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Niagara Metals Barrels Ahead With ’Unbelievable’ Volume

Fri January 30, 2009 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

When Todd Levin established Niagara Metals on May 1, 2006, he had one simple goal: To be the area’s lowest cost processor of scrap metal. Coming from a family of fourth-generation scrap metal handlers, he knew he would need reliable and dependable equipment to achieve this goal. Levin turned to Sennebogen and Lisa Blair at M&M Machinery for the reliability and service he knew would meet his needs.

Since then, Niagara Metals has become a major player in the local scrap metal business and Levin said expansion of its operations is in the works.

“Our two Sennebogen 835 M material handlers have been an important part of our success,” said Levin. “Their reliability, dependability and simplicity enable us to handle an unbelievable amount of scrap a month with a limited crew and a crane-mounted shear. For that kind of volume to happen, everything has to go efficiently 100 percent of the time. As a new company, my experience in this industry tells me that there’s no way we can succeed and do what we do, unless our two material handlers are running an average of ten hours a day, six days a week. Reliability and uptime are key to our success. We can rely on our two 835 Ms to get the job done. One of the 835 M machines is fitted with a 67 inch magnet, while the other has a grapple.”

A Busy Place

Niagara Metals is on a 50 acre concrete pad. The scrap yard is located on the reclaimed site of a former electrode factory. From approximately 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Saturday, the two Sennebogen machines are used to load trucks. The two rubber-tired 835 M models are ideal in terms of mobility for the yard’s 50 acre concrete base.

“If the machine is in the back of the yard and a truck rolls in that needs attention up front, the operator literally can be there in about three minutes,” said Levin.

Between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. the two 835 Ms are used to load rail cars that are changed by the railroad at that time. Levin estimated that his business is the right mix of larger industrial accounts, demolition contractors, and local drive-in trade. It is a busy operation that cannot afford any downtime, according to Levin.

Computer-free machines and simplicity of service is what drew Levin to Sennebogen. He recalled how changing parts on another manufacturer’s computerized machines at his family’s former scrap yard would often put them out of operation for the day and sometimes longer.

“With the Sennebogen if something knocks it out, we are up and running in no time. Having that capability is terrific,” said Levin.

An Office at the Top

The elevating cab on the 835 M allows for some unexpected multi-tasking.

“One of the operators in our ferrous division is actually a working foreman. When he’s sitting up in the elevating cab he can see what’s going on across the whole yard. With his radio, he can do his job as a yard foreman while he’s operating the material handler,” said Levin.

Operators appreciate the visibility the elevating cab offers them, and being able to sit behind a trailer and reach the front when loading it, due to the generous reach offered by the 835 M, Levin said.

Lisa Blair of M&M Machinery is happy to share in Niagara’s success.

“When Todd purchased his first 835 M, we were a relatively new Sennebogen dealer. We knew what level of response would be required by a dealer and that has become our standard. We congratulate Todd and his staff on their success and look forward to many more years of meeting their material handling equipment needs,” said Blair.

A third Sennebogen 835 M equipped with a magnet is something Todd Levin foresees for Niagara Metals in the near future.

“Good things come in threes,” said Levin.

For more information, call 877-309-0099 or visit

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