Out of the shop and into the black

Green Care Mulching boosts its bottom line by replacing breakdown-prone high-speed grinders with dependable Crambos.


Green Care Mulching is well-known throughout the state of Victoria in Australia. Their trucks are a common sight on the road as they move from one contract grinding site to the next. Where formerly those trucks were transporting high-speed grinders, today they are principally seen carrying Crambo directs from Komptech. We spent the morning with Russell Norton, co-owner of Green Care Mulching, to learn about why he decided to incorporate the Komptech Crambo shredder into his business.

Heavy metall

About two years ago Russell was tired of seeing his grinders parked in the workshop for repairs instead of out grinding. “They were costing me money instead of making me money,” he said.

In a mobile office at the Green Care Mulching transfer station, Russell showed us a few samples of the contamination that had been through his grinders: Radiators, steel plate, part of a differential, an 80-kilogram flywheel, sledgehammer heads. “Because we travel from site to site, we don’t have control over the feedstock,” said Russell.



We asked him how he ended up switching to Crambos. He said, “I had heard about low-speed shredders from people in the industry. At first I was put off by the name. ‘Low speed? Why would I want something slow?’ But now the only complaint that I have about the Crambo is the description. It should be called a high torque shredder. It’s anything but slow!”

“I wanted to see a Crambo in person. I travelled to the other end of the state to see a unit working. I watched it for 10 minutes as it ground through wet, slimy, thick, chunky green waste. It never missed a beat. We saw the contamination going through it. There was no bang. I said to my guys ‘Oh my God! This is what we’ve been looking for!’”

“I was so impressed by what I saw that I didn’t even bother looking at other brands. I called up Craig Cosgrove and we developed a relationship quickly. He explained to me about ELB Equipment’s stock of spare parts and their branches all over the country. Backup is important to me, so that really sealed the deal.”

Higher efficency, lower costs

Contract grinding is at the core of Green Care Mulching’s business, and Crambo shredders have revolutionized that.“With the Crambo we’re burning around 30 litres per hour and the teeth typically last 400 hours. Our cost to grind has come down so much that we’ve had customers complain about our pricing – it’s too low. They think we’re trying to scam them,” joked Russell.

Double benefit

Russell explained that they’ve won doubly by incorporating the Crambos. They have not only reduced their operating costs and downtime, because they can charge lower rates they have expanded their customer base and so picked up additional work that they once might not have known about.

In addition to contract grinding, Green Care Mulching operates a transfer station and processing plant in Geelong. They take in around 40,000 tonnes of wood and organic waste at the facility per year, which they grind and treat to produce a number of products.


Encouraging outlook

When asked about changes for the future, Russell says “wood chips. The market values wood chips about ten times higher than mulch. I am really keen to take a look at the Axtor as a dualpurpose chipper and grinder. If I can run the Axtor as a grinder when I have to and as a chipper when I get the right opportunities, it’ll suit my operations perfectly.”

Green care mulching

Russell Norton has been in the tree care and organic waste management industry for about 20 years. One thing led to another and today Green Care Mulching employees 36 people and handles about 100,000 tonnes of wood and green waste per year.

Relationships are important to Russell, which is part of the reason he likes to do business with Komptech Distributor ELB Equipment. “Craig Cosgrove and the team have been very helpful. They are always there to take my calls and help out with technical issues. We feel like we have a partnership with the ELB team.”