Four generations of the Jacobs family have recycled paper (and more recently plastic) at Montgomery Paper Co. in Dayton, Ohio, starting in the early 1900s. The enduring family business has found a kindred spirit in the form of two Harris two-ram balers, one of which has been on the job since 1973 and the other since 1985.
Montgomery Paper is currently led by President Steven Jacobs, who is nearly 80 years old, and his nephews Vice President Craig Jacobs and General Manager Mitch Jacobs. Mitch, who oversees operations, says the remarkably durable Harris balers, like the family itself, have taken part in decades worth of change in the recycling industry.
The long-lasting Harris-Montgomery Paper relationship started in 1973, when Montgomery Paper installed an HRB-3 two-ram baler. The Jacobs family and the rest of the staff at Montgomery Paper were impressed with the baler’s performance from the start, making it an easy decision to add an HRB-8A2 in 1985, according to Mitch.
In the 1970s and '80s, the HRBs baled almost exclusively paper, including larger volumes of old newspapers (ONP) and printers’ grades, as well as grades that have faded from view, such as computer printout (CPO) paper and computer card stock.
While those paper grades have faded, an increase in old corrugated containers (OCC) and diversifying into industrial and warehouse-generated plastic has kept Montgomery Paper and its Harris balers busy in the 21st century.
A constant, says Mitch, has been the performance of the two-ram Harris balers. “Both the HRB-3 and the HRB-8A2, they’ve been able to change with the times. Whatever we’ve thrown at them, they can handle it.”
Mitch says the Jacobs family did considerable research before buying both balers, and they’ve been so satisfied with the results that Montgomery Paper has chosen to modify and upgrade each baler rather than replace it.
Mitch points to the reliability and output of the balers when he says, “The HRB-3 proved itself a beast, and the HRB-8A2 just became a beast-plus, because of the extra speed and the extra 100 horsepower of the motor.”
As long as the balers have lasted, Mitch is not eager to think about replacing either one. However, if or when that time comes, “We absolutely would start with Harris, and I seriously doubt we would look any farther,” says Mitch. “I’ve seen other brands at work, and nothing else has really impressed me. HRBs are easy to work on, and the people in Georgia are easy to talk to when we need to. All those things speak to a baler company that wants to take care of its customers.”
More information on the ultra-reliable HRB series of two-ram balers can be found at https://harrisequip.com/products/two-ram-balers/hrb.