Bio Gro turns to Backhus

Bio Gro turns to Backhus

The company recently purchased a Backhus A50 windrow turner from GCM and Bio Gro managing director Stephen Van Schaik told Inside Waste he was impressed with GCM’s service.

“When we did the initial due diligence on the project, we compared the practice with a number of other players within the market and Daniel [Katsowksky, GCM managing director] went through quite a bit of detail. He listened to our needs and with the new model, specifically the improvements from the old model, made it a good choice for us,” Van Schaik said.

“The general makeover of the machine, the operator comfort versus the old machine, the overall technical improvements, fuel efficiencies…. they were some of the key improvements that we were impressed with.”

The Backhus A50, which sits in the A43-65 range, combines high efficiency with maximum optionality. Features include:

  • windrow width up to 5m;
  • windrow height up to 2.4m;
  • granular size up to 300mm;
  • turning capacity up to 3600m3/h;
  • rotor torque – 12,500Nm
  • Volvo TAD 8X3 VE 235kW (320hp) @2200 engine;
  • 6-cylinder; and
  • speed forwards and backwards – 0-60m/min.

Additionally, the machine offers high performance, low fuel consumption, can be customised for any task, features a comfortable and easily accessible panoramic cabin, and easy access for routine maintenance and service.

Bio Gro processes a little over 300,000 tonnes of organic waste a year, including manure, wood pulp, timber waste, and grease trap waste, and Van Schaik said the new machine has improved the company’s efficiencies.

“We put a whole range of organic material into our windrows and once the windrow is formed, we run the A50 through it and as an example of operating efficiencies and improvements, those windrows were generally turned by a front end loader, which would generally take about 35-40 minutes to turn a windrow. The A50 would do it in less than 10 minutes,” he said.

“The actual turn with the windrow turner versus a front end loader or an excavator is also a much better turn for composting because it aerates the windrow much better than a front end loader, which means the composting process from our end is also much better and it’s a big saving for us.”

But Bio Gro, which is headquartered in Mount Gambier in the southeastern corner of South Australia and has a facility in Dandenong South, 31km south-east of Melbourne’s CBD, did not make the decision just based on the machine’s capabilities.

“We’re quite a distance away from Sydney and one of the key components that I needed to be comfortable with was the back-up service. Daniel’s got that and an agency out of Melbourne,” Van Schaik said.

“We had an initial problem with the machine, which is standard with any new equipment – you always have some teething problems – but the way Daniel backed it up with the service… he had a man on-site really quickly and the problem was sorted out without any real detriment to our operations. Daniel assured he would have the service back-up and knowing Daniel for the man that he, I trusted that he’d do it and as it turned out, he did it.

“It’s also the support of the Eggersmann Group [that manufactures the Backhus]. I went to iFAT in Munich last year and met some of the people from Eggersman and knowing that GCM is backed by Eggersmann gives me some comfort.”