TAYLOR, AZ – Gibson & Son Road Building is a family owned and operated business spanning back through four generations. The Washington-based team prides itself on knowledge and experience in trucking, logging, rock crushing, demolition, excavation, and wood waste recycling. They’re well renowned throughout Ellensburg, Washington and meet every challenge with the skill and expertise their clients have come to expect.
Evolving and adapting has been critical to growing the business.
Kory Gibson is the most recent member of the family to oversee the company and seized an opportunity to expand by assisting in restoring Arizona’s national forests through biomass contracts.
Proper forest management can improve wildlife habitat, preserve biodiversity, reduce the risk of uncharacteristic wildfire, and function so that forests are more resilient to climate change.
High volume wood waste grinding in remote locations comes with its own set of challenges, but the Gibson team’s skillset and equipment are uniquely suited to the initiative. The team runs their own trucks, supporting equipment, and horizontal grinders within 70 miles of Snowflake, Arizona.
“We saw an opportunity for our business to grow down here in Arizona,” Gibson said. “We started demoing horizontal grinders for the job and we thought CBI’s 6800CT was the best. With a comparable sized grinder, the CBI will at least do 60 percent more than the other grinder. It’s very impressive.”
High production rates are key to making the project work.
The CBI 6800CT Horizontal Grinder is ideal for land clearing and wood waste professionals seeking high volume, consistent end-product, and unmatched mobility in difficult terrain. Users can select from 1050hp, 1125hp, or 1200hp options to power the forged drum rotor.
When top loading trucks in a forestry application like Gibson’s, the 6800CT’s sliding scale discharge conveyor speeds let the operator load trucks with maximum accuracy and minimum spillage. The discharge conveyor’s gradual curve eliminates material build-up and ensures a smooth and consistent discharge into the truck.
Gibson recently added a second 6800CT to their fleet.
Protecting forests and producing biomass
Specialized contractors, such as Gibson & Son, provide environmental and economic benefits at every stage of the project. Material processed on-site is hauled to Arizona’s only biomass renewable energy facility, Novo BioPower, and burned under controlled and low emissions conditions to generate electricity.
The Novo BioPower Plant has long-term power purchase agreements with Arizona’s two largest electric utilities. The plant powers more than 20,000 homes with biomass from contractors like Gibson & Son, with organic source material supporting the restoration of forest lands.
The trial period required Gibson & Son to process 15 loads a day. They’ve more than doubled the 15-load requirement on good days, limited only by the logistics associated with trucks making trips to the power plant.
“We supply Novo BioPower with 35 to 40 truckloads a day of biomass to burn and make power,” Gibson said. “We’re grinding forestry residual and juniper cedar trees. We’re clearing them for the forest service and private contracts. Probably 80 percent of what we do is for the forest service. We follow some local loggers around and grind their brush. We also clear the juniper, grind that, and actually buy timber to grind for biomass also.”
Another key to success is having the right sized end-product for the powerplant. Novo BioPower is looking for a 6” minus spec, which means the trees and forestry residual need to be processed consistently down to that size.
Production meets precision with the 6800CT
The CBI 6800CT gives Gibson the customization freedom needed for his application. Tips, screens, and unrestricted controls can be tailored to an exact balance of maximum production and precise final product sizes demanded by the plant.
“We run 3” short tips with 4” x 6” screens and have had no issues,” Gibson said. “We can run 25 loads a day through it easily in 10 to 12 hours, and we’ve done it every day for nine months now. We started here in March and we have more than 2,000 hours on the machine. It’s ran its ass off.”
The importance of having a reliable wood grinder cannot be understated, especially at remote sites with a number of trucks and support equipment relying on its productivity. Down time in the wood grinding industry can be devastating.
Gibson appreciates the durability of his 6800CT.
“I don’t think we’ve missed a full day with the 6800CT ever in the last nine months,” Gibson said. “More than 2,100 hours without a day missed. We would recommend CBI 100 percent, everything about it. We’ve been all over this machine over the last nine months and know everything about it. The support has been awesome.”