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 02-07-2008, 14:51 Post: 151161
earthwrks

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 Need input on building a pneumatic mulch blower

I will be installing municipal or private playground safety mulch in the spring--each site could have as much as 250 yards of mulch.

The mulch is either made of cedar wood that is fairly small and light, or recycled/virgin rubber either in small chip form, or, about the size of pea gravel. In most cases the playgrounds will be inaccessible to a machine such as a loader or even a wheel barrow. I need a way to get the mulch either from the back of my dump truck or trailer, or to be able suck it from an on-site pile (like in a parking lot) and to the site. I've seen truck-mounted pneumatic mulch blowers from afar at Home Depot but have no clue on how they work or if I could scale-down the model. The distance to run may be 100-300 ft on level ground.

I have an 8-HP direct-drive walk-behind blower (for blowing off parking lots). I think I could make a venturi out of PVC fittings perhaps--but don't know what the design/engineering should be for optimal use. I considered using regular 4" black corrugated polyethylene ("drain" pipe)--but I'm concerned that the ribs inside may cause problems. I also have a 12v post digger with a 9" auger that I could mount sideways and use as an auger to supply the mulch from the tailgate of the dunp truck (like a salt or sand spreader) to the blower through or at the venturi.

Any body seen or done this or have some good ieas?






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 02-07-2008, 16:05 Post: 151164
Murf

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 Need input on building a pneumatic mulch blower

EW, we looked at doing sort of the same thing, but as a franchise that wholesales mulches of various kinds, delivered and installed, mostly to other landscapers.

They had very carefully looked at the various means for delivering and installing the product and had settled on a large bulk truck with a PTO-powered blower system.

It was not cheap.

I know from experience, 250 yards of mulch is a lot to move. The trucks we were looking at held 60 yards and took quite a while to unload even with monstrous blowers, the discharge hose is only 4" in diameter, bigger than that you can't push it far enough. I'm not even sure how well it would push it 300' in the first place. The blower was getting about 200hp off the transmission too.

I would think for what you want, vacuuming it from a pile, and blowing it, you are going to need a lot more than 8hp, several hundred at the minimum.

Personally, I would be talking to someone who has a sawdust delivery truck.

Best of luck.






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 02-07-2008, 16:34 Post: 151166
earthwrks

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 Need input on building a pneumatic mulch blower

Sawdust truck? Never seen one of those. We have what are chuters or shooters but only go about 40 feet and are $100 an hour.

Hmmm. Okay how about a conveyor with a hopper? What type or kind of farm equipment would have a light duty conveyor? Or maybe some other sort of cheap and readily available equipment?

The other isue will be that the existing mulch which may be unapproved for use or moldy will have to be removed also.






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 02-07-2008, 18:18 Post: 151167
hardwood

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 Need input on building a pneumatic mulch blower

EW; There is a firm here that specializes in cleaning up train wrecks, grain truck overturns etc, that can move grain a long ways, I'm guessing maybe 500ft.
These are big truck mounted units with probably a 2-300hp. emgine. Somewhere in your aeria there is such a service offered. I would think they could handle chips or rubber pellets just as easily as shelled corn. Maybe, maybe not? Franki.






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 02-07-2008, 18:31 Post: 151168
jbjpam



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 Need input on building a pneumatic mulch blower

I'm not exactly sure how they work but maybe one of those
concrete conveyor chutes that can reach the backyard of
a house from the street? I think they have a hopper to fill
but not sure how it goes from there.






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 02-08-2008, 09:33 Post: 151180
Murf

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 Need input on building a pneumatic mulch blower

EW, any places that has horses (and a lot of cattle operations like dairy farms), race track, pleasure riding, competition, etc., will have a need for a great amount of sawdust as bedding material.

It is delivered by truck, usually a large straight truck, equipped with a high velocity PTO-powered sucker/blower unit.

It can load light stuff like sawdust at the rate of several yards a minute depending on the distance and height involved. The sawdust bins are usually elevated so it can be gravity loaded into wheelbarrows or carts below.

In theory you could build a trailer mounted stand-alone unit but it wouldn't be a cheap experiment. Mulch is heavy dense stuff to move around by air.

In your first post you said most sites would be inaccessible by even a wheelbarrow, so what good would a conveyor be? It would be so heavy you would need a loader to move into place. If you could get a loader in there in the first place why would you need a conveyor?

I believe the units Frank is talking about are basically big septic pumpers, like the ones so popular now for excavating by vacuum, Badger is a big franchise for that stuff now.

Best of luck.






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 08-22-2011, 15:16 Post: 179962
SMARTSLLC



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 Need input on building a pneumatic mulch blower

We have a dump truck with a bulk salt spreader insert in the back. I would like to use the conveying system and the existing hydrolic system to add a blower capable of blowing mulch up to 200'. Any ideas?






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 08-22-2011, 16:12 Post: 179963
Murf

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 Need input on building a pneumatic mulch blower

Do you mean fire it 200' out of a hose, or blow it through a 200' long hose?

There's a big difference between the two.

As mentioned above, either way it's going to take a lot of horsepower, likely more than the entire output of the dump truck's engine.


Best of luck.






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 08-22-2011, 16:15 Post: 179964
SMARTSLLC



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 Need input on building a pneumatic mulch blower

Blow it through 200' of hose.






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 08-22-2011, 20:58 Post: 179971
auerbach



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 Need input on building a pneumatic mulch blower

Look at renting a V-shaped belt-conveyer system. Once set up all you need is a loading team at one end (deliver the mulch to the ground by dump truck and a small loader or two can fill the belt) and a couple of offload guys at the other. Reverse the motors for removal.

(No direct experience; just a guess.)






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