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coopers
07-24-2008, 11:13 PM
How many people do or did screen topsoil and compost for profit? Not just screen topsoil but add various things to it like compost etc. to make it a rich topsoil to use for growing. I'm curious how you did it, what you used, how much of what (sandy loam, aged horse manure etc.) and how long you let things compost before screening it. Where I used to work I believe when our compost was made by my boss he used aged horse manure and something else but I can't remember.

Thanks

bobcat_ron
07-24-2008, 11:19 PM
We use horse poo, human poo, cow poo, sand, compost and green waste, then people get soaked for buying it, $200 for 13 tons.

stuvecorp
07-25-2008, 01:53 AM
I haul tear out dirt home and mix in leaves, sod, just about anything organic. After a year or two of moving it to keep the weeds down will run it through a screener and sell it. It has worked good for me for lawns. I would like to have a screener but just rent one.

Scag48
07-25-2008, 01:57 AM
A grizzly is a good investment, I think you could find one used for a couple grand. Get it set up to handle larger materia (6"+) and add screens for smaller material as needed. That way it's easier to sell if you ever do or if you ever want to screen larger items. Seems to me a guy could make some money doing that, I'm trying to get my old man to do it, the topsoil situation here is unbearable. Even the stuff at the pit isn't worth a damn, nobody wants to screen anything.

CAT powered
07-25-2008, 02:22 PM
If you're going to get into it bigtime you ought to invest in a good screen. Not one of these little tow behind your pickup rigs. You'll have to get permits and do some stormwater collection/treatment stuff, but it's worth it.

I've got a McCloskey 512R trommel screen and I can put over 60 yards an hour through it. Plus it has a remote control radial stacker so I never have to leave the loader.

coopers
07-25-2008, 11:54 PM
CAT powered, I like that! I think about it often, whether it's something I want to touch on or not. I did enjoy watching my boss screen topsoil and compost. I helped occasionally but usually was doing other stuff. I really like the McCloskey trommel screens, they look very nice. I was thinking that once jobs start rolling in to take excess stuff to my house and let organic material compost and start making a nice rich soil and compost. I've seen mushroom compost mixed in with topsoil or compost itself and it is VERY black and rich. At any rate, the McCloskey 412 trommel looks like a perfect size for what I would want to do. CAT powered, do you have any photos of yours? Did you get yours brand new, how has that screen worked out for you, no problems I assume?

Thanks

CAT powered
07-25-2008, 11:58 PM
I do have pictures in fact. The only issues I've had is the hydraulic drive motor on the fines conveyor tends to be a weak link. I bought my current one this year. It's got slightly over 1,000 hours on it and I just replaced the original fines conveyor motor. The pictures I have are with the drum out to shovel out under the drum where it built up after the conveyor stopped. I'm going to upload those pictures to photobucket now.

CAT powered
07-26-2008, 12:03 AM
Sorry for the double post, but I can't edit the other post.

http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l290/maj_massacre/Toys002v2-1.jpg
The dirt at the end there was all shoveled out from under the drum. The new drive motor shipped from Florida to Connecticut overnight was about 600 bucks.

http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l290/maj_massacre/Toys005v2-1.jpg
There's the machine as a whole.

I had a larger Thomas vibrating screen that I used to tow behind my triaxle, but it just didn't quite cut it.

The McCloskeys are the only way to go for screens as far as I'm concerned. I had a 512A before this screen and the 512A doesn't have a radial stacker like that. The radial stacker makes a huge difference in production. I feed that screen with a 3 yard loader. They'll run you about 50-60 thousand set up like that one is. They're made in Ontario, but there are dealers in a lot of places. I overnighted a motor from Florida because I had a client screaming at me about material and my local dealership wouldn't have one in until the next week.

CAT powered
07-26-2008, 12:22 AM
Sorry for the 3 posts in a row. My photobucket stuff is messing up now. Here's those pictures again.

http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l290/maj_massacre/Toys002v2.jpg

http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l290/maj_massacre/Toys005v2.jpg

When McCloskey says you can change out the drums in under 15 minutes they aren't lying. I take that ugly Dresser loader in the background there, put the forks on it, undo a bolt, open the front up, and lift the drum right out.

By the way that McCloskey actually is CAT powered.

coopers
07-26-2008, 12:28 AM
Huh, interesting. I saw on the brochure it's CAT powered, only time I'll have CAT. :) Are you pumping out material because you sell it to other locations? I know here there are some places that make their own everything! Some screen compost/topsoil to sell to smaller nurseries or bark/topsoil places that don't want to screen but just resell the stuff. What do screen mostly?

CAT powered
07-26-2008, 08:58 AM
I'm screening topsoil because I have a 2 year contract to deliver 5,000 yards of topsoil over those 2 years to a local public works department.

It takes me anywhere from 2-4 days depending on a lot of different factors to screen the material we need to haul in a week. The maximum they're allowed per week is 500 yards and we got them 520 last week even with the hydraulic motor dying on us.

