Ted Dirkx

Ted Dirkx

Ted Dirkx

Speaker | Vermeer Corporation

Pella, IA | (641) 629-1589 | tdirkx@vermeer.com

USCC Member

Hooked by worm power before discovering diesel power. After studying composting and graduating with a degree in Environmental Studies from Central College he joined equipment manufacturer Vermeer Corporation in Pella, Iowa as a product specialist within the recycling division. Traveling about 25 weeks a year he has been roaming North America and beyond gaining a wealth of knowledge and helping organizations setup compost facilities, manufacture mulch, clear land, and produce biofuels.

Presentation Title: The Importance of Equipment Maintenance

Session: Improving Operations with Process Management and Maintenance

Time: Tuesday, January 29, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Presentation Summary: For many compost operations maintenance is not always top of mind and often treatedas an“as needed” business practice. Most have good intentions, but over time the weight of juggling a bustling compost business leads to an approach of fail and fix.

It’s a matter of priorities. As the approach gradually sets in the repairs start smalland feelcontrollable. As time passes theyslowly boil to a point of crippling magnitude that can shutter an operation leading to missed deliveries, a full tip floor, and odor issuesdue to poor aeration. The financial burdens never seem to be accounted for in the annual operating budgets, leading most to dip into reserves or profits for the year which can set an operation back years.

It’s not just the maintenance priority level that gets in the way either, sometimes there are very deliberate operational decisions made that fly in the face of maintenance. They hide behind the guise of cost savings, productivity, and labor flexibility.It doesn’t need to be complex. Maintenance is a part of every business, and there are a few tried and true principles that every operation should be following regardless of industry. Newtools are also showing promise by taking the human element out of it or improving the accountability and efficiency of executing it.

Through my work as an Application Specialist I have spent years traveling North America working with customers who implement world class maintenance practices and others who practice very little. It’s through these experiences that I will share how maintenancepracticesimpacta business, discusshowoperational factors influence it, cover basic maintenance tools and the latest up and coming tools to consider.The goal of this presentation is to challenge an operations approach of fail and fix and inspire a more proactivemindset of predict and prevent.

*This presentation has been presented at Compost Council of Canada Regional Workshops in Victoria, BC and Winnipeg, MB.