Grinding value from organics: Komatsu Forest

Grinding value from organics: Komatsu Forest

Peterson’s 2710D grinder is powering through wood waste in Queensland’s Atherton Tablelands.

Since 1981, Peterson has specialised in the development of processing equipment that turns low-grade material into high value products.

Specialising in solutions for organic materials, Peterson understands that high-quality equipment is critical to opening up end-markets and extracting value from waste.

Equipment manufacturer and distributor Komatsu Forest is similarly minded, and in 2010, became an official Australian dealer of Peterson equipment.

“In 2009 Komatsu Forest recognised the need to expand its product range to meet developing changes in the hardwood chip market,” Brett Jones, Komatsu Forest Managing Director, says.

“After a market search Komatsu Forest found the Peterson chippers and grinders to be global market leaders in technology, which fitted with the Komatsu Forest product mix and market strategies.”

The timing proved right, Brett adds, with Peterson also looking for a committed distributor for their chippers and grinders in the forest and green waste markets to take them to the next level in Australia.

“This led to several meetings with the two companies appreciating the benefits each had to offer and thus signed a dealer agreement on 1 October 2010,” he says.

The original focus was mobile debarkers and chippers for the blue gum export chip industry, which has proven to be successful over the last 12 years.

It wasn’t long before enquiries increased for the Peterson Horizontal Grinder range, however, due to its strong history in North America.

In early 2011, Komatsu Forest sold the first unit in Australia, delivering a Peterson 2710C to NSW-based business Tripodi Transport.

While Australia’s grinder industry is rather small, Komatsu Forest has been successful in selling 25 units – with the 2710 being the most popular at 18 units.

The latest Peterson 2710D sale was to Luke Jones of Jones Forest Management and Haulage in June last year.

Townsville-based Jones has worked in the forestry industry for over 25 years, making his start in his father’s business in 1996, before he and his wife Belinda established Jones Forest Management and Haulage in 2006.

Much of his work involves site preparation for HQP including clearing, spraying, inter-row spraying and mulching, as well as harvest work. In total, Jones has three harvest crews and around five silviculture teams working in Tasmania and Queensland’s Atherton Tablelands.

Ever on the lookout for new business opportunities, Jones recently took possession of a Peterson 2710 Grinder, which has already clocked up in excess of 800-plus hours on railway lines, pipelines and land clearing.

“We do a lot of site preparation and this is an addition to give us some better opportunities at other jobs,” Jones says.

“A lot of the jobs in North Queensland require grinding, so hopefully there will be enough work to keep it working.”

The Peterson 2710D is designed for operations requiring high production and frequent moves between jobs.

Heavy duty and mobile, the 2710D has outstanding production throughput for a machine of its size.

Additionally, 2710D’s large feed opening is ideal for processing odd sized feed stock.

Measuring 153 x 81 centimetres, when boosted by Peterson’s high lift feed roll, the feed opening’s maximum lift of 112 centimetres is amongst the largest in its class.

The 2710D also features a large grate area that enables it to produce materials to exact specifications.

“It’s a good size, easy to move around, plenty of power, and easy to look after and maintain,” Jones says.

“And Komatsu Forest are great to deal with and we’ve dealt with them for years now.”

Peterson’s powerful up-turn three-stage grinding process provides better fracturing of material to produce a more consistent product.

A quick-change multiple grate system makes it easy to customise grate configurations to produce a wide variety of finished materials, with grates removed through an easy-access door on the side wall.

Furthermore, the grinder’s impact release system protects operator investment, with airbags providing uniform grinding and protection from contaminated feedstock.

According to Jones, he would not have looked elsewhere for his grinder purchase.

“It was the Peterson and that was it,” he says.

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