CARTERSVILLE, Georgia – To bid for a contract on the General Services Administration (GSA) schedule is to be pre-qualified to bid. Working for the federal government demands compliance with stringent requirements and before bidding, the demonstration of readiness to meet the requirements.
Consequently, when Brian Stewart, the president and owner of Stewart’s Tree Service, needed a new wood waste grinder, he wanted to be sure the machine would meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 4 final emission standards. The EPA Tier 4 standards apply to off-road equipment, including chippers and grinders. (Fully implemented, the standards are expected to achieve a quantifiable reduction in carbon emissions coming from the combustion engines that power off-road equipment.)
Of course, Brian needed not only an EPA Tier 4 compliant machine, but also a workhorse on which he could depend for a variety of grinding needs. Stewart’s Tree Service is a widely capable company that does trimming and pruning, right-of-way clearing, as well as tree removal, logging and emergency storm response.
When Brian was ready to buy a new grinder, the purchasing process had to be completed on an expedited basis. He was replacing a grinder that had burned. Jerry Haygood, the senior project coordinator at Stewart’s Tree Service, recommended that Brian consider a grinder from Terex, the company that acquired Continental Biomass Industries, Inc. (CBI) in April 2015.
“Jerry comes to us with a lot of experience [with CBI products],” said Brian. Valuing that experience, he decided to consider one of the legacy CBI products among the offerings of Terex Environmental Equipment (TEE). (Jerry had a company of his own for many years before joining Brian’s team and CBI products were among the machines on which he relied.)
When we spoke with Brian in early September, a new TEE TBG680 wood waste grinder had been in use for just over one month. “We’ve used it every day we have had it,” he said, adding it was going to be grinding all three days of the long Labor Day weekend.
The TBG680, which is part of TEE’s Ecotec product line, is a direct descendant of the CBI Magnum Force 6800BT. The TBG680 is designed for high-volume throughput with thorough reliability, the combination on which land-clearing and yard waste processors depend. The model that Stewart’s Tree Service ordered features a Caterpillar C27; 1,050 HP Tier 4 Final diesel engine.
The “volume” of material that the TEE TBG680 can handle in a short interval of time is a real plus, said Brian. The machine can produce up to 200 tons per hour.
There has been just one surprise with the TEE TBG680. “It’s extremely quiet,” said Brian. “I imagined the motor being so loud it would be deafening.” But the motor is so quiet that one hears only the noise from the grinding.
Terex Environmental Equipment has its headquarters in Newton, N.H. “We’re in the process of establishing a Terex Ecotec dealer presence in North America and we’re setting up distribution partners who are committed to growing a presence in the waste recycling, wood processing, composting and biomass industries,” said Art Murphy, TEE’s North American sales director for Terex Ecotec.
“The Ecotec dealer network has an inventory of machines and parts as well as full-service capabilities to support the customers after the sale,” said Art. So far, the dealer network includes Emerald Equipment for New York and Pennsylvania, Powerscreen of Texas for Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas, Powerscreen of Florida for Florida, Georgia and Dominican Republic, Powerscreen Mid-Atlantic for North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia, Powerscreen of California for California and Hawaii, and Powerscreen of Washington for Washington, Oregon and North Idaho. New England coverage is factory direct from the Newton, N.H. location where CBI was headquartered and legacy machines are made.
“With the inclusion of the CBI legacy machines in the Terex Ecotec line, the response from dealers and customers has been outstanding,” said Art. “We’re ramping up production to meet the additional dealer inventory demands and we’re well on our way to having full dealer coverage in North America.”
Brian purchased his TBG680 from Powerscreen of Florida, working with Drew Furey, a sales manager who is based in Atlanta, Ga. Powerscreen of Florida has been selling Terex products for aggregates for 12 years.
“We were acquainted with Brian before,” said Drew. “We had not sold him any equipment previously.” Being able to meet Brian’s needs for a wood grinder changed that.
With his experience in the aggregates industry, Drew knows a great deal about durability of equipment and he gives the TBG680 high marks. “It’s a very durable piece of equipment,” he said. There’s more than that, though. “The name CBI is known for being a high-production machine.”
Drew said he looks forward to working with Stewart’s Tree Service. “We take the after sales of our equipment very seriously,” he said. “Once a customer buys from us, you have support for the life of the machine – service and parts. Satisfaction of the customer is our top priority.”
Right from the start, then, there is a solid bond between Stewart’s Tree Service and the dealer that provided the Terex TBG680. Customers are the top priority for Brian and his team of 12 employees.
The priority is exemplified in the pride that Stewart’s Tree Service takes in its goal of 100 percent customer satisfaction. To ensure the goal is met, the company is committed to approaching every job it takes with professionalism.
Stewart’s Tree Service is based in Cartersville, Ga. Cartersville is part of Bartow County. It has a population of approximately 19,700.
The many county area around Atlanta (in the northwest part of the Peach Tree State) that Brian’s company serves has a rich diversity of tree species. Yellow pine predominates, but there is an abundant mix of ash, cedar, hickory and much more. The TBG680 will meet with a genuine assortment of hardwood and softwood species.
Serving the metro-Atlanta area, Brian wants to provide the excellent service that gains wide recognition. “We’re going to be the top dog in the Southeast,” he said, looking ahead. That will come with the sustained effort to provide superior service to all customers, ranging from residential and commercial to state and federal. An approved vendor for the Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT), Stewart’s Tree Service is also a GSA contract holder.
Brian started Stewart’s Tree Service in 1990. “It just fell in my lap,” he said. Someone wanted some help with tree care. Brian obliged and was hooked. “I got to liking it.” So much so, that in addition to starting his company he became a certified arborist.
Stewart’s Tree Service is an accredited member of the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) and the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Brian is a Certified Tree Care Safety Professional (CTCSP); he developed the safety program to which his team adheres.
As for trimming and felling trees, the approach has been the same since Brian formed the company. “We still climb them,” he said. “We’ve always had Stihl products because that’s what we started with.”
It’s not exclusively climbing. Stewart’s Tree Service also reaches limbs with buckets when feasible.
Not all wood fiber from a job site goes to the TBG680 from the Terex Ecotec line. “We timber the property first,” said Brian. Valuable fiber in lumber to pallet grade goes to mills.
It is mostly “limbs, tops and stumps” that are fed to the TBG680. The large-capacity feed hopper on the TBG680 eases the movement of large material. The infeed conveyor is 14-feet long and five-feet wide. The control system on the machine, which derives from the CBI IntelliGrind technology, automatically adjusts feed rate to engine rpm to achieve optimal throughput.
Almost all product from the Terex TBG680 goes to International Paper Company, which uses the material to generate electricity. Some wood fiber that is not mill quality does not head to the grinder, but instead is held for employees who split their own firewood for supplemental heat.
Brian enjoys everything about being a business owner, and he has owned more than one enterprise and more than one business at a time. “I want to have fun,” he said. And much fun derives from planning and reconfiguring businesses to match the “volatile ups and downs” of the economy.
“Anything to do with water” is what Brian relishes in his free time. That includes fishing, boating, diving and snorkeling. Pausing to clarify, he said to put “fishing at the top.”