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Sennebogen Machines Make Short Work of Crushing Cars

Fri August 13, 2010 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

At first it sounds like a magician’s greatest trick: turning crushed cars into toothpick-sized metal shavings. But there’s no magic involved here, just a day’s work for the Sennebogen scrap-handling machines owned by Upstate Shredding.

Upstate Shredding, a massive metal recycling facility located in the Southern Tier of New York in Owego, is home to the largest privately held scrap metal processing facility on the East Coast and one of the largest metal shredding plants in the world. On any given day there is a long line of 20 or 30 semi-truckloads of crushed cars and other vehicles waiting to be unloaded from car crushing facilities all across the Northeast.

Adam Weitsman, president of Upstate Shredding, estimated the company will process in excess of 700,000 tons (635,029 t) of metal this year.

Upstate Shredding processes all this metal with its 13 Sennebogen material handlers, most of which are model 835D, along with a few of model 825, which are used on facilities where space is a consideration.

Building the Fleet

In 2005, Weitsman started to accumulate his fleet of Sennebogen cranes. Prior to that he had owned primarily excavators with elevated cabs and extended sticks for handling the scrap in his yards. He made the decision to convert his fleet to Sennebogen to take advantage of the machines’ 360-degree pick and lower fuel consumption

The fuel consumption is approximately half of other machines because it is engineered for one purpose only, moving metal. It is not designed for breakout force as an excavator would be and everything is engineered towards lifting, not digging. The end result is considerably less fuel consumption, according to the manufacturer.

Weitsman also received positive feedback from his operators, who preferred the elevating cab, the operating ease, the cab comfort, improved visibility and creature comforts including heated seats.

Keeping Things Moving

The material handlers operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week in continuous operation.

“The performance has been stellar. We have been very pleased with the Sennebogen operations. Repair costs have been well within expectations. Parts availability from Tracey Road Equipment has been excellent. We purchased a service contract from Tracey Road Equipment and they handle all of our machine maintenance and scheduled service,” Weitsman said.

“We try to be proactive when it comes to keeping our fleet running well and it makes a lot of sense to pay for factory-trained technicians to maintain our machines in lieu of dealing with equipment failures and downtime. Thus far we have had no major equipment failures and any time we have needed repair Tracey Road Equipment has had us up and running within a day. The Sennebogen machines and the support from Tracey Road Equipment have exceeded our expectations. That’s why we have converted our entire fleet to Sennebogen and all of our future expansion plans include Sennebogen.

“Another advantage to the Sennebogen is improving our customer satisfaction,” Weitsman added.

“Our customers are the owners of the truckloads of crushed cars that are delivered to our facility each day. To them time is money and the Sennebogen machines dramatically improved our unload time. Our entire facility is on a concrete slab. Tracked machines virtually destroy the slab. The Sennebogen machines are rubber-tired and do no damage to our facility’s flooring.

“Additionally, when the machines need to be moved the Sennebogen machines move significantly faster than the undercarriage machines. Another big plus to rubber tires is that rubber tires equals no undercarriage and undercarriages eat up parts and are costly to maintain.”

Upstate Shredding currently has two operations in Owego and facilities in Syracuse, Ithaca, and Binghamton, and later this year will open facilities in Rochester, N.Y.; and Scranton, Pa.

For more information, visit or CEG

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