Toss, turn and tumble for topdress
Canadian composting champion relies on a Bobcat telehandler to tackle the dirty work
The extended reach capabilities of the V417 telehandler is a requirement for loading the compost mixer with raw materials.
Dr. John Paul digs waste … literally.
The Canadian soil scientist and Ph.D. got involved in the process of transforming organic matter — waste otherwise destined for garbage bins or succumbing to natural decomposition — into beneficial plant products well before composting became in vogue. Paul, a pioneer of sorts in the development of technology used to convert discarded waste into rich soil amendments, started his quest in 1985, persevering and perfecting compost methodologies and recipes for more than a decade before founding Transform Compost Systems Ltd. in 1998.
Today the Abbotsford, British Columbia-based company produces a variety of composted products, including topdress, organic fertilizers and worm castings.
“We provide chemical-free solutions to gardening needs produced in a socially and environmentally acceptable manner,” Paul says. “Being concerned about the chemicals we use and their impact on the environment is something we all need to care about.”
The company’s decade-long relationship with their local dealer, Bobcat Country, also located in Abbotsford, began in 2000 when Paul purchased a used compact track loader. In the years following, he also rented several Bobcat® equipment models for specific projects. Then, in early summer 2011, his Bobcat equipment sales representative approached Paul with another idea.
“My salesman understood our needs in terms of size and height requirements, and transporting a machine to and from the site,” Paul says. “We also needed a machine with the capabilities to add finished compost to the top of a 10-foot-tall compost windrow. The V417 telehandler fit all the criteria.”
The V417 telehandler was selected in part because it fit into a container for security and could easily be transported with a 1-ton truck. It also had the capability to reach up to 12 feet to help with building composting windrows. Paul’s Bobcat sales specialist recommended the large grapple attachment to extend the functionality of the machine, capable of carrying more than 2,200 pounds of waste.
Since the V417 telehandler joined Paul’s existing fleet of Bobcat equipment, he has put it to work in a number of capacities, including preparing compost blends, building windrows and crowning existing windrows with additional layers of organic waste materials more efficiently. The machine also comes in handy for placing covers over the windrows.
“The extended reach is important for loading our compost mixer,” Paul says. “We also really like the simple entry access and exit to and from the cab, and the convenience of having all the operating controls on one hand. It also has great visibility, something that is critical when adding material to the top of 9- to 10-foot-tall windrows.”
No more waste of time
Transform Compost Systems’ staff of four also appreciates the wide selection of attachments that extend the functionality of the V417 telehandler. The two attachments most often employed by Paul and his crew are the bucket — with 2.5-yard capacity — and grapple.
“The telehandler has greatly increased our productivity,” Paul says. “We use the bucket for most of the loading work, and the grapple allows for much more efficient handling of compost bags. It has also increased efficiency by allowing us to use just one unit for the majority of our needs.”