Friday, April 1, 2016

Hey Grinderguy, what kind of questions do I ask when buying a windrow turner?

I gave a presentation at the USCC Conference in Jacksonville and was asked this question. Here are a few things you need to determine when sizing up Windrow Turners. Use them to relate to your situation:
·         How much material do you need to turn? Can you adjust your windrow size to be able to use a smaller turner? Why buy a 20’ Turner when a 16’ can turn the amount of material you need to turn? Most Turner specification sheets say they are able to turn 4000-6000 yards per hour. That’s a lot of material. So if you have the space, can you make smaller windrows and still turn what you need to turn?
·         Horsepower and Fuel Usage- See if smaller unit horsepower is sufficient to turn your material. The weight of Yard Waste is much less than the sludges or food wastes, so horsepower may not be an issue. The units running 600+ horsepower use a lot of fuel. Check fuel usage when you have demonstration.
·         Portability- If you need to move from site to site, make sure the unit doesn’t need to be taken apart or need permits that will limit your transportability
·         Drive System- Track or Wheels; try both for your situation. Check the cost of replacing wheels or track pads and links. Hydraulic driven drum or belt drive. Check the operational cost of both.
·         Automatic Control System- Can you let the machine maximize turning speed and load so the operator can concentrate on driving the unit?
·         Cab Features- Things like Charcoal Air Filtering keeps the operator cabin air clean. Bluetooth stereo with phone controls keeps the operators hands on the joysticks. Gauges easily visible limit any issues before they arise.
·         Safety- Ladders and platforms along with a ground entry cabin, helps operators and maintenance personnel work safely.
The main question to ask is the one to you. Can you make your material and site fit a particular size Windrow Turner and the cost of it?

Questions?         Dave Whitelaw                       

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