Ken Miller was introduced to the EarthBuster a decade ago. At that time, the deep-soil decompactor tool was sold under a different name, but Miller was impressed by the way it rejuvenated a drainfield on a rental property he owned. So he did some research, tracked down the equipment’s original inventor, and contacted him.
“He wasn’t doing a whole lot with it, so finally I said, ‘How about if I buy the patent and take it to market?’” Miller recalls. “It’s one of those things I joke about now: I liked the product so much I bought the company.”
The EarthBuster breaks up soil compaction and biomat in drainfields by repeatedly driving a pneumatic probe up to 6 feet deep and delivering shots of compressed air.
“You’re breaking up the biomat and feeding oxygen to it so it can further decompose, and loosening up the soil so that it will percolate like it was designed to do,” Miller says. In addition to treating failing systems, the EarthBuster can be used after a new system has been constructed, Miller says.
“When you put in a new system you’re driving over it with heavy equipment and immediately you’re creating less-than-perfect conditions,’’ he explains. “So installers can go in and use this to loosen that soil and give the customer a good, uniform soil to convey the effluent.’’
The target market is both contractors who install onsite systems and provide septic system pumping and maintenance.
“There are a lot of times that the first ones to hear about a slow drainfield are the ones who’ve been called out to pump the tank, so it’s a natural fit,” he says. “Or it’s a good fit for contractors who provide jetting. Jetting a system is only half the job. You’re releasing all that gunk off the pipes, but then it’s not going anywhere if there’s a slow drainfield. If you come in and get air into that drainfield and get the soil working again, then you can provide a better overall service for your customer.”
Miller says the EarthBuster can be connected to the contractor’s compressor, and can be mounted to any equipment with a standard quick-attach coupling such as mini-excavators, skid-steers, compact track-loaders and tractors. Miller can provide an adaptor for users without quick-attach.
The EarthBuster may be operated via a two-button control box fastened to the side of the cab. One button activates the air hammer that drives the probe into the ground, while the second button releases the air. A machine can also be configured so that the EarthBuster is operated through the joystick controls in the cab.
Miller looked forward to bringing the EarthBuster to the 2016 Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport Show.
“With the number of people who come through here looking to buy equipment, we saw it as the best opportunity to market it,” he says from the WWETT Show exhibit floor. “At this point it’s just educating people that a product like this is out there, and the show is a great opportunity to do that.” 406/215-1588; www.earthbuster.com.