Case study: Todco finds a partner it can rely on

When Todd Warffold decided to start Todco, his Lexington, N.C. mulch manufacturing and wood recycling business more than 20 years ago, he found getting a foothold in the recycling industry more difficult than he initially expected.

“When we started our business, we wanted to put in a stationary grinder and approached a local company about getting the equipment we needed,” Warffold said. “I was a young entrepreneur, so they didn’t treat me with respect and didn’t think that I was worth their time.”

Undeterred about starting his business, Todd went in search for a manufacturer that would give his budding business the respect it deserved.

“I went to West Salem Machinery and they immediately treated me with respect, and provided the type of customer service that I really appreciated,” Warffold said “We wanted to deal with someone on the East Coast because we thought it would be easier, but West Salem has always been really responsive to whatever we’ve needed over the years.”

When deciding to expand the capabilities of Todco, Warffold said he realized his business needed the machinery necessary to improve efficiency and production.

“We had portable grinders at our facility and we wanted to set up something stationary,” he said. “Mobile units that run on diesel are expensive to run and we needed something more efficient.

To meet the growing needs of his business, in 1998, Warffold purchased a 4064 horizontal grinding system from West Salem to process pallets, C&D and other dry urban waste wood. The system featured a large diameter feed roll and 35 foot long counter balanced vibrating conveyor with steel coil springs.

“There have been no problems with the equipment,” Warffold said. “I think

we’ve upgraded a few things over the years – feed rollers and other stuff that we’ve worn out or wanted to upgrade, and West Salem has worked with us to do all of that.”

Not only did the horizontal grinding unit Warffold purchased from West Salem provide incredible durability, he said he has enjoyed the money it saved his business as well.

“Switching from a diesel to an electric unit made it far cheaper to operate,” he said. “We saved half of the cost per ton making the switch. While production times were a little slower using electric rather than diesel, the cost savings more than made up for it.”

While Warffold said he has enjoyed the dependability of the 4064 horizontal grinding system it purchased from West Salem more than 20 years ago, the time has come to upgrade once again.

“Our machinery continues to work just fine after 20 years, but the time has come to upgrade and update our equipment,” Warffold said.

While the grinder and powered feed roll continue to run like new, West Salem is in the process of manufacturing a new 35-foot vibrating conveyor for Todco.

Warffold fondly reflects on the relationship his business established with West Salem all those years ago.

“I remember that West Salem said that if we bought a machine from them, they’d pay for me and my wife to visit the West Coast,” he said. “We had a chance to tour West Salem and meet Mark (Lyman), which really helped us feel better about dealing with people on the other side of the country.”

Overall, Warffold has greatly appreciated what West Salem has done to help improve his business.

“For giving a young entrepreneur a start, they did us a real favor,” he said. “Even though West Salem is a bigger company, they treat you just like a smaller, mom and pop business would.”

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