Smith, who owns Wayne Smith Welding, was approached by a client to create a unique wheel-crushing machine to streamline tire and steel wheel recycling.
“This client does tire recycling for the province, and needed a machine that would work fast and well,” said Smith.
“There is a problem with wheel recycling here; most places won’t take wheels with tires on them, and separating them takes time. The client showed me some machines that already existed, but wanted me to build an improved one.”
The wheel crusher is attached to a trailer for easy transportation, and uses three hydraulic arms that press the wheel into three sections, releasing the tire from the wheel.
Efficiency was key to making the wheel crusher better than other premade ones, and its portability and three-arm system allow it to crush between 300-500 wheels a day.
To make it more efficient, Smith sourced all the building materials locally, making the machine simple to repair without specialty parts.
“My basic design focused on buying locally, and repairing easily,” he said.
“I bought the motors and stuff from local suppliers, and I avoided using things like specialized cylinders, so that if something does happen to it, everything can be bought locally and fixed easily for the client.”
Other clients have begun showing interest in Smith’s new creation, prompting him to build another one to keep in stock.
While the machine was a commissioned project, it was built out of necessity and passion, something Smith carries with him into every project he begins.
“The thing about my work and what I do here is it makes people happy,” he said.
“Money is always part of what I do, as with any business, but the reward of my work is the happiness I pass on to others. Happiness comes not just from my work, though, but also by just going up to people and talking to them, having a conversation with them. We lack that in today’s society.”
Aside from his welding business, Smith creates meaningful sculptures and brings them to different events for people to take in and enjoy, including a special sculpture he calls the ‘Trees of Life.’
Funded and created by Smith after attending an emotional Relay for Life event in 2008, it stands as a monument for those who’ve lost loved ones to cancer.
The three large steel trees stand high in Smith’s backyard, each one topped with a large steel butterfly.
Poetry Smith wrote hangs on two steel gates between the trees, including a poem he wrote about a young girl he met who changed his life called ‘My Little Angel.’
Now, Smith brings the Trees of Life where happiness and hope are needed, and hopes to place a permanent set at the QEII hospital in Halifax.
“The rewards are what it’s about, and my reward is inspiring people and making them happy,” said Smith.
“I’m a man on a mission. I like to make people happy and I like to think I make a difference in their lives.”