Peterson Grinder and Chipper Support Land Clearing Operation at JR Vinagro Corporation

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Specifications and service were priorities in choice of Peterson grinder and chipper.


JOHNSTON, Rhode Island — Demolition and crushing operations know a thing or two about heavy equipment. They put their machines to the twin tests of durability and strength every day. Consequently, when such companies add to their equipment roster, they look closely at machine specifications and availability of service.

And they do so whether they want a machine that will crush rock or grind wood. Consider the experience at JR Vinagro Corporation in Johnston, R.I.

“JR Vinagro Corporation is one of the largest, independently owned and operated recycling, demolition, land clearing, and crushing companies in New England,” said Brian Palombo, superintendent of land clearing at the firm. Brian worked in the demolition division of the company before the land clearing division launched.

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Two machines from Peterson (an Astec Industries Co.) support the land clearing operation. One is a Peterson 5710C grinder, which has been in service since 2012. The other is a Peterson 4310B chipper, which had been in service about nine months when Brian talked with us in mid-September.

A Peterson 4310B Drum Chipper Working Hard
A Peterson 4310B track-mounted drum chipper, powered by a 765 horsepower C18 Caterpillar engine is used at JR Vinagro to chip whole trees and tops. It has been designed for ease of use and reliability.

“We selected the Peterson [equipment] because of its specifications and the parts and service that we get from Barry Equipment,” said Brian. Barry Equipment Co., Inc. is a family owned and operated heavy equipment dealership located in Webster, Mass. Peterson is headquartered in Eugene, Oregon. Bryan Morris is the sales representative from Barry Equipment who worked closely with Brian.

Tom Barry, who owns Barry Equipment, said his company first began working with JR Vinagro Corporation about eight years ago, having provided some Doosan machines, including a delimber. “They’re excellent people to work with,” said Tom about the JR Vinagro team. “They’re into so many things. This venture into land clearing is a new and promising endeavor.”

JR Vinagro Corporation exemplifies vertical integration, explained Tom. “They do a lot of start to finish projects – clear the land, forward.”

JR Vinagro Corp. personnel in front of a Peterson 4310B Drum Chipper
JR Vinagro Corp. personnel

The can-do approach at JR Vinagro is energizing to witness, said Tom. The company decides to make something happen and then follows through with vigor.

Barry Equipment has a history of serving the needs of both the construction and the timber industries. “Downtime” is a phenomenon his equipment customers never want to experience, said Tom. Understanding that, he and his team strive to provide equipment that is an exacting match for the unique requirements of each customer.

The Peterson 5710C grinder is in service 40 hours a week, said Brian. The track machine is used both in the company yard and at job sites. Low beds are used to move it.

Stumps and pallet wood are fed to the grinder, said Brian. “JR Vinagro Corporation creates mulch, or as a secondary product, we create wood grinding to be used as fuel.”

The feed opening on the Peterson 5710C grinder is 60 by 40 inches. The grinder is configured with Peterson’s high production adaptive control system, which as the name suggests, adjusts the feed system to optimize the grinding process.

The Peterson 4310B drum chipper sees about 30 to 40 hours per week of service, said Brian. It is used to chip whole trees and tops. Like the Peterson grinder, the track chipper is used both in the yard and at job sites, being moved with low beds.

“[Chips] are sent to the power plant to be used as fuel,” said Brian. The Peterson chipper allows chip length to be set from 1/8 inch to 1-1/4 inch, as such it gives biomass fuel producers the ability to meet the preferences of chip buyers.

JR Vinagro Corporation’s land clearing division is part of a much bigger team.

“JR Vinagro is a family-owned business and those values underline everything that the company represents,” said Brian. “It’s something that makes the company with over 400 employees stand out from other businesses.”

A Peterson 4310B drum chipper being loaded feeding tops at JR Vinagro Crop.
A Peterson 4310B chipper being loaded feeding tops at JR Vinagro Crop. Both machines were purchased from Barry Equipment, a family owned and operated heavy equipment dealership in Webster, Mass.

To get some idea of the scope of JR Vinagro Corporation, keep in mind that it operates 150 trucks daily and maintains a large inventory of heavy construction and demolition equipment. Its equipment has been used on some of the highest profile demolition and crushing projects in its region.

