1987 - Volume #11, Issue #2, Page #28[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Old Tire Fuelmaker Now On the Market"We've had thousands of inquiries from 46 states in the U.S., six provinces in Canada and several foreign countries. Visitors have traveled here from Oklahoma, Washington, Kansas and many other parts of the country to see the machine," says inventor Arne Hoppe, Miltona, Minn., whose "fuelmaker" machine that cuts up old tires for easy burning in wood stoves (Vol. 10, No. 5) is now in commercial production.
Hoppe sold production rights to Mantle Industries, Inc., Blaine, Wash. The company is already on the market with two models, one for car and light truck tires and the other for larger truck and tractor tires. The self-contained machines, fitted with gas engines, sell for $7,500 and $9,500, respectively. A lower-priced tractor-powered model is also available.
Hoppe, a farm machine shop operator, built the machine originally to cut up the thousand of car tires he had collected for use as fuel. He now charges tires shops and garages a fee to dump tires on his place and then processes them through his machine to burn in an outside hot water stove that heats both his house and shop. He also sells the processed tires by the truck load to farmers throughout the Midwest to burn in their own stoves.
The fuelmaker uses a hard-surfaced, blunt-edged blade pushed by a 4-in. hydraulic cylinder through a slot in a cutting table to cut through the tire sidewall. A small piece of tire is punched out with each "cut". A 28-hp. gas engine powers hydraulics on the cutting arm. Takes just 10 seconds to cut a car tire into three seconds.
The secret to the success of Hoppe's invention is what he does with the tire sections after they're cut. He turns them into dense "logs" by fitting them one inside the other, slipping as many as 12 sections - equivalent to four tires - into a space 1/3 the size of an uncut tire. The solid block of rubber takes less space to store and feeds easily into stoves, burning from the outside like a wood log. Without Hoppe's method, tires tend to burn too hot due to the air in and around them.
Hoppe says farmers he's heard from have come up with all kinds of new uses for his machine and tire logs. "They're using them to fuel furnaces on grain dryers, barns, homes, and any other place they need heat. I've sold more than 22,000 cut-up tires since your FARM SHOW story. I also heard of other uses for the machine. For example, the U.S. Forest Service is interested in it. They put tires around young tree seedlings to help them get started because it warms the soil and helps preserve moisture. They want to put a notch in the tires so they can get them off. Up to this point they're been putting thousands of tires around trees with no way to remove them."
Hoppe retained the right to build his own tire cutting machine and he still sells the Aqua Therm water-jacketed furnace that's ideal for burning tires (Aqua Therm, Box 281, Brooten, Minn. ph 612 346-2264). Mantle Industries, manufacturer of the fuelmaker, is working on an after-burner for the Aqua Therm - and other stoves - that'll eliminate any smoke or smell from burning tires.
For more information, contact FARM SHOW Followup, Mantle Industries Inc., 1100 Yew Street, Blaine, Wash. 98230 (nh 206 332-52761.
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