Sennebogen Helps CT Scrap Yard Work in Tight Spaces

Tue April 05, 2005 - Northeast Edition

Situated on a 3-acre tract in the heart of New Haven, CT, the Alderman-Dow Iron & Metal Co. Inc. has more competition to handle than just the other recyclers who serve the New York to Boston region.

Alderman-Dow — aka “Alderman’s Scrap Yard” — has been operating on the New Haven harbor front since 1895. Here, now under the shadow of the U.S. 1 expressway, the fences surrounding Alderman-Dow are squeezed in by land-hungry enterprises of every description. Inside, Norm Alderman, the third-generation of Aldermans to operate this yard, is pressed to make his privileged location profitable.

The Alderman-Dow yard doesn’t rank among the largest of recycling locations, but it’s a busy place processing the full range of scrap metals. Norm Alderman, working with his brother Elliot and son Jason, has to make every square foot of his downtown property pay off. To help him do it, he recently updated his material handling equipment with a new Sennebogen 830 R-HD Green Line machine.

“I’m really not mechanically minded,” Norm admitted. “When we decided to replace our old machine, I was mostly concerned with having a machine with the right reach, speed and control for our needs. Our dealer, Tyler Equipment, recommended Sennebogen, so Elliot and I checked with some of their other scrap customers in the area.” The result, with the help of Tyler’s Tim McDermott, was that Alderman acquired a true purpose-built scrap handler designed to help him maximize the total productivity of his operation.

“The contour of our yard made the stability of the machine an issue,” Alderman said. The 830 R-HD is a crawler-mounted machine and, at 77,000 lbs. (34,927 kg), is one of the smaller scrap handlers built by Sennebogen. Mobility is not a key factor for productivity in a smaller yard, so having a fast-wheeled platform isn’t as important, but the 830 R-HD goes an extra step to keep things moving.

Similar to all Sennebogen machines, the 830 R-HD is able to shift its full load capacity through 360 degrees of swing. The load limits are reduced for other machines when they are working over the side of the chassis so they either slow down or have to be re-positioned to reach their full capacity. The compact green machine is unrestricted as it reaches for material piles in every direction, so there is less time lost positioning the machine.

Every recycling yard is concerned with equipment reliability, but for an operation like Alderman’s, with just one material handler on the site, any unplanned downtime at all puts a serious dent in the business. Alderman has to be able to count on his equipment to be there any time there’s work to do. And for that, he counts on Tyler Equipment.

“Tyler was looking after my old machine, too, and I was very impressed by their service,” Alderman said. “They were a major factor in my decision to go with Sennebogen. Our operator does the daily service checks, of course, but Tyler looks after everything else.”

The man who carries that responsibility is Bruce Tupor, a 25-year veteran of equipment service who has been with the Tyler team for more than six years. He now has a few of the green machines under his care — all working in scrap-handling applications within a couple hours of Tyler’s base near Springfield, MA. Tupor has worked on almost every major brand of heavy equipment made today, but Sennebogen is showing him some new ideas that make it easier for him to keep the Alderman-Dow up and running.

“The first thing you notice is, it’s simple,” Tupor said. “All the test points and service points are together in one place.”

Traditionally, this type of machine has had the engine center-mounted to the rear of the chassis. To reach the various service points, service techs have had to climb around up on the deck. Sennebogen mounts the engine longitudinally to one side of the chassis, where a gull wing door opens up to allow easy access to all dipsticks, filters, fill points and diagnostic hookups from ground level. Routine maintenance takes less time, so service costs are lower and the machine gets back to work faster, according to Sennebogen.

Tupor also appreciates the absence of high-tech sensors and circuitry on the Sennebogen machines.

“We just don’t need computers on a piece of heavy equipment,” he said. “They add too many things that can go wrong. You shouldn’t have to have electronics to know whether your hydraulics are working. If you can’t open up a fill cap to check your level, well … then you’ve got a real problem.”

Sennebogen Service Manager Jim Westlake agreed that simplicity is becoming a highly valued quality for equipment customers.

“Sennebogen has always believed that a purpose-built machine should be able to do its job with smart, simple engineering, not relying on complex electronic controls. A scrap yard is no environment for sensitive instrumentation.

“When a control board goes down, the whole machine goes down. And they aren’t something that an equipment technician can fix on the spot. Our customers are glad to see a machine that simply starts up and goes to work without a lot of unnecessary complications. Like one customer said, ’To move forward, we have to go back’ to the times when equipment problems were solved with basic engineering and mechanical know-how,” Westlake said.

After servicing Sennebogen scrap handlers with up to 1,500 hours on them, Tupor likes what he sees of the Green Line. “It looks like a well-balanced, stable machine,” he said. “I like the elevating cab; it’s roomy and very easy to get in and out. You get good response from the hydraulics on demand. All of our customers are very satisfied with their Sennebogen machines. I think they are proving to be a good line for our dealership and for other dealerships, too.”

Sennebogen has been in the global material handling industry for more than 50 years. Based in Charlotte, NC, Sennebogen North America offers 21 different purpose-built machines to suit virtually any heavy lift or “pick and carry” application.

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