a useful feature. He had been grinding for 30 years and never considered adding a remote-controlled conveyor.
But this feature quickly proved its value by allowing the conveyor to be swung from side to side when loading with two machines. It also makes it possible to precisely line up the conveyor in tight yards.
“Now that I have it, it’s one of the greatest tools ever,” Justman confirmed.
A relationship supported by more expertise
After running competitive units for nearly 25 years, Ener-Con, Inc. converted to Vermeer grinders due to the diligence of their local dealer, Vermeer Wisconsin. Recycling and Forestry specialist Brad Van Rheenen became an important asset to the Ener-Con, Inc. team.
“Grinders are a unique animal,” explained Justman. “A lot of people are not familiar with grinders. It’s hard to just call a repair shop and have a grinder fixed. It’s nice to have a team close by that can answer questions and help with repairs. Brad is always there.”
Brad draws on 30 years of experience visiting mulch facilities and applying what he has learned to help improve customer efficiency. He knew the TG9000 tub grinder was the right machine for Ener-Con, Inc. because it’s primarily a re-grinding operation and a tub grinder is the right tool for re-grind. The gravity feed system minimizes maintenance in this type of operation and there are no infeed chains to maintain.
High-production tub grinder makes a statement
Anyone familiar with grinders can quickly identify a brand by its unique color. During a plant tour at the Vermeer manufacturing facility, Justman learned that Ener-Con, Inc. could order a custom-colored machine. This was an opportunity to differentiate the company from its competition.
“We wanted to make a statement,” said Justman. “We wanted something that would be bold and strong. We decided to paint it black.”
While the color makes a statement to customers, the Vermeer TG9000 has also made an impression at Ener-Con, Inc. When comparing actual performance to the wish list, it checks off all the boxes of what they wanted in a high-production tub grinder.
“When the machine arrived, it was everything I wanted it to be. The operation of it is very simple. The maintenance is very simple. Everything about the machine is great,” said Justman. “Vermeer has a great dealer network, great service, great support, a great sales team and great parts availability. I wouldn’t even consider looking at another brand of grinder now.”
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.
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