Unit A7 Grader Place, 23 Grader Road, Spartan Ext 3, Kempton Park, 1619, Gauteng.
Sales JHB Completes:- John 073 9303799, ------Hendri 0837934092 ------Marc 084 4534499 KZN

TM3 Tractor Mounted Compost Turner for massively benefitial aerobic compost

Compost Turner Tractor Mounted turning 3 meter x 1,5 meter rows using tractor with Minimum 40kw and with crawler gear

Compost Turner plus showing rotor with spatula mount supports and carrier shaft!

Compost Turner Tractor Mounted Ritlee TM3 Must have crawler gear tractor

Compost Turner Tractor Mounted Ritlee TM3 Must have crawler gear tractor

Compost is a mixture that consists largely of decayed organic matter and is used for fertilizing and conditioning your lands and soils. Compost consists largely of decayed carbon-based matter like fruits, vegetables, manure, grasses, dead leaves, and woody debris and chip.

To become compost, these materials go through an appropriate phase of decay. In well-aged compost, the various fungal and microbial agents contained therein are given time to work their decomposition magic, breaking down to their most essential nutrients.

Over the years farmers have become more and more dependent on fertilizers and other soil additives because we have basically nearly killed off the microbial and fungal life we had in our well used soils.


Some Fungi and what they do!

Some Fungi and what they do!

How compost makes Nutrients available to plants!

Finished compost contains nitrogen, a vital nutrient for both plants and animals that can be found in proteins, enzymes, DNA, and many other types of cellular or living structures. During the process of decomposition, bacteria and fungi break down nitrogen-based compounds to generate ammonium. Microbes present in the soil take the ammonium and turn it into nitrite, which then goes through yet another phase of metamorphosis to be turned to nitrate. In the final phase of composting, nitrates turn to usable nitrogen, signalling that the compost is ready for use.

Poorly managed or under-aged compost does not make it through these four phases, instead producing an excess of ammonium without enough microbes to continue the process of nitrification. The accumulation of unconverted ammonium can mean imbalanced, non-useful compost that often features a foul odour.

Ritlee TM3 Compost Turner Action picture

Ritlee TM3 Compost turner showing how coupled to tractor in action turning compost

Benefits of Composting the Aerobic way:

  • Compost rebuilds soil structure,

    • Higher yields – compost improves soil structure and fertility, restores carbon and organic matter, improves erosion control, reduces disease and insect pressures, will increase a crop’s yield potential.
    • Fertilizer substitution – compost contains crop-available nutrients.
    • Contains slow release of major crop nutrients including phosphate, potash, magnesium and sulfur.
    • A useful input of sulfur to improve cereal and grain quality characteristics.
  • Soil compaction decreases,

    • Aeration improves, Nutrient storage capacity increases and is freely accessible to plants,
    • Soil structure improves, which in turn promotes healthier plants.
    • Increases organic matter in the soil which studies show improves maximum yield potential
  • Moisture holding capacity increases

    • (1% organic matter in soil increases water holding capacity by up to 170,000 liters per Ha or 80 to 90% of its composted weight.)
    • Better water management – compost can prevent heavy soils becoming water logged by increasing water infiltration.
    • It will also help light soils hold on to water, making it available for crop growth during dry periods.
  • Disease suppressing

    • microbes (Actinomycetes etc) abound in manure (Aerobic verses Anaerobic processes)
    • many diseases are associated with Anaerobic conditions
    • Soil ph. becomes more neutral— Good compost has ph of +/- 7
    • Humus is a colloidal substance, and increases the soil’s attraction exchange capacity, hence its ability to store nutrients by binding.
    • Biochemical structure of humus enables it to moderate – or buffer – excessive acid or alkaline soil conditions.
    • To add to quality of your compost, consider adding Vigo or Vigo Espresso (To Vigo and Espresso page click here)
  • Fuel savings and traffic tolerance

    • compost improves soil structure, making it easier to work whilst using less fuel. Improving soil structure will make it more resistant to compaction from traffic and will extend the conditions in which it can be worked.

In Brief:

  • For the repopulating of beneficial and essential microbial and fungal life in your soils, plantations, pastures, orchards etc though compost.
  • Our Ritlee Model TM3 is a tractor mounted compost turner processing rows 3 meter wide x 1,5 meter high and of any length.
  • It expels all unwanted carbon dioxide ( CO2 ) in the soil and replacing it with clean fresh oxygen laden air, reduces the unwanted high temperatures and makes the row absolutely ideal to allow beneficial microbes and fungi to populate and multiply in the soils.
  • This turning releases the co2 here too making it ideal for beneficial microbial colonization, then obviously turns in and evenly distributes moisture in or applied to the compost row!

Over the years Ritlee has got Literally thousands of enquiries for info and pricing on our TM3 compost turner which we follow up with latest factory pricing and delivery costs to possible customer. 

