18 Mpande Road, Sebenza, Edenvale, Gauteng.
P.O. Box 1296, Bedfordview, 2008. South Africa.

Ritlee Compost Turner

The Ritlee Tractor Mounted Compost Turner was designed and manufactured by Ritlee for farmer’s to produce high microbial and fungal content compost.
Adding compost to soil increases soil fertility and action exchange capacity and can reduce fertilizer requirements to levels where ideally no more fertilizer is used! Soil becomes microbially active and more suppressive to soil-borne and foliar pathogens. Enhanced microbial activity also accelerates the breakdown of pesticides and other synthetic organic compounds. Compost amendments reduce the bioavailability of heavy metals—an important quality in the remediation of contaminated soils.

Ritlee TM3 Compost turner

Composting normal farm organic waste

Composting Tea Tree Kettle waste

Breaking up Straw Bales

Composting Kraal and Chicken waste

Ritlee TM3 Compost Turner

Benefits of compost (Humus) on your farm:

  • Moisture holding capacity increases (1% organic matter in soil increases water holding capacity by up to 170,000 litres per Ha) (80 to 90% of its composted weight)
  • Leaching of nutrients is minimized and fertility storage maximized — in this stored form easily available for plant uptake!
  • While these nutrient cations are accessible to plants, they are held in the soil safe from being leached by rain or irrigation.
  • Disease supressing microbes (Actinomycetes etc) abound in manure (Aerobic verses Anaerobic processes)
  • Aeration improves, nutrient storage capacity increases, Soil compaction decreases as soil structure improves.
  • Plant diseases decrease— many diseases are associated with anaerobic conditions
  • Humus is a colloidal substance, and increases the soil’s attraction exchange capacity, hence its ability to store nutrients by binding.
  • The biochemical structure of humus enables it to moderate – or buffer – excessive acid or alkaline soil conditions.
  • Soil ph. becomes more neutral— Good compost has ph. of +/- 7

Our Turner Performance!

  • Turns Rows 3,00 meters wide x 1,5 meters high
  • Turns 675 cu meters per hour at 300 meters per hour ground speed
  • 40Kw tractor with crawler gear

TM3 Compost Turner specifications:

  • 90° (degree) gearbox with the correct ratio to rotor from 540RPM from your tractor
  • 2x PTO shafts (1x with slip clutch)
  • 50mm water hose clamp with water connection with boom applicator
  • Hydraulic hose connectors for hydraulic lift & lower of turner rotor
  • 85Kw angle drive gearbox geared for correct rotor speed
  • Round no-tread profile tires to prevent mud build up and allow for ease of turning
  • Rubber curtains to contain ‘flying’ objects
  • Micro organism application tank
  • Micro organism application boom with on/off tap
  • Tractor front to turner stabilizer bar

Over the years, Ritlee has sold well over 70+ of our compost turners into the South African Market. Also we have sold well over 25 units in Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Mozambique and even to our surrounding islands like Mauritius and Seychelles.

Cattle / Dairy Farmers:
Our compost turner is exceptionally beneficial to Cattle / Dairy Farmers who can

  • Collect all the dung and urine and place in rows as long as they want (3 meter wide).
  • Turn with our TM3 Compost Turner and allow this row to compost while turning over a period of 6 to 10 weeks!
  • Manure and Urine after turning and allowed to compost is now exceptionally beneficial as resident microbes in the manure have been allowed to really multiply and populate the manure while decomposing it as well.
  • Moisture should always be controlled as well to some 60%
  • Manure / Compost is now at a consistency which is easy to spread mechanically over the lands and at even application as all the clumps and lumps have been broken up.
  • Farmers should try and collect as much of their cattle urine as possible as well and add to composting as it is high in Microbes.
  • Farmers constantly turning heavy duty materials have the option to customize our TM3 with heavy duty gearbox (see gallery below)

Contact us for information or enquire for quotes.

Please see Info Downloads further down this page.




Ritlee Electric Drive Compost Turner

Built for customers who want to compost but have a restricted area to use, such as Golf Clubs, Estates, Education Departments, Small Holdings etc.

This compost turner is our first 2m x 1.5m row electrically powered turner – in manufacturing this turner, we wanted to eliminate the expense of hydraulic motors and pumps and have succeeded with a massive saving to our clients!

