Operating a barge loading and unloading facility on the mighty Mississippi River can present unique challenges. Depending on climatic conditions, the river can range from more than 35 ft. to under 3 ft. in height on the St. Louis River gauge. Such a variance can definitely affect day-to-day operations and it requires the right kind of material handling equipment with the reach and balance to get the job done.
“It was one of the main reasons why we went with a Sennebogen material handler,” said John Engelmohr, site manager of Cash’s Scrap Metal & Iron River Terminal. “Our dock is over 40 feet in height. Sometimes when the river is at a low level, it can be difficult to reach down and get to the bottom of the barges. What we liked about the Sennebogen 835 M was its weight and the fact that it offered more reach with its banana-boom configuration than the competition. We gained about 10 more feet of reach with the 835 M.”
Cash’s Scrap Metal & Iron was founded nearly 25 years ago by Stuart Block who continues to head up the company’s operations.
The company has three operations in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Located at mile marker 172 on the right descending bank of the Mississippi River, Cash’s River Terminal is St. Louis’ only onsite scrap processing barge loading and unloading facility. It has been in operation since September 2004 and offers dockside transfer between vessel, rail and truck.
Having a riverside facility as part of its scrap metal operations has a number of benefits for Cash’s. It was critical in allowing the company to play a large role in the demolition of the old Busch Stadium in late 2005 and early 2006, and it has given Cash’s more options in shipping its freight.
“Not only has our River Terminal decreased Cash’s dependency on rail cars and trucks, it has opened up a whole new category of business by getting all kinds of scrap like obsolete barges off the river,” said Engelmohr.
Cash’s Sennebogen 835 M has been in operation for about a year now. It can be fitted with either a grapple or a magnet to load and unload barges and trucks. On average, the 835 M operates 10 hours a day. The machine’s rubber tires allow it to move around the yard quickly and efficiently as necessity dictates, something its operators appreciate.
“We’re a 15-acre facility. If a truck on the south-end needs to be unloaded and another one five minutes behind it on the north-end needs to be unloaded, it’s nice to be able to move through the yard quickly in the Sennebogen machine,” said Engelmohr.
Cash’s purchase of the 835 M developed out of a demo of a similar machine with a straight boom set-up that was arranged by John Derbak at Roland Machinery in nearby Bridgeton, Mo.
“What Stuart Block and the Cash’s people were primarily looking for was a machine that could take 3,000 pounds of material and get it into a barge over 50 feet down without having to drop it the last 10 feet and put a hole in the bottom of it. The Sennebogen 835 M with its 62 feet of reach allows them to do that,” said Derbak.
According to Engelmohr, based on the performance of the 835 M, Sennebogen is definitely in the running for a couple of replacement machines Cash’s will be purchasing over the next year or so.
For more information, call 877/309-0099 or visit www.sennebogen-na.com