As the scrap industry experiences one of the worst economic climates in close to a century, one company is experiencing successful growth as it celebrates its 36th straight quarter of profitability. Upstate Shredding -- Weitsman Recycling, based in Owego, N.Y.,, is the East Coast’s largest privately held scrap metal processor and estimates it will process approximately 1.05 million tons of ferrous scrap and 275 million pounds of non-ferrous scrap in 2015.
Upstate founder Adam Weitsman is credited with ushering in the new age of scrap yards, making significant investments in his facilities, erecting new buildings, seeking out environmental certifications, and paving and landscaping his yards. The company is constantly commissioning the latest technologies that will increase productivity while minimizing environmental impact. As the company continues to expand its footprint throughout the Northeast, heavy equipment to process the increased tonnage of material is integral at all locations.
In order to meet the increased supply, the company recently purchased three scrap handling material handlers from Tracey Road Equipment — two Liebherr LH50 50 ton (45 t) material handlers and a new Liebherr LH60 high-rise material handler, which gives Upstate Shredding the capacity of 75 ft. (22.8 m) of reach. The unit weighs 160,000 lbs. (72,574 kg) and the operator works from a cab that elevates up to 35 ft. (10.6 m) off the ground. The engine has a 244 hp rating.
Through the new Liebherr material handlers and an upgraded motor, the goal of Upstate Shredding is to increase its shredder capacity to process 400 tons (363 t) of scrap per hour to accommodate the more than 25,000 tons (22,680 t) of scrap delivered to the Owego processing facility daily.
“We have had a long history with Tracey Road Equipment in purchasing material handling equipment for our facilities,” Weitsman said. “We have already purchased 50 machines from Tracey and have found them to be attentive to our needs in a demanding marketplace. We have not purchased Liebherr in the past but their reputation precedes them. Jerry Tracey, president of Tracey Road Equipment, and Scott Collins, vice president of sales for Tracey Road Equipment, have an excellent record with us and we know that with the combination of Tracey Road Equipment and Liebherr we will receive tremendous engineering support, parts support, and pricing that is competitive with other brands.
“What’s really impressive is that the Liebherr material handler is engineered from the ground up to execute a specific task,” Weitsman continued. “Most material handlers in its category today are largely made up of common components that are used in all sorts of material handlers with a variety of applications. Not so with the Liebherr. Eighty percent of the material handler is actually manufactured by Liebherr and engineered specifically for its function on the Liebherr material handler. The engine, pumps, and motors are all specifically manufactured by Liebherr to make these material handlers operate as effectively and efficiently as possible.”
One feature in particular that impressed Upstate Shredding on the Liebherr material handlers is the ERC system, which increases the performance and decreases the fuel consumption of the material handler. When the hydraulic system is lowered in the Liebherr energy is stored in the machine’s ERC system. This stored energy is then made available as needed to the material handler to provide additional engine power. When equipment on the Liebherr is raised, the stored energy is released and is reflected in powerful homogeneous operating cycles. The result is a clear savings on fuel and at the same time enhanced performance, according to the company.
“Our operators have been very happy with the material handler,” Weitsman said. “On the LH60 the visibility from 35 feet up is extraordinary. The cab is very comfortable and the material handler has tremendous power and speed. In our opinion a happy operator is a better and more effective operator. These have been some difficult times in the scrap industry. Scrap prices are at an eight-year low because of a slowdown in the world economy. In order to continue to successfully grow our footprint, we have to make very savvy purchasing decisions and have equally beneficial relationships with our vendors.”
About Upstate Shredding
Upstate Shredding was founded in 1996 by Adam Weitsman. It is the largest privately held scrap metal processor on the East Coast, with approximately 400 employees. The company is headquartered in Owego, N.Y., and operates a number of locations throughout New York and Pennsylvania.
In 2014, Upstate Shredding was named Scrap Company of the Year by Platts, a division of McGraw Hill. Additionally, Upstate Shredding has been named a finalist for the AMM Scrap Company of the Year for the last three years.
Upstate has been working with Tracey Road Equipment for the past 10 years. In addition to its material handlers, it has purchased loaders, excavators, shears, over the road trucks and sweepers all from the company.
For more information about Upstate Shredding, visit www.upstateshredding.com.
For more information about Tracey Road Equipment, visit www.traceyroad.com.
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