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8132 ProTwin Slinger

City of Janesville Relies on Truck-Mounted Slingers for its Biosolids
By Jane Fyksen

The City of Janesville’s wastewater treatment plant chose its fleet of Kuhn Knight ProTwin® side-discharge spreaders due to Kuhn’s rock-solid reputation and the onboard scales that allow for a even fertilizer application.

The City of Janesville, Wis. is delivering and applying its biosolids to farm fields in southern Wisconsin with a trio of 8132 truck-mounted Slinger® spreaders from Kuhn. Janesville’s wastewater treatment plant chose its fleet of ProTwin® side-discharge spreaders due to Kuhn’s rock-solid reputation and the onboard scales that allow for a “nice even fertilizer application,” confirms Joe Zakovec, plant superintendent.

Zakovec says the city worked several years ago with Kuhn to pilot test how well the waste-water treatment plant’s biosolids byproduct worked with their equipment. At that time, the city worked with Kuhn Knight trailed spreaders (with vertical beaters), with farmers accepting the nutrient-rich product. Previously, the Janesville plant had a liquid-based operation, utilizing tankers and injection machines. Last year, they expanded their biosolids operations and storage; the Slingers were included in this project. Ultimately they purchased two 8132s (with hydrostatic drive and scale system) last year and added a third this year.

Now, solids collected in the waste-treatment process transfer to a series of three anaerobic digesters, where the waste is heated, mixed and monitored for upwards of 25 days. Then the material is pumped to three centrifuges. A polymer/coagulant is added so the material clumps, as well as ferric chloride to bind the phosphorus. The material spins through the centrifuge at 3,000 rpm. The resulting liquid then gets retreated at the plant. The benefit is that the city is hauling less water out to farms, saving time and fuel.

The finished biosolids are transferred into trucks and deposited into the city’s on-site “cake storage” facility, awaiting application onto farm fields, which the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources must approve. When a field is available, the farmer notifies the treatment plant’s staff. Once the staff marks the field’s perimeter, the product is loaded with front-end loaders into the side-discharge Slinger spreaders for trucking to the farm and application. Zakovec describes the city’s biosolids as being almost like compost, though a little denser and containing more moisture. The biosolids run 10.5 to 11 percent nitrogen, which is the limiting factor at present for field applications; phosphorus and potassium values are lower.
The drier centrifuged biosolids material needs to be incorporated into the soil the same day that it is spread.

Eight farmers comprise a core group that take Janesville’s biosolids, though more are enrolled in the program to accept the byproduct. The farthest field is 16 miles from the site. In the fall of 2011, biosolids were applied on 275 acres; the following spring, on 100 acres prior to planting and another 130 acres of winter wheat ground. More was applied after harvest this past fall; he anticipated another 200 to 250 acres of biosolids applications before the end of the year.
“It’s nice to see them (Kuhn) going into the municipal or biosolids application field,” he says.

Zakovec, who grew up around his family’s logging business near Ashland, has worked for the city of Janesville 22 years. He says they went with the 8132s, which hold 345 cubic feet of material (without extensions), as they wanted to stay with smaller units to alleviate the possibility of any field compaction. He says this truck-mounted Kuhn Knight spreader is easy to operate and delivers a nice even application.
“It’s nice having the onboard scale, as we can see how even an application we’re giving the farmer,” Zakovec adds.

The ProTwin Slinger’s twin-auger design provides an even and consistent flow of material (be it Janesville’s biosolids or more traditional farm manure) to the discharge. One auger moves the material forward to a “hammer discharge,” while the other raised auger moves it rearward while keeping the lower auger charged and the load leveled. When material enters the hammer discharge, each hammer swings down, peeling off, pulverizing and slinging the material underhand into a controlled spread pattern.

Zakovec says this Kuhn Knight spreader easily makes a 60-foot swath of biosolids down the field. If a field is long it takes only 10 minutes or so to unload, he remarks, adding that the city’s spreader trucks have an auxiliary transmission that allows them to gear down to drive about 2.5 miles per hour while making biosolids applications.

Durability and dependability have been super, too, he indicates. Further, with Kuhn North America headquarters nearby in Brodhead, the spreader manufacturer is ultra-convenient should questions or issues arise. Kuhn staff has been “easy to work with,” praises Zakovec.

The city of Janesville purchased tandem axle Freightliner truck chassis’ onto which Kuhn mounted the 8132 Slingers. “We actually tried the rear-unload pull-type box spreader,” says Zakovec, who says the city opted instead for the side-discharge model because of the “bottom pan to close the discharge opening” that it includes. He says it provides an extra measure of confidence that they’re not “dropping product if the trucks hit a bump or cross railroad tracks.”

Zakovec suspects truck-mounted 8132s or other capacities of Kuhn Knight Slinger spreaders would be conducive for producers putting in centrifuges, too.

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