Purpose-built handling equipment meets specific needs of the recycling industry

German manufacturer, Fuchs, which is part of the Schaeff Group, is in the forefront of developing purpose-built handling equipment applied on many recycling and rehandling sites in the UK, including the scrap metals and general rehandling industries. LAWE takes a look at the company's approach to manufacturing equipment engineered to the meet the specifications of this demanding market

The key features of Fuchs purpose-designed handlers are the “straight-boom and stick” configuration, to give optimum reach, height and lift capacity, the long and wide outrigger spread to give a firm and stable base for the machine, and the integral structural strength in the chassis and slew-ring to be able to cope with the continuously high load factors.

A typical 30 tonne machine has a maximum outreach of up to 15 metres and a maximum lift capacity of 15 tonnes, and there are bigger machines, up to 60 tonnes or more, providing 18 metres reach and over 20 tonnes capacity.

In addition, they have standard features, such as elevating cabs to give the driver a clearer view and create an overall safer working environment around the loading area, as well as built-in generator drives and hydraulic circuits for magnets and grab attachments.

Fuchs employs a policy of listening to customers, and being prepared to adapt machines and attachments to suit a variety of needs.

“There has been a steady increase in demand for Fuchs machines, both in small recycling yards and in major industrial operations, as operators look more carefully at ways to improve or upgrade the efficiency of their rehandling operations, and many of them working 24 hours a day”, says Brian Albiston, UK Sales Manager for Fuchs.

For that reason, Schaeff provides a comprehensive range of back-up services, including options such as contract service agreements, and a central parts and service operation.

Flagship loader for recycling

The first of Schaeff’s new top-of-the-range wheel-loaders, the 11-tonne SKL873, has gone to work in the recycling yard and transfer station of Henshaws Environmental Ltd. in Macclesfield, Cheshire.

Fitted with a special 4.5m3 high-tip bucket, and with a maximum dump height in excess of 4 metres, it is used mainly for sorting and stacking incoming waste materials and then loading them into high-sided vehicles for transfer to re-processors or to the dump. Most of the materials are domestic and industrial waste from the skip-collection service provided by Henshaws in the immediate Macclesfield area.

“The volume of our recycling business has been growing rapidly,” says Joe Henshaw, “so we have upgraded the efficiency and capacity of the yard with new equipment, including crushing and screening plant as well as new vehicles.

“To complement that, we need a reliable loader, which is compact yet tough – because of the restricted nature of the yard and sorting shed, and the continuous seven-days-a-week operation. But it must also have a high lift capability because of the need to load the high-sided wagons and hoppers. We chose the Schaeff because of its performance and good reputation in the recycling industry, in Germany and in the UK.”

Having previously operated older equipment, the operators appreciate the modern cab and controls – particularly the single-lever loader-control, which includes a push-button forward-reverse shift as well as the normal loader controls. Another feature is the hydrostatic transmission which enables fast shuttle-loading without having to shift gears, and also obviating the need for braking – saving both time, and wear and tear on the brakes and drive-line.

The SKL873 is also used, with the same high-tip bucket, for coal handling – charging the high-level hoppers to feed the coal-bagging facility. But with its quick-change facility, the machine can also be quickly switched over to a fork attachment, which can be used for handling palletised materials or large, bulky items such as old engine blocks and scrap cars.

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