When Ritlee follow up on the enquiries, we are often told that enquirers have heard about the massive benefits which our compost turner produces with compost for farms pastures, orchards, vegtables, turf etc etc etc, but price is a limiting factor when buying and client wants to wait till they can afford it!.

I, Marc, have asked users this question and if the compost program is beneficial on the clients farm. — Each one without fail said it was one of the farms better investments and really does improve product quality, yield, soil condition, soil moisture retention and these points alone make the investment worth it 10 fold!

Compost high in microbial and fungal content is what it is really about-

  • Getting that life back into your soils which has been killed off over the years of use and treatment. — With proper management of your composting, this is achieved in massive numbers with massive benefits!.

Compost Rebuilds soils, restores carbon and organic matter, improves erosion control, reduces disease and insect pressure, enhances water infiltration, reduces compaction, improves nutrient retention, promotes healthier plants, reduces need for chemicals, dramatically cut your costs paying for fertilizer and increases your income

Ritlee Trommel Screens made to your specs— Conveyors also made.

TM3 tractor mounted compost 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.
  • See downloads below for compost reading.
Compost turner in action

Ritlee compost turner doing 3 x 1.5 meter rows or 750 M3 turning per hour


(Please note– Blue Drag line for water is a optional extra!– 100 meter length ideal!)

Ritlee TM3 Compost Turner Technical Specs

Ritlee TM3 Compost Turner Technical Specs

TM3 composting organic farm waste

Ritlee TM3 Compost turner tractor mounted

TM3 Compost turner specs and tractor requirements

  • Tractor Min 45 kw tractor and MUST HAVE A CRAWLER GEAR –If area very slippery when wet, consider a 4 wheel drive.
  • In average for above tractor PTO set at 540 RPM and revs at 1,700
  • 90° (degree) gearbox with the correct ratio to rotor from 540RPM from your tractor. 130Kw angle drive gearbox
  • 2 PTO shafts (1x with slip clutch)
  • 50 mm water hose clamp with water connection with centrally located applicator hole mid mount on turner housing.
    • Is Located immediate above compost row being turned — Mixes water in immediately throughout row of compost. (Ideal 60% moisture content)
  • Hydraulic hose connectors to your tractor coupling point for hydraulic lift & lower of turner rotor.
  • Rubber curtains to contain ‘flying’ objects and make turned rows look neat.
  • Micro organism application tank with dropping boom with on/off control — This is an optional.
  • Tractor coupler mounted at weight section of tractor then stabilizer bar specially measured and welded with turnbuckles for ideal tensioning and line up of turner.
  • Weights and measure: 480cm long x 170cm wide x 240cm High with tank x 1750kg
    • Turns Rows 3,00 meters wide x 1,5 meters high
    • Turns 675 cu meters per hour at 300 meters per hour ground speed

Composting site Requirements:

  • Area the size of Rugby field or larger will be ideal.
  • Area to be level, with a slight slope will be great to allow run-off of leach-ate.
  • Reliable Water supply point with easy on off control with sufficient pressure to feed water drawn drag line to turner
Water Coupler point

Water coupler point on compost turner

 We now have a good number of our turners in the market — Please give us a call for names of clients closest to you.

There is unseen complexity hidden in the soils below our feet. For a long time much of agriculture’s research has focused on the relationship between plants and their surroundings with very little focus on the beneficial plant-microbe interactions. Plants and microbes have, over long periods of time, evolved intimate relationships that enable them to co-exist. Many experiments have tried to investigate these interactions by simplifying the interactions that occur to an individual plant-microbe relationship, but in reality, these interactions are much more complex and involve a vast array of microbes. We should forget the idea that soil systems can be simply explained and instead consider all the factors that influence these complex ecosystems. The plant, the soil, and the soil microbes all working together to mediate and influence the various exchanges (see Fig. 1) that contribute to plant health and productivity.
Fig. 1 Schematic illustration of how soil factors influence both plant roots and soil microbes which in turn reshape the soil environment through a dynamic exchange of chemical responses to living and nonliving stimuli.— Read more

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.

humus technowlegy

Compost Row with active zones

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.

Cattle, pigs, chicken 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 to 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)

General composting:  Farm waste and vegetable waste –Videos!

Breaking up bales trials– worked well!

Composting Chicken Littre and slaughter waste! (Kraal manure, horse manure all ideal for composting!)

Uploaded and published by Plant Health Cure BV in Netherlands.

Must See video from Plant health cure about your soils and action therein

Composting Tea Tree waste. Also compost your Mac Nut waste!

Trommel for compost!


Our  first TM3 compost turner was sold in Feb 2007 in NW Province and still going strong

We have now got a good number in the field from Saudi Arabia to Mauritius to South Africa

To save you and us time and inform you where price ranges from on this page, to asses if compost turner falls within your planned budget. the TM3 compost turner on this page start at R211,000 excluding Vat and delivery

This video is really worth watching!


× Hi, How can we help? John from Ritlee