Electric Drive Compost Turner specifications:

  • 2m x 1.5m rows
  • Dual speed drive using 0.55kw
  • High torque Drive Box on each rear wheel
  • Electric Drive on rotor
  • All can be independently controlled
  • Powered with 3 phase electric drag cable or fitted with generator mounted onto unit

Contact us for information or enquire for quotes.


Compost Turner Gallery:


Ritlee Compost Turner & Composting Information Downloads:


Ritlee Compost Recommended Reading

There is no magic, no shortcuts. There is only MANAGEMENT.

Composting is simply a matter of making the indigenous microbes and fungi very, very happy.
If these bacteria are kept at their optimum environmental conditions: plenty to eat, good room temperature, and lots and lots of fresh air, they will perform their natural work – making finished compost, in record time without odours.

PLEASE: If you want high numbers of indigenous bacteria and fungi in your compost, give them time to multiply while composting your bulking. Straw is good for composting, but will decompose very quickly. This will give you a fair count of microbes and finished product within 2 weeks or so. But if you use wood chips, and other more bulky organic material this will decompose slower and will allow your microbes to really multiply 100 fold more, this will ensure the microbes have food during this process which could take up to 12 weeks. In my mind it is all about the numbers!!

This is our attempt to explain how our Ritlee Rhino TM and SP range of turners helps create this near perfect environment. The following cross sectional drawing illustrates the concept of Windrow Dynamics for all of us laymen. It is not designed to be a technical presentation. Windrow Dynamics is basically the natural or unassisted airflow and subsequent bacterial activity of an undisturbed windrow caused by the rising of heated air.

Zone 3: represents what I call the “Dead Zone”, or the anaerobic spot that normally begins immediately in a newly formed windrow

Zone 2: which is the most active zone, becomes the hottest and has the most biological activity. This zone is the ideal zone. It can be the “Sweet Spot”  of composting. However, temperatures will rise too high in this zone and begin to destroy beneficial bacteria.

Zone 1: is the least compact zone in the entire row. It is cooler than Zone 2 but warmer than Zone 3. Bacterial activity in this zone slows down rapidly as the moisture evaporates and cool air penetrates it.

Forming the Zones

In most new windrows, other than straight yard debris, Zone # 3 begins to form immediately and increases in size rapidly. The little oxygen that exists is consumed rapidly, and the relatively high moisture content of the material begins to settle here. Zone # 2 is basically un definable yet but begins to form as a result of an active Zone # 1, which remains small but active. If the row is not mixed and aerated soon it will all become Zone # 3. This is the most critical point because the odours generated can be the cause of site closing ODOURS. These Zones must be refreshed promptly. All the material must change places and preferably must change zones. This brings us to the action of our Ritlee turners.

Particle Size:

There are three basic operations of the Ritlee TM3: The first is continued particle size reduction without creating anaerobic pockets, in fact it crumbles these pockets. It does not grind or pulverize the material, However, as the structural integrity of the material weakens due to bacterial activity the collisions caused by the vortex action within the tunnel begins shattering the weakened particles into smaller jagged shaped pieces. This increased surface area dramatically accelerates microbial activity. It is widely known that bacteria work only on the surface of the material. The more surface area that can be exposed, the more bacteria the material can support. Thus accelerating material breakdown resulting in a higher percentage of finished product. This brings us to the next basic operation of the Ritlee TM3

Air Flow:

Our TM3, at 300 meters per hour ground speed turns 450cu meter compost per hour. With the specially designed rotor with its spatula type blades which work to the centre from both sides allows phenomenal volumes of fresh air flow (Oxygen) through the row, and at the same time expels the CO2 buildup. Forcing air in the material which is very important, keeping it there is vital. To retain as much of this air as possible is critical NOT to squeeze the material like a sausage maker as it comes out the rear of the tunnel.

The throwing action of the rotor forms and shapes the discharge pile, not the shape of the tunnel. This action creates a porosity unequalled by any other turning device. Virtually every study on odours shows a direct correlation between lack of oxygen and the presence of odours. It’s only “Common Sense” to retain as much oxygen as possible to ensure maximum Windrow Dynamics.