If you do end up getting a McCloskey let me know. There's a few things I've learned on mine that I can let you know about that will save you tons of frustration.

allinearth
07-26-2008, 10:51 AM
Are you digging the soil right from the ground there or is it being trucked in? Is there a way to mix compost or manure in with that machine?

coopers
07-26-2008, 03:28 PM
CAT,

that's great that you locked in a contract with them. Are you adding anything to the soil to make it richer than just screened right from the earth? I know we added some sand for drainage, and a certain amount of compost in it to make it a tad more rich.

grassmanvt
07-26-2008, 07:57 PM
I haul tear out dirt home and mix in leaves, sod, just about anything organic. After a year or two of moving it to keep the weeds down will run it through a screener and sell it. It has worked good for me for lawns. I would like to have a screener but just rent one.

Ditto, this is pretty much what I do except that I have my own screen, well usually. I've had a thomas 300, two rawson 3618's and an older kolman. I still have two of them. The first two I used then sold for a pretty good profit. The box seemed to be the quickest in topsoil. Although the rawson (with a smaller screen) makes a beautiful product. Have always wanted a trommoel like the one pictured but can't seem to find one for the kind of money I want to spend. I can see where they would make a real nice product and with such a large screen area would eliminate a lot of the double screening I have to do, especially when its as wet as its been here. I usually get between 20-25 a yard plus delivery depending on amount purchased. I usually just do it in spare time and its there when I need it.

CAT powered
07-26-2008, 10:35 PM
Coopers: The superintendent of Public Works asked me "You mix any sand in with it?" so I asked if he wanted me to. His reply was "No. First load of that sandy @#%#$% you bring me you're done." In reality he has to give me a day to truck out the stuff he doesn't like and replace it with good stuff at my cost, but you get the idea. The material I've been giving them is straight from the earth topsoil that I scraped from where my new shop is going in. I've got a very loyal client that has 1,000 yards of topsoil that is mine for the taking as well.

Earthworker: As I said to Coopers the material I've been putting in is straight from the earth topsoil scraped from the site of my new shop. I've been loading it in as well as a few small topsoil stockpiles I've had weeds and all and it's come out beautifully. Currently I'm running a 1/2 inch screen in it. I suppose if you wanted to mix materials in it you could use a smaller loader or an excavator to load it. If you put in say 2 yards topsoil and 1 yard turds you could come out with 3 yards of topsoil and turd at the other end I suppose. I guess it would depend on how runny the horse's crap was that day. :laugh: If your material would all fit through the screen you're running it should all mix out pretty well. I know I've been scraping a little harder than I should've been and getting a little below the topsoil where the dirt is more reddish and clay-like, but it all ends up looking the same on the other end.

Sorry for the long post everyone, but I hope I've answered your questions and feel free to ask any more you might have about the machine.

If I needed another screen I would buy another McCloskey identical to that one in a heartbeat.

I had a RETECH trommel screen at one point. It didn't hold a candle to the McCloskey. With the RETECH you had to lift up on the front end with a loader or something to get it jacked up to hook onto a truck. The McCloskey has built in hydraulic cylinders on the legs in order to jack itself right up. I would say if I already had the dirt cleaned from on top of it and underneath it I could have that screen hooked to my Mack and gone in under 15 minutes. :cool2:

coopers
07-26-2008, 10:44 PM
CAT, thanks for the info. It helps a lot.

CAT powered
07-26-2008, 11:04 PM
Glad to help. I'll try to snag a few more pictures when the town puts in another topsoil order. If you weren't on the entire opposite side of the country I'd let you come try it out if you wanted.

Sorry for hijacking your thread completely by the way. Didn't mean for it to turn into me bragging about my screen.

coopers
07-27-2008, 04:25 AM
Yeah that'd be great if you can snag some more pics...That's a generous offer, I'd come try it out if you were not so far away!! Bragging is okay too btw if you know what you're talking about and have the experience, which you do. :)

stuvecorp
07-27-2008, 01:12 PM
I'm screening topsoil because I have a 2 year contract to deliver 5,000 yards of topsoil over those 2 years to a local public works department.

It takes me anywhere from 2-4 days depending on a lot of different factors to screen the material we need to haul in a week. The maximum they're allowed per week is 500 yards and we got them 520 last week even with the hydraulic motor dying on us.

If you do end up getting a McCloskey let me know. There's a few things I've learned on mine that I can let you know about that will save you tons of frustration.

That's a nice gig, if you can fit it in and still get your other work done.

stuvecorp
07-28-2008, 01:07 AM
Has anyone ever used an Orbit screen, the one with the big 'satellite' shaped screen? I have got alot of literature on it and pricing but it was way more then I wanted to spend.

I have used the Thomas screeners and for what they are it works okay. We have more sandy loam type black dirt.

I have some info on a Texmarc screener that was pulled behind a 350 sized truck but have never seen one for sale.

grassmanvt
07-28-2008, 10:02 AM
Has anyone ever used an Orbit screen, the one with the big 'satellite' shaped screen? I have got alot of literature on it and pricing but it was way more then I wanted to spend.

I have used the Thomas screeners and for what they are it works okay. We have more sandy loam type black dirt.

I have some info on a Texmarc screener that was pulled behind a 350 sized truck but have never seen one for sale.

For the money you can't beat a thomas. Although, they have gone up considerably and are a little harder to find reasonable now.