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Komatsu Forest cuts through the daily grind

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If Jeffries Group finds something good, it sticks with it. Which is why, says Managing Director Martin Jeffries, the fourth-generation family business has maintained a 25-year working relationship with Komatsu Forest.

“From our point of view, they’re good reliable machinery,” Martin says.

“We go around the world to as many trade shows as we can to see machinery working and to get an idea of what advancements are coming up. But we also try and use companies we like dealing with and who provide good back-up service and good equipment.

“We’re quite happy with the service and back-up we get from Komatsu Forest.”

Jeffries Group manufactures composts and soil improvers from green organics received from most of metropolitan Adelaide’s council kerbside collections, as well as supermarkets, hotels and restaurants. Large quantities of tree trimmings, street sweepings and end-of-life wooden pallets make up much of the clean green and timber inputs.

A Peterson model 2710C grinder purchased in 2013 and a 5710C grinder bought in 2014 have been put through their paces and are still going, says Martin.

The 5710C operates four days a week and handles the initial grinding for larger material, while the 2710C regrinds oversize pieces and is operational up to three days a week.

“Having them for eight and nine years and running them quite hard – they’re value for money,” Martin says. “You get longevity with them.”

Brenton Yon, Komatsu Forest National Sales Marketing Manager, says the 5710C is designed for operations requiring high production and demanding end-product specifications.

The Australian version is powered by a Tier 11 Caterpillar C32 839kW (1125hp) engine and provides the highest power to weight ratio of any Peterson grinder. The upturn three-stage grinding process provides good material fracturing and a more consistent product, particularly to produce lighter mulches.

komatsu forest equipmentThe 2710C is designed for mobility and high production. It has a large feed opening for a large range of materials.

Brenton says both models have Peterson’s unique patented Impact Release System air bags which provide uniform grinding and protection from contaminated feedstock. There’s a second line of defence of urethan cushions and shear pins which help protect the mill from catastrophic damage in the event of a severe impact from contaminants in the feedstock.

“For a high-speed grinder, there’s a lot of momentum,” Martin says. “It’s designed to smash up trees. But when it hits another bit of steel or other big contaminant, spinning at that speed, it can be damaging. 

“The airbag takes that cushioning then the breakaway system shuts the plant down to lessen the damage. You still might break a hammer or loosen a few bolts, but that can be easily fixed.

“A lot of grinders over the years have hit something like that and you always know it’s going to be expensive to fix. With the Peterson it can still get damaged, but you can get going again quite quickly.”

Martin says from an operational view, ease of use is as important as performance. He says while the grinders are “amazingly powerful” they are relatively easy to use and learn. “While you still need good operators, they do have that forgiveness,” he says. 

A Peterson model BTRA85 Blower Trailer, used for landscaping jobs such as council playground top-ups and spreading mulch on roadsides has been part of the Jeffries Group stable of Peterson machines since 2012.

Martin says one of the key reasons for sticking with Komatsu Forest for so long, is the back-up service and supplies it provides.

“We know all machines break down and have issues that need to be sorted out. It’s the nature of the waste industry,” he says. “For us, Komatsu Forest has gone out of its way to try and get a part, whether it’s in Australia or the US. They’re always asking, ‘how can we best source that as quickly as possible’ or thinking about how to get the machinery back up and running.

“That’s key for a business. You’re making a profit when these machines are running.” 

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