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Champion Landscape Equipment and Supply: HARD WORKING, INNOVATING … AND HYPER-GRINDING WITH CBI

Dayton-based Champion Landscape Equipment and Supply is in solid growth mode, thanks in part to owner Matt Brun’s focus on producing a quality product more efficiently. Since grinding and selling mulch is a significant part of his business, he recently switched to two Terex CBI Magnum Force Horizontal Grinders to increase efficiency and speed up mulch production.

Brun traded in a Morbark 6400XT and purchased two CBI machines—a CBI Magnum Force 6800CT Horizontal Grinder and a CBI Magnum Force 5800BT Portable Grinder—from Columbus Equipment Company. The new equipment offers several advantages.

 
“The CBI 6800’s production rate is significantly higher for the finish grind than the Morbark’s. We’re getting around 300 yards of finish production per hour, compared to 180 yards with the Morbark” Matt Brun; Owner, Champion Landscape Equipment and Supply
 

“The 6800 is the more powerful of the two machines and is great for our finish grade,” Brun said. “The 6800’s production rate per hour is also much higher than the Morbark 6400’s even though they are both powered by the same 1,050 horsepower engine” Brun said. The 5800 is highly productive, yet it transports easily, so Champion can use it for offsite grinding. The company can also dye mulch in the 5800 rather than moving it to a separate area for dying. That boosts efficiency and relieves space issues in a tight processing yard.


“The CBI 6800’s production rate is significantly higher for the finish grind than the Morbark’s. We’re getting around 300 yards of finish production per hour, compared to 180 yards with the Morbark,” Brun said. The quality of the product is equal to what he got with his Morbark and the Petersen unit he owned before that.


“CBI grinders are an exceptionally good regrind machine,” according to Jesse Garber, sales rep with Columbus Equipment Company’s Material Processing Division. “It has  a very heavy rotor that doesn’t vary in rpm much.” Design features, including tip speed and material flow through the machine, allow it to regrind much more efficiently than competitive models.


Brun noted that the CBI and Morbark use the same amount of fuel because the machines have the same engine. “I have the same cost per hour for fuel, so I’m saving money if I’m producing more an hour.”


The production story is similar with the smaller CBI. The 5800’s hourly finish grind production is around 180 to 225 yards, depending on the screen. For a primary grind, production goes as high as 550 yards. “It’s comparable to the Petersen 4700 I had as far as the power goes, but the production is definitely higher,” Brun said.

 
“Garber is very helpful. He knows the industry, so it’s easy to lean on him for advice.” Matt Brun; Owner, Champion Landscape Equipment and Supply
 

The CBI machines have other ownership advantages, too. The serviceability of the CBI machines is easier, with better access to daily maintenance and grease points. The new CBI machines also have a metal detection system to prevent unwanted objects from entering the mill and damaging it, a feature Brun didn’t have on previous grinders.


Champion Mulch produces 11 types of mulch and sells about 200,000 yards of mulch and compost a year, including bulk and bagged products. With three retail outlets and three production yards, the company aims to be a one-stop shop for landscapers and municipalities, Brun said. Champion also sells decorative stones, gravel, aggregate, paver stones, blocks, STIHL power equipment, and commercial and residential mowers. In the winter, it offers salt spreaders, snowplows, road salt and ice melt.


Brun started the business in 2012, focusing on winter needs as a sole supplier for Morton salt. After recognizing that the customer base for mulch was identical to the one for road salt, he began brokering mulch from a local producer. When the company’s owner retired in 2017, Brun bought him out and entered the mulch production business.


Brun has relied on expertise from Columbus Equipment Company as he’s grown his business. “Garber is very helpful,” Brun said. “He knows the industry, so it’s easy to lean on him for advice.”

Brun also runs Komatsu equipment, so he counts on Columbus Equipment Company for expertise beyond grinders. “Columbus Equipment Company as a whole has sped up my learning curve,” Brun said, naming Mike Early from the Dayton branch. “The service guys from Columbus Equipment are great. They know that downtime is an issue for us, and they work a lot of long hours,” he added.


Champion Landscape Equipment and Supply has been growing at 20% to 30% annually for several years. Brun has expanded from Dayton into the Cincinnati market, where he’s adding a second location. He credits the growth to many factors, including serving growing markets, selling quality products, and prioritizing efficiency. “We try to think outside the box. The old way isn’t the answer. We want to be innovative,” he added.


Columbus Equipment Company is Brun’s partner of choice when seeking innovative equipment solutions like highly-productive, state-of-the-art CBI grinders.

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