Looking for a large-scale compost turner can seem difficult, whether you are new to the industry or not. There are many things you must consider before buying a machine this large. Finding and buying a compost turner is more of a process than anything else. The following tips can help you invest in the best machine for your composting needs. 

1. Factors you should think about first

If buying a large-scale compost turner is a process, there should be a place to start. You can create a list for yourself using the following factors to help you begin and stay organized. Your list should include things like the size of your composting operation, the materials you will be using, and your budget.

It would also help to know if there are any specific requirements for your compost, such as moisture levels or aeration needs. The more information you have beforehand, the easier it will be to find a suitable machine.

Operation and pile size

Some of the first things you should consider are the size of your operation and compost piles. If your piles are smaller, you will need less space and a smaller machine. If you make compost in long piles called windrows, you will need more space and a bigger machine. If you are buying a new machine because your old one was too small, you may need help matching the size of your windrows and compost turner. The manufacturer should be able to assist with this.

Equipment features and options 

Once you know the size of the large-scale compost turner you need, you can focus on choosing equipment options. This includes basic features like design, horsepower, and drum style as well as other options like air conditioning in the cab and customizations.

The better the features, the better the efficiency. Choosing the cheapest compost turner will save you money now, but the parts will break down faster and potentially cost you more in maintenance in the long run. That’s why you should be sure to check into the quality of the materials used to build your chosen compost turner, as well as its fuel efficiency.

Available types of turners

Another important thing to know before you start shopping for large-scale compost turners is the type you will need. There are many available including auger-type, elevating face, and straddle-type turners. The differences between the types of compost turners include how they are moved and how they turn waste.

  • The auger-type compost turner: This compost turner is pulled by either a skid-steer loader or a wheel loader. It moves waste from one side of the pile to another using paddles. One benefit of this type is that you may not need as much space in between windrows.
  • Elevating face turner: This type of equipment can be pulled by a tractor or self-propelled. It moves compost backward in large chunks, but it is not great for reducing material into smaller bits. 
  • The straddle type turner: This is one of the most commonly seen types of compost turners. It is self-propelled, powered by belts or hydraulics, or pulled and can cover a whole windrow. It is especially important to have matching windrow and turner widths if you are getting this type. This equipment is versatile because it can be made to turn many windrow sizes. Self-propelled models help you save on space because you do not need an area for a tractor to drive.

2. What you should think about next when looking at compost turner

Once all of the above basics are in order and you have narrowed down your options, you can begin looking at other factors. This includes a warranty and whether you will be able to get repairs if your large-scale compost turner is down. Other things you can look for include: 

  • Four wheel drive
  • Tires that provide a more stable grip
  • Drum and flail designs
  • Smooth suspension
  • High-quality components for longevity and cost savings
  • Easy-to-use controls
  • A comfortable cab

3. Know your options for buying a large-scale compost turner

Once you have found the right compost turner for your operation, you may think that your only option is to buy it new. Although this may be the best option (if you need a customized machine for example), other choices are available. You can buy used or refurbished turners and even lease a machine with some companies. There are benefits to each option, so be sure to talk to the manufacturer for more information on payments before making a decision.

SCARAB compost turners

At SCARAB International, we understand that small, medium, and large-scale composting operations should be efficient and safe. Our machines are made with that in mind, so we use only the highest quality materials. 

You can choose from New, Used, and Refurbished machines, or look into our Leasing Options. Call us at (806) 883-7621 or Send Us an email to learn more about our Turners and how they can enhance your operations.