When President Todd Denbesten of Denbesten Enterprises in Valatie, N.Y., was in the market for a new excavator for his stump removal and recycling outfit, he turned to a sales representative he knew he could trust: Russ Pugh of Nortrax, a John Deere dealer in Clifton Park, N.Y.
Over the years Pugh helped beef up Denbesten's fleet with a number of machines, including a John Deere 450J dozer and a John Deere 700J dozer, so he knew he was in good hands when he inquired about a new piece of iron. Pugh fit Denbesten with a John Deere 270D 63,500-lb. excavator to meet his needs.
"What we have found is that the excavator is very strong with great breakout force," Denbesten said. "It is very comfortable and has eliminated operator fatigue. The improvement in visibility is dramatic over our last machine."
But Denbesten's equipment needs didn't end there. His plan was to use a stump harvester attachment along with the excavator to increase job-site efficiency during the stump removal process.
"I felt the safest way to gather information on the best stump havester to buy was to question other local contractors," Denbesten explained. "E. Galusha and Son in Glens Falls, New York, a contractor with a very strong reputation in the area, told me that they had purchased a Nye stump harvester and they highly recommended it."
Every Nye stump harvester is specifically engineered to the requirements of the excavator it is being mounted to and the application the harvester will be used for.
Again, Denbesten contacted Pugh for assistance. Pugh worked with Eric Dupee of National Attachments in Gorham, Maine — the sole importer of Nye products in the United States — to match the specs of the John Deere 270D excavator to the Nye stump harvester that would best suit Denbesten's requests.
Denbesten was impressed with the entire purchasing process and couldn't be happier with the results.
"We have used Russ and Nortrax in the past and they have always been great to work with in making intelligent recommendations for the equipment to purchase and giving us great service and support after the sale," Denbesten said. "The people at National Attachments were great, matching up the harvester with a pin grab coupling system, which allows me to switch from a bucket to the harvester in a matter of seconds. Eric Dupee [and] Russ Pugh were even interested enough to visit our job site to make sure that the equipment was operating up to our expectations."
The Big Break-Up
Since he purchased the John Deere 270D excavator and Nye stump harvester, Denbesten has tackled the largest stumps he could locate, breaking them down in seconds to a 2-ft. minus cleaned stump product that moves easily through his grinder.
Denbesten also said the increase in his productivity has been astounding. With the old method, he attached a ripper to the end of the stick of his excavator to break up the stumps, which took as long as 10 minutes. But with the Nye stump harvester, Denbesten breaks up stumps in as little as 10 seconds.
With this efficiency boost, he is now able to process up to 100 cu. yds. (76.5 cu m) of material per hour, a substantial increase over previous production numbers. The performance he receives from his new machines has been unmatched by any other iron purchase he has made.
"The harvester has exceeded our expectations," Denbesten said. "Its design allows us to work very close to utilities and safely remove the stumps. The combination of the excavator and harvester is so strong I have used it to shear huge white oaks four to five feet in diameter and we once used the harvester to split a whole maple tree in half. Our productivity has gone up as much as tenfold."
Denbesten has received an additional benefit from his John Deere 270D excavator and Nye stump harvester combo.
"Of course, the added bonus to all of this increase in productivity is an expected increase in the life of the shredder because it is processing a cleaner material," Denbesten said.
One of the problems Denbesten faced before purchasing the Nye stump harvester was the rock, dirt and other materials that clung to excavated stumps and created havoc. It dulled the grinders that were designed to process wood, not stone.
Up to this point, Denbesten had been splitting the stumps with his excavator to separate it from the debris. But using this method to remove the material was taking a toll on his machines.
"Until now, [my] approach to getting the material separated from the stump was to literally beat the heck out of the stump with [my] excavator," Denbesten explained. "Over a period of time, the excavator was able to split the stump, which ultimately was the most effective way to get the stones removed."
Now that he has the Nye stump harvester attachment, Denbesten's stone removal process is practically effortless.
Denbesten is currently using his new excavator and stump harvester to clear 7 acres (28 ha) of trees for the Albany International Airport to improve the flight path to the airport.
About Denbesten Enterprises
Denbesten Enterprises was founded in 1981 as an excavation and site contractor serving approximately a 70-mi. radius around Albany, N.Y., including the Catskill Mountains, the upper Hudson Valley, the Berkshires, Adirondacks and eastern Mohawk Valley.
The Denbesten family had operated a Vermeer dealership called Vermeer Sales and Service, which served New York and New England for 34 years. In 1981, the family sold the dealership and Denbesten started Denbesten Enterprises.
He has found a niche with his excavating company by specializing in stump removal and recycling. After trees are removed from a site, Denbesten Enterprises contractors excavate all the stumps and feed them through a Morbark 4600 horizontal grinder. The resulting shredded wood material is used as a bio fuel at facilities like large industrial manufacturing plants and also for heating schools.
Down the road, Denbesten is looking to establish a wood waste yard where contractors would be able to bring stumps from their excavated sites for recycling. CEG
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