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Rotochopper customized a wood chip processor to deal with a pallet recycler’s wood waste needs.

By Staff
Date Posted: 8/1/2014

Problem: A wooden pallet manufacturer needed a cost effective way of dealing with wood waste.


Solution: Rotochopper adapted a wood chip processor to fit into the pallet facility, run on electric power and turn low grade wood chips into color enhanced landscape mulch.


                Like every pallet manufacturer, Pasadena Skid & Pallet, a manufacturer and wholesaler of pallets, packaging and material handling products in Pasadena, Texas, had to deal with wood waste that increased along with its success. Company president Rob Trexler spent several years seriously researching and looking at grinding equipment. Trexler’s search brought him into contact with Rotochopper and several other manufacturers of various kinds of grinding equipment.

                Although Pasadena’s need for a wood waste recycling solution continued to increase, none of the solutions seemed to fit its needs. The company generates a reasonably low volume of wood waste compared to pallet companies that are focused on high volume new pallet construction. Therefore, Trexler focused on keeping capital costs low in his search for a grinder.

                Eventually, Trexler began considering a conveyor fed wood chipper as a means of processing wood waste and found some used wood chippers available locally. Although wood chippers are not commonly used to process kiln dried dimensional lumber, the chipper seemed like a good starter machine for Pasadena’s low volume of waste. Trexler determined that it would be a safe way to test the market. Upon learning of Trexler’s desire to use a wood chipper to process pallet waste, his Rotochopper representative suggested the CP-118, a compact machine designed specifically to turn wood chips into colored landscape mulch. At that time, Rotochopper had a refurbished CP-118 available to further help limit capital costs, while avoiding some of the potential downfalls of used equipment.

                Although Trexler initially considered the chipper and grinder combination simply as a way to limit capital costs, he quickly realized that customers viewed the mulch coming out of the CP-118 as a unique product in the marketplace. Since the wood waste is first chipped and then ground through a sizing screen to finished size, the mulch is more comparable to mulch made from tree care waste than to the typical kinds of mulch made from pallet scraps. It has the clean cut flat surfaces of wood chips, as well as the rounded edges and fluffiness of mulch made with a grinder.

                Trexler was easily able to sell all of the colored mulch produced by the chipper and CP-118. For the next several years his only complaint was the hassle of running a diesel engine in a facility that relied mostly on electrical power. He discussed this challenge with his Rotochopper representative in late 2013 and several months later took delivery of the first all-electric CP-118 in time for the 2014 busy mulch season. Rotochopper’s engineers had adapted a machine originally designed exclusively for the tree care industry to run on 3-phase power in a pallet facility.

                “I was anticipating some savings over the older diesel CP-118,” Trexler said. “But the efficiency of the electric CP-118 has greatly surpassed my expectations. Best of all, it’s making the same mulch my customers love at an even lower cost.”

                Trexler has also found the electric machine to be more reliable and have less downtime. It also generates less heat, reducing the risk of fire.

                For more information on the CP-118 or other wood waste processing options from Rotochopper, call 320-548-3586 or visit http://www.rotochopper.com.

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Rotochopper adapts wood chip processor.