The company is based out of Johnston, Rhode Island, a town of approximately 28,000. It is part of Providence County and is just five miles southwest of the city of Providence.

Brian joined JR Vinagro 10 years ago. “I had known others who worked [for the company], including my brother,” he explained. “I was looking to make a change to a company that showed great potential for growth and where I could see a long-term future for myself. JR Vinagro had all the things I was looking for.”

Not all wood felled by the mechanical and manual cutting crews goes to the grinder or chipper. Grade material is sorted and sent to lumber mills. And there is a firewood processing operation that is operated in the company’s Johnston yard.

The range of jobs taken on by JR Vinagro Corporation is enormous. It completes projects for residential, commercial and industrial clients. Land clearing encompasses site preparation for all the foregoing sectors and contributes to right-of-way maintenance.

J.R. Vinagro use a Peterson Grinder and Chipper in their operations.
J.R. Vinagro Corporation, based out of Johnston, RI, maintains a large inventory of heavy construction and demolition equipment. Its equipment has been used on some of the highest profile demolitions and crushing projects in the region.

“Land-clearing companies like JR Vinagro need reliable, strong and productive equipment to get their jobs completed,” said Charlie Bagnall, Peterson’s territory manager for Northeastern United States and Canada. Bagnall is based in West Wyoming, Penn.

Support for the equipment is also a must. “Companies need a local dealer who can bring expertise and value to their business,” said Charlie.

As the manufacturer’s representative, Charlie sees a vital three-way partnership among customer, dealer and manufacturer as a key to customer success. The success of the end user of equipment is, after all, a mirror to the success of dealer and manufacturer.

“We are in the solutions business,” said Charlie of the approach Peterson takes. “Customers come to us with situations that challenge their businesses. As always, we have to listen to our customer’s needs. If we can provide them with the right solution for their company, then that is great. If not, we have to point them in the right direction.”

“We have a great team here at Peterson – from engineering to production to parts and service.” said Bagnall, who has been with the company since 2008 and in the equipment business more than 20 years.

In the genial and robust links among manufacturer, dealer and end user, full focus is always on getting the important work – the end user’s — done. Yet it’s natural to pause now and then to marvel at the industrial equipment itself. Note just a few of the features of the Peterson machines that JR Vinagro Corporation chose.

The Peterson 4310B track-mounted drum chipper has been designed for ease of use and high reliability. From its durable knives to its modest fuel consumption the owner finds a great deal to appreciate.

A 765 horsepower C18 Caterpillar engine powers the Peterson 4310B. The Peterson 4310B is designed for frequent moves and high production. The Peterson drum chipper can be fed brush or small stock to 24-inch logs. The operator of the Peterson 4310B gets a read of complete engine and system parameters from the LCD display on the control panel.

“Being around our equipment is awesome too. Who doesn’t enjoy getting to be around grinders and chippers with over 1000 horsepower? Sometimes we forget how amazing this equipment is.”

The Peterson 5710C grinder has the highest power to weight ratio of any grinder in the Peterson line. And it deftly thwarts contaminants thanks to Peterson’s impact cushion system. Urethane cushions allow movement of the compression roll/anvil housing pivot shaft, while shear pins above the cushion (with sensing circuit) stop the engine to protect the shaft if there is a severe impact. The 5710C can be powered by a Caterpillar C27 or a Caterpillar C32 engine.

It’s tremendously exciting to see businesses branch out and grow as he consults with them about equipment solutions, said Charlie. “Being around our equipment is awesome too. Who doesn’t enjoy getting to be around grinders and chippers with over 1000 horsepower? Sometimes we forget how amazing this equipment is.”

For immersion in the breath-stopping activity of amazing equipment, one need only see a company like JR Vinagro Corporation in action. The company has the resources and experience required to handle demolition projects of all sorts, including facility decontamination, on-site rock crushing, and off-site waste hauling for recycling, reclamation and/or disposal. It also owns and operates a state-of-the-art transfer station facility that is licensed to handle C&D material and solid waste; the installation also accepts tree waste and yard waste.

Brian enjoys his work very much. “Being outdoors and getting to meet new clients who are associated with different types of projects” are great rewards, he said.

When Brian has free time, he likes to “relax and try to take vacation,” he said. “You only live once [YOLO].”