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A Power Mulcher is a machine that thrashes and separates, then evenly distributes hay and straw mulches. Reinco offers several sizes that range in capacity from 2 to 20 tons per hour with discharge distances from 35 feet, up to 100 feet, in still air. Typically, a Power Mulcher crew requires a driver, operator, and a supply team. The M90 model is equipped with an automatic variable speed feed system to reduce manpower requirements. Hose discharge kits provide placement in otherwise inaccessible areas. (Compare all Power Mulchers)
The most prominent feature of all Reinco Power Mulchers is the patented beater or pre-thrashing chamber, which all but eliminates clumping and clogging. All Reinco equipment employ a direct drive design which reduces horsepower requirements thereby increasing fuel economy.
Popular accessories include:
- Seed Distributor which allows simultaneous placement of dry seed/fertilizer while placing mulch.
- Suction adapter which allow the machine (TM-Jr or TM-35) to pickup leaves and debris cleanup, and facilitate placement of alternative dry bulk materials.
Emulsified asphalt was applied either simultaneously or separately to mulch through a nozzle that was mounted on the discharge chute of the Power Mulcher, to 'tack' the mulch, preventing movement from wind or rain. Used extensively in the past, this process (which became known as asphalt tacking) is not widely used today. Instead, biodegradable powders or liquid Tackifiers (such as Hydrograsser or similar equipment, due to the high volume capabilities. Optional emulsion (tackifier) spray kits, however, are available from Reinco for spraying asphalt or alternative tackifiers, (TM-35 series, M90 mulchers only).
The name 'Hydrograsser' is used to describe a self contained machine that mixes and sprays a uniform slurry of water, seed, fertilizer, fiber mulch, lime, tackifier (or any combination) over prepared areas. The seed bed should be scarified and prepared as with conventional seeding. The Hydrograssing process involves charging of the specified materials, mixing into a uniform, homogenous slurry and then broadcasting this mixture either from the spray deck (boom discharge), or through a hose (ground spray application). Because all amendments can be mixed together, seeding, fertilizing, and mulching can all be done in a single step with one machine.
For over 50 years, Reinco Hydrograssers have provided an economical and efficient alternative to other methods of seeding large, inaccessible areas. With exclusive 'Hydro-Jet' agitation and the unique positive displacement 'Quad Blender' mixing system the Reinco Hydrograsser has fewer moving parts than any other hydraulic seeder on the market. Typically, the moving parts on any machinery will wear first. Parts like belts, chains, gears require either regular adjustment, or replacement. Designed to eliminate these components, the Reinco Hydrograsser offers years of service with a minimum attention to maintenance.
What is Hydro Jet Agitation ?
'Hydro-Jet' agitation is an uncomplicated recirculation type mixing system developed by Reinco in 1958. The recirculation ('Hydro-Jet') nozzles direct the pump discharge across a sloped tank bottom with a unit force that is fifty times greater than that of paddle mixers. Engineers refer to this force as 'associated frictional drag'. Combined with an innovatively engineered tank design the result is a tremendously violent turbulence which can be utilized to efficiently mix the slurry ingredients. Granular materials are pushed upward then drift downward through the slurry to produce a uniform and homogenous mix. The continuous recirculation maintains this uniformity throughout the discharge cycle.
It is a simple process
Hydrograssing involves only charging the tank with materials and spraying. The Reinco Hydrograsser completely mixes the materials as they are charged. Commonly the process begins by filling the tank with water from a fire hydrant, stream, lake or other volume water source. When the tank is partially filled, the machine is started and the charging of the specified materials will begin.
Typically, fiber mulch is loaded first. The grinder should be operating at full speed and the 'Hydro-Jets' should be pumping at full force. Bales are introduced as the water fill continues. Secondly and often concurrently, fertilizer and lime are added. Seed is normally added near the end of the charging cycle. Ideally, the water level (or what has now become the "slurry level") has reached it's full capacity at the same time the final ingredients have been loaded.
Once loading is complete, spraying can begin. There is no "trick" to spraying a hydro seed slurry, rather, common sense should prevail so that an even application of material is seen when complete. With the superior mixing system that is unique to Reinco Hydrograssers, slurry uniformity is virtually guaranteed. When the tank is empty, the cycle can begin again.
