screening topsoil/compost

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by coopers, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. coopers

    coopers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,224

    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
     
  2. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,084

    We use horse poo, human poo, cow poo, sand, compost and green waste, then people get soaked for buying it, $200 for 13 tons.
     
  3. stuvecorp

    stuvecorp LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,213

    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.
     
  4. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,068

    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.
     
  5. CAT powered

    CAT powered LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,185

    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.
     
  6. coopers

    coopers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,224

    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
     
  7. CAT powered

    CAT powered LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,185

    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.
     
  8. CAT powered

    CAT powered LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,185

    Sorry for the double post, but I can't edit the other post.

    [​IMG]
    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.

    [​IMG]
    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.
     
  9. CAT powered

    CAT powered LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,185

    Sorry for the 3 posts in a row. My photobucket stuff is messing up now. Here's those pictures again.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  10. coopers

    coopers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,224

    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?
     

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