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Where Profitability and Sustainability Meet For most land-clearing projects Tri-State uses a Morbark 3800XL Wood Hog Horizontal Grinder which can handle whole trees and longer debris. The Morbark replaced a Vermeer 6000 that was never up to the job Brunk said. The Vermeer didnt do what we needed it to do. Worst of all the Vermeer pulled in debris too quickly and it got jammed on the discharge belt requiring workers to climb in and clean out debris. The difference between the Vermeer and the Morbark is like night and day Brunk said. Debris moves through smoothly with no jams. Its a bigger grinder with higher horsepower and we get way more production. With an initial grind Tri-State can get up to 350 cubic yards an hour regrinding with smaller screens results in production of 150 to 180 yards an hour. Brunk recently upgraded his wheeled 3800XL for a tracked model which he likes because it moves by remote control so you dont have to hook it to a semi. We just track it across the jobsite. Tri-State has been a customer of Columbus Equipment Company for several years and Brunk values the rela- tionship he has with the companys Environmental Division including sales representative Jesse Garber sales manager Tim Smith and product support specialist Dean Hatem. They understand our business. If its mulch-producing time and something goes down they jump through hoops to help us Brunk said. For example the 3800 went down about 630 one evening and by noon the next day Smith had a replacement machine onsite. Having that kind of a working relationship with a dealer is really helpful in our industry. In addition to the Morbark grinders Tri-State uses a McCloskey 621 Trommel screen and 80-foot stacking con- veyor from Columbus Equipment. The Trommel works very well whether used to screen topsoil or mulch Brunk said. It has the added convenience and productivity of being portable whereas the shaker-style screening machine he owns takes a whole day to move and set up. Tripling sales in five years is quite a feat. Quality and consistency of product are driving those sales and Tri- States investment in quality equipment is paying off. DID YOU KNOW Jason Brunk was the only kid in his high schooland possibly in any high schoolto own a backhoe. He was also probably the only classmate with a 30000 debt hanging over his head. Brunk bought the 1989 rubber-tire John Deere 310C backhoe in 1992 convincing a family friend to put the first payment on a credit card. That debt didnt worry him. I didnt have any credit so I didnt have anything to lose he says. Convincing customers to hire a 16-year-old backhoe owneroper- ator was difficult he admits. A family friend with a concrete company hired him to do concrete tear-outs giving Jason his first paying job. He incorporated Brunk Excavating two years later and traded in the backhoe for a new one in 1995. The difference between the Vermeer and the Morbark is like night and day. Jason Brunk Owner Tri-State Landscape Supply LLC. LLC RESULTS WITH MORBARK EQUIPMENT Tri-State Landscapings 12000-hour 1997 Morbark 1300 Tub Grinderpictured with a McCloskey 36x80 stackeris still a mulch-mountain-making beast. Jason Brunk bottom right has tripled mulch and soil sales on the back of consistent high-quality product.