Strategic fleet management meets waste industry challenges
Expanding waste management group, Waste Recycling Group (WRG) aims to maximise efficiency over a range of waste and landfill sites by "cascading" mobile plant to maximise return on investment.
The key role of repair and maintenance is covered by a customised agreement
with distributor Finning for its fleet of over 70 Caterpillor machines.
Comprising nine regional operating companies, located in East Anglia,
Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire, East Midands, Yorkshire, Cheshire, the
North West and North Wales, WRG has over 600 employees, manages 38 landfill
sites and handles some six million tonnes of waste
Waste handling review
Managing waste operations of this scale means that WRG is constantly
investigating new ways of helping to increase efficiency across its sites
and this recently led the organisation to review its waste handling
Stuart Court, Group Plant Manger for WRG, explains why the group has
expanded its equipment fleet: “A reliable and efficient waste handling
equipment fleet is essential to the overall productivity of the Group’s
landfill sites. Our machines have to perform to the standards we expect of
them, plus we have had to research ways of improving fleet productivity. An
important factor in our decision to specify new machines was to keep abreast
of advancing landfill technology.
“We required a number of highly specified, good quality machines featuring
technology capable of meeting future needs. This, in effect allows us to
cascade older machines to the smaller sites where cost per tonne is
“For example, we have purchased a number of Cat 963Cs that have replaced
953Bs and Cs which have gone to other sites. These three 963 purchases
resulted in five machine moves, allowing us to place the right machine, in
terms of age, size and value on our books, to the right sites.
“We like the 963 because it features a Computerised Monitoring System that
allows quick diagnosis of the power train and electrical systems and the
constant monitoring of all vital machine functions. This, of course, helps
the Finning engineers to locate and fix the fault as quickly as possible,
helping to minimise downtime of the equipment.”
Range of machines
WRG¹s latest order for machines comprises a range of nine Caterpillar
machines, including the UK’s first three 963C WHA track type loaders, a 953C
track type loader, three 826G landfill compactors, an 816F landfill
compactor, and a 962G wheeled loader.
The new 963Cs feature Caterpillar¹s full waste handling arrangement and one
of these machines is already helping to dispose of the some 150,000 tonnes
of waste that is treated and disposed of at WRG’s Milton site in
Cambridgeshire every year.
The specialist waste handling arrangement is designed to offer added machine
versatility and to ensure the Cat 963C WHA performs exceptionally well in
landfills and waste handling applications where it meets the site’s
earthmoving needs as well as acting as a back-up to the 826G. The
arrangement includes a bucket trash rack and side plates which effectively
increase the bucket capacity, thereby increasing productivity when handling
low-density waste material.
Featuring extensive guarding and heavy-duty components, the 963C is
protected from the type of damage that usually occurs in harsh waste
handling environments and the 963C’s trash pre-cleaner helps to supply
clean, filtered air to the engine. A wide core radiator keeps the 963C cool
and heavy-duty striker bars help to prevent waste gathering around the
Stuart Court outlines the reasoning behind the decision to purchase the
963Cs in particular: “The 963C WHA was specified because, in my opinion,
there is simply no other machine on the market that could meet our
requirements so exactly. Its size was a crucial factor in our decision as we
needed a machine that could not only perform well as a loader, but was heavy
enough to tow bulkers off the waste face in bad weather using its tow
“Since it arrived at the Milton site, the 963C is performing extremely well
and the operators have been very positive about both of the new Cat
WRG has not only invested time and resources finding the right equipment for
its needs; it also held discussions with Finning outlining its repair and
maintenance requirements, for its fleet of over 70 Cat machines. In
response, Finning has supplied a customised agreement designed to meet these
Finning recommended a combination of Repair and Maintenance (R&M) and
multi-flex agreements as the most appropriate option for WRG.
Finning says that WRG was attracted to the idea of a multi-flex agreement
for older machines, because it enabled the group to set an agreed sum with
Finning to cover all fleet repair and maintenance costs for the year. As
part of the agreement, Finning and WRG hold quarterly review meetings to
monitor fleet costs and to ensure the package is running smoothly.