Tacking Hay & Straw
Hay or straw (long fiber mulches) are applied over newly seeded areas to provide temporary erosion control, moisture retention and a protective "blanket" that protects the seedbed, thereby creating a 'micro-climate' promoting seed germination and seedling growth. Application rates range from a minimum of 2000 lbs. per acre to as much as 4 tons per acre. Application of these mulches is performed after the initial seeding. This seeding and mulching process is commonly referred to as the 'Two Step Method' (TSM). To protect the seedbed and materials placed, some method of anchoring is often recommended. As the long strand hay or straw mulches were prone to blowing off the site, 'tacking' or sticking the mulch is required to prevent movement of the placed materials. Tacking is most often the most economical means.
Using Fiber Mulch
Hydraulic fiber mulch is utilized as a hay or straw alternative that readily mixes in a Hydrograsser along with seed, fertilizer, lime, and tackifier, allowing all amendments to be applied simultaneously. This application is commonly referred to as the "One Step Method" (OSM). Fiber Mulch is made primarily from processed wood fibers or recycled paper (or combinations of the two) and is normally packaged in bags or bales weighing 30 to 60 pounds. Most contain a green dye which helps traceability and improves the appearance of the sprayed area. It's use eliminates the need for a separate mulch application. Popularity of hydraulic fiber mulches increased over the years as a clean alternative to hay or straw mulches. This is the most common hydrograssing process today and is often what is considered when hydraulic seeding is called for.
Large scale seeding operations (such as highway reclamation) usually prefer the 'Two Step Method' (TSM) as labor, time and water requirements are significantly reduced, compared with the 'One Step Method'(OSM). For example, with fiber mulch, 3000-3500 gallons of water are required to seed, fertilize and mulch one acre of prepared seedbed. With even the largest machine and the most experienced crew, this is a time and labor consuming practice. Without the fiber mulch, a single acre can be seeded and fertilized with 500-750 gallons of water. To then apply a hay or straw mulch, would require as little as 10 minutes, up to one hour per acre with a Power Mulcher, depending on equipment selection.
Application of hay or straw mulch utilizing a Power Mulcher greatly reduces labor costs and results in a more uniform and effective cover. There is much evidence, also, that these mulches perform better than fiber mulch alone. Compared to other hay or straw application methods, as much as 30 % less material is required when a Power Mulcher is used. For more information on these productivity and cost factors, download a copy of the 'Cost Analysis'.
A 'Tackifier' is a bonding or adhesive agent that is used for hydraulic seeding and hay or straw mulch tacking. As discussed earlier, wind will often blow hay and straw away, while the impact of rain will often cause breakdown of the surface topsoil allowing fines to seal and promote ponding, encouraging the possibility of erosion. Usually tacking was done by spraying an emulsified asphalt emulsion directly with or over the mulch. Because of the environmental and logistical problems associated with petroleum based tackifiers, fiber mulch used either as a tackifier over the long strand mulch or applied using the One Step Method became more common. Fiber mulch alone or as a tackifier is acceptable as long as the mulch retained moisture. If the mulch dried out the tacking becomes ineffective.
In search of a solution, the Reinco research and development team introduced the first biodegradable powdered tackifier in 1968. This multi purpose product called 'Terra Tack™' (which became the industry benchmark for performance), could be used to effectively keep hay and straw mulch in place. Reinco Mulch Binder (RMBplus) was an improved formulation of the earlier products. Through 2007, Reinco offered TRACER™ TACKIFIER which was an improved formulation, applied at 6 lbs per acre verses the earlier 100 lb rate. Today, Reinco offers Terra Tack™ SC packaged in convienent 6 lb jugs. Readily mixed with water in a hydrograsser or similiar mixing/spraying apparatus, the tackifier slurry is then oversprayed onto the long fiber mulch and when cured becomes a permeable linked mat. This method of seeding is now aptly referred to as the 'Three Step Method' (3SM).
Reinco designs and manufactures many components which can be used in other industries. Some of these items include:
- Stainless steel spray nozzels