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Georgia Company Finds Solution for Stumps

Land Clearing Contractor Chooses DuraTech Machine to Grind Stumps, Root Balls, Debris

By Pete Hildebrandt
Date Posted: 4/1/2007

WINSTON, Georgia — When a contractor is developing a piece of forest land for either residential or commercial use and the trees have been harvested, the next step is grading the land.  But before the land can be graded, the stumps need to be removed, and finding a place to dispose of the stumps can be difficult. The answer for many is grinding the stumps and using the wood grindings for mulch and erosion control on the site that is being developed.

        Freddy Campbell, 55, owner of Campbell Grading Co. Inc., and his sons, Glenn and Lonny, and his wife, Glenda, office manager, do clearing and grading for developers for residential and commercial construction project. Once the land clearing has been done, they use their new DuraTech Industries 3010 grinder to process wood debris. They dig up the stumps and grind them up with the logging slash. The grindings are transported to other job sites where the grading work has been completed, and the wood fiber is used for a ground covering to control erosion.

        Freddy learned the excavation and grading trade while serving in the military in Vietnam; he was with the Army combat engineers. When he returned to the states, he worked for Western Electric, doing part time jobs from about 1975 to 1985. Freddy started his grading business part time in 1979. In 1985 he quit his job at Western Electric and started working for himself full time. Back then he advertised his company in newspapers in several different counties but eventually only had to advertise in his county.

        Around 1989 Freddy started contracting with other companies to grind the stumps and root balls on his land clearing jobs. He used the grindings for erosion control.

Growing the Company

        The company grew significantly during 1998-99, and the rapid growth presented Freddy and Glenda with their greatest challenges. They decided they wanted manage their growth and expand into a new area.

        “That was when we really started to become more diversified and got into the commercial areas, not just residential,” said Glenda. “We went from doing housing subdivisions into doing more industrial parks.”

        For the past 12 years the Campbells have been able to get all their business through word-of-mouth. They also have a storefront office, so a lot of people know where they are.

        Freddy and Glenda’s son, Glenn, 33, is chief financial officer and their son, Lonny, 30, is chief operating officer. Both help with bidding on various jobs; Glenn is involved primarily with residential work while Lonny handles commercial work. They’ve been involved with the company since they got out of high school.

        “While they were growing up, all during the summer and on the weekends, too, they always worked with their dad,” said Glenda. “Once they were out of high school, they wanted to grow in the business world, and they ended up growing with the company.”

        Campbell Grading has about 22 employees. These include an office assistant, equipment operators and laborers. They also have two shop mechanics to perform maintenance and repairs on equipment.

        The company has some 60 pieces of equipment. Their DuraTech 3010 was purchased during the past year. “We also have large, heavy equipment on many of our job sites,” Glenda noted. “These are excavators, including Cat 895 and Kobelco 300 machines, as well as dozers, such as Cat D8K and D8N models. The majority of our equipment is Caterpillar machinery.”

Solution for Grinding

        “As we’ve grown, it’s gotten harder to find a wood grinding contractor who was not backed up with too much work,” said Glenda. “We had two contractors we mainly used. Through no fault of their own, they simply became too busy, and they became so popular that it might be months before they could get to us. Then again, it could be even longer for us to wait, depending upon the weather. This was putting our operations too far behind, so we went ahead and invested in our own grinder. The DuraTech 3010 is our second grinder.”

        “When you take on a job for a customer, they want things done – the quicker the better,” said Glenda. They want to see some activity on the job. It was too much to have a logger come in and remove the timber, leaving the stumps for us, and then we couldn’t do anything because the grinding contractor was backed up. We needed to be able to remove all the trees and stumps and get to work on grading and excavating the land as soon as possible.”

        “Burning material was not really an option due to environmental concerns,” Glenda added. “Besides, there are only certain times of the year when you can even get a permit for burning. In the end, it was better for everybody to simply grind the stumps on the job site instead of hauling them to a landfill, burning them, or any other alternatives.”

        Now the Campbells don’t have to wait on a grinding contractor because they can do it themselves. Glenda and Freddy solved the challenge of what to do with stumps and wood debris, and they provide their customers an added service by controlling erosion with the placement of wood chips on slopes.

DuraTech 3010

        The DuraTech 3010 is available as a towable model or a self-propelled machine on a track carrier. The grinding action is accomplished by a heavy-duty hammermill that is driven with a PT Tech fluid clutch system for productive, efficient grinding. It features 20 fixed single bolt hard surfaced hammers or 40 swing hammers. The 44-inch rotor is mounted in a 6-inch shaft with 4-inch oil bath bearings.

        Power options are a Cat 475 hp engine or a 540 hp Tier III electronic diesel engine. The grinder is microprocessor controlled and is equipped with an HPTO oil-cooled clutch, self-adjusting continuous lubrication system, built-in torque limiter and brake. Other features include a 30-inch wide by 26-feet long stacking conveyor with 18 feet stacking height, a rotary self-cleaning screen, self-cleaning radiator screen, and more. Options include grapple loader, wireless remote control, compressor, hydraulic front stabilizer jacks, tub cover, and more.

        DuraTech also offers the model 2009 and model 4012 tub grinders as well as a horizontal grinder model.

        The DuraTech 3010 produces chips that are about 1 inch long. The chips make good mulch and also do an excellent job of stabilizing the soil on sloping ground.

        “And if anyone wants to stop by and get a pick-up truck full of the chips, we allow them to come onto the job site and fill up,” said Glenda.

        Campbell Grading contracts for various utilities. The company clears land for water and sewer lines, cable TV lines, telephone lines and utilities. “The chips derived from grinding help to control the erosion and keep the soil in place until it is stabilized,” said Glenda.

        “The operations with our DuraTech 3010 have gone so well that at this point I don’t see the need to purchase another one,” said Glenda. “If we get too busy and need another DuraTech 3010, we wouldn’t have a problem with that.”

        The DuraTech 3010 grinder is operated by one employee, Jeremy Watkins, who seems to have a knack for running it. “It helps to have someone running it who is used to operating it,” said Glenda.  “Wherever that equipment goes, he travels with it and works on that site.  He also keeps up with all maintenance on the equipment. Of course, we have a warranty with Caterpillar on the engine of the DuraTech.”

        As their business has grown, so has their family. The Campbells now have three young grandchildren who keep them busy, too. Freddy also enjoys restoring and collecting old cars in his spare time. His passions are old Chevrolets. He has a 1955 Bel Air, a 1965 Chevelle convertible and a 1966 Chevelle. The Campbells attend car shows and similar events.

     The couple is happy with business. One thing is certain, according to Glenda: they will never contract again for grinding services. Their DuraTech 3010 will be with them for the long haul.


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