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Sims Tabs Sennebogen for Managing Heavy Metal

Wed October 01, 2008 - West Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

The existing pedestal crane at the 18-acre Sims Metal Management scrap metal yard in Richmond, Calif., had become a bit of a production liability for Jesse Garcia, Sims NW equipment manager. Repairs to the pedestal crane were difficult and Garcia often found himself having to lease replacement equipment to keep up production on the yard’s shear when the crane went down.

When it came time to replace the crane, Garcia chose a Sennebogen 840 R special, a purpose-built material handler that gives him the mobility and problem-free reliability and uptime he was seeking.

’Metal on Metal’

“A scrap yard is a tough environment — it’s constant metal on metal. You need dependable equipment that is built for this application. Sennebogen machines are purpose-built for handling scrap metal, they’re not just retrofitted excavators,” said Garcia. “Our tracked Sennebogen 840 R special is perfect for this application. We can move it in and out for quick, easy maintenance, and should the shear go down, we can utilize it elsewhere in the yard.”

The 840 R special that Sims purchased is a wide-tracked model mounted on a 7.3-ft. (2.2 m) pedestal. With the machine’s elevating cab, operator’s eye level is more than 20 ft. (6 m) in the air — a height that enables them to see inside the shear’s hopper and some of the high-walled trailers that often appear in the yard. According to Garcia, however, the machine’s pedestal offers sufficient height for most routine operations. Fitted with a Young 1.5-yd. (1.4 m) grapple and offering 68 ft. (20.7 m) of reach, the 840 R special is used primarily to off-load 40 ft. (12.2 m) trailers and feed the yard’s 1335 Harris electric shear.

“We chose the crawler model for the stability that its wide stance offered, and its mobility when required. The more comfortable and secure our operators are — the more productive they tend to be,” said Garcia. “Our operators brag about how quickly and smoothly they can off-load trucks and feed our shear with the same machine.”

According to Garcia, the increased mobility offered by the tracked Sennebogen also gives the Richmond scrap yard much more flexibility than ever before. This includes the possibility of moving the machine to the dock to load and off-rail road cars, should the need arise.

A Good Year for Uptime

Since going into operation about a year ago, the 840 R special has logged about 3200 hours of service. According to Garcia, it has been a “good year for uptime.”

“As an equipment manager, I really appreciate how problem-free the 840 R special has proven to be,” said Garcia. “With no computers on board, the machine’s hydraulic design makes it really mechanic-friendly. Regularly scheduled maintenance every 250 hours has definitely maximized the machine’s uptime and increased our productivity.”

Garcia said that there will “definitely be another Sennebogen” in the future for the Richmond Sims Metal Management scrap yard.

“We have discussed the possibility of acquiring a Sennebogen hybrid machine,” said Garcia. “It would use a diesel-powered pony-system for travel and an electric motor for the unit’s hydraulic material handling operations. You could move it anywhere in the yard and just plug it in. It would offer us the best of both worlds equals fuel economy and flexibility.

“With the rising cost of diesel fuel and the company’s corporate position in developing environmentally friendly business practices, it is definitely something for us to think about for the future,” said Garcia.

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

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