Low cost but effective compost screeners

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by JDUtah, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Posts: 2,636

    Screening one or two yards at a time, hopefully several times per week. Eventually more than 2 yards daily.

    I will be doing the work this year... currently just shoveling it out of the back of a truck. I want it to be the fastest one man process that it can be. The roller is almost exactly what I want with the totes underneath.

    Basically, I want the screened compost to fill totes while the chunks are automatically dumped into a wheel barrow. I want the feed area to be just as high as the truck bed, and the dump end high enough to dump into a wheel barrow. Totes on the ground in between. Portability is important. I will have to wheel it maybe 20 feet from storage to use. Effectiveness is most important = keep the process going... I don't want to 'waste' time unclogging the screener. A little of the fine compost ending up in the wheel barrow is fine, it is just going to a compost pile anyway. I could see a shaker table having "clogging" issues? Maybe not?
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  2. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Posts: 2,636

    Also, I want it to work as fast as one man can shovel compost out of a truck bed. Standing around waiting for room to add more compost does not agree with my wallet one bit.

    Obviously there will be plenty of trial and error accompanied with redesigns but ya gotta start somewhere right? :)
  3. Mr. Nice

    Mr. Nice LawnSite Member
    from zone 7
    Posts: 155

    Bite the bullet....many hands are better then two in these situations.

    You need a dump truck..... incline the bed as you work?

    Here's a long shot, maybe setup a hanging screening square over a wheel barrel? what ever you make, do you plan on taking it to each job?

    Still it's alot of work doing all that but I know you need to start somewhere.

    There's no way for your supplier to re screen?
  4. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Posts: 2,636

    Supplier can't re-screen. Their equipment only goes down to 1/2".

    The screener will not be taken to each job... just stored in shop and moved to location when needed.

    Dump bed (even dump insert) will be obtained asap, but not yet.

    I now have a sweet concept for the efficient one, but like you said, I gotta start somewhere.

    Shaker table like the video just might be it...
    Or rig a decent drill to the simple roller screener...

    I really really want one man. It is important. My shop guy will be solo when things are fully operational...

    btw, thanks for the help
  5. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,584

    I would expect the jigsaw or drill would burn out rather rapidly. Get the most powerful motor you can afford rather than spending money and then spending more to upgrade.
  6. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Platinum Member
    from zone 6
    Posts: 4,234

    Looks like way too much labor, makes Soymeal and a shot of 123 compost tea look really good.
  7. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Posts: 2,636

    lol, soymeal and 123CT... hmmm, that would negate one of marketing campaigns...

    I doubt you would consider it lots of labor once I am functioning at full speed (including my own composting)
  8. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    Didnt look at the video, poor internet speed, but looking at the pic, it looks to be bike rims with hardware cloth. Neat ideal. I dont think you really need to concern yourself with gear reduction. it would look like to me to use the smallest pulley you can find on the electric motor, (I suggest an old cloths dryer motor) and with the belt running all the way around the bike rim, you will have a pretty good reduction already. If the speed is still to fast, you can always rig up a jackshaft using two pillowblock bearings and a couple of lawn mower pullies. Maybe $25, it doesnt have to be hi tech. As for torque, I dont think you will be able to load enough compost into the screen to bog it down, it should be turning and screening as you load it

    I think if I was going to build this screen, (and I am seriously considering the project),I would build a loading shute to shovel the compost into, letting the compost slide into the screen drum.
  9. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    Salvaging an old dryer is an AWESOME idea. I will take a picture of the make shift temp job I did with the 55 gallon barrel soon. My rig is to screen sand for topdressing, but screening compost is a good second use for the same unit.
  10. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Posts: 2,636

    I missed that suggestion before.. but nice! hmmm, then I would have to run power there... or are dryer motors 120V? hmmm... time to do some searching.

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