“How much does it cost?” is often the first question asked when considering a purchase, but small differences in the upfront cost of equipment can be dwarfed by other owning and operating costs. Fuel, tyres/tracks and wear parts are well-known contributors to the total cost of ownership. What you may not consider is, the potential income when equipment is down.
The waste and recycling industry is incredibly demanding of equipment. “We work 365 days a year, even on Christmas day” says Richard Hogg, process improvement and plant manager at Wastecycle,. “We run 22 hours a day on 3 shifts, we need kit that is reliable and will start and run when we want it.”
Wastecycle is a waste disposal and recycling service company with operations in Nottingham and Leicester, United Kingdom. Founded in 1998, Wastecycle has grown to process over 500,000 tonnes of waste and material each year, 95% of which is recycled or recovered.
“Over three sites we run roughly 30 pieces of mobile plant, some of it goes back to 1999 and up to present day,” says Hogg. They have used both telehandlers and wheel loaders on site and until recently did not have Cat® equipment in their fleet. For Hogg, three important factors for mobile plant are:
“Safety at Wastecycle is our number one priority and one of the biggest risks is mobile plant and pedestrians.” The Wastecycle sites are busy and compact, so visibility and awareness of pedestrians and objects is critical for safe operations.
“When the new emission rules came in, we’ve had quite a few problems with manufacturers not being able to give the reliability of the machinery. We’ve gone through a steep learning curve in the last few years getting that right.” Hogg went on to say, “We get machines that go into a regeneration, we have to park it up and can’t use it for 45 minutes. We have to rob another section to get another machine to prioritise the work.”
Given the continuous operations at Wastecycle, it is not uncommon to put 3300+ hours on a wheel loader annually. Fuel burn therefor will have a big impact on the bottom line. On tyres, “when you drive into the pile and all wheels want to spin, and when you’ve got glass and abrasives, they can wear out very quickly,.” Hogg says.
Not satisfied with the regeneration down time, tyre wear, fuel burn and poor visibility of some of their current fleet, Wastecycle was looking to improve on these areas with new plant. Around the same time, Caterpillar engineers were looking for an ideal location to test a pilot 914M in a field-follow program.
“Wastecycle was an ideal location to test the 914M,” says Jon Evans, product support account manager with Cat dealer Finning UK.. “It is a very demanding application, and there were some site incidents, accidents and machine damage we could help reduce. They were also using a telehandler and larger wheel loader where we knew the 914M wheel loader could do both jobs.”
Cat® 914M, a Unique Solution
The 914M is part of the compact wheel loader family, but don’t be deceived by this title. Designed with a low center of gravity and excellent stability, the full-turn tipping load is 5,539kg for standard lift loader arms and 5060 kg for high lift. The capable 8.5 tonne machine also uses separate dedicated hydraulic piston pumps for implement, steering and drivetrain improving performance and multitasking ability. So how can the 914M help address some of the issues at Wastecycle?
Visibility is key for safe operation. The 914M has an updated linkage design that improves visibility to the bucket or forks at all loader heights. For a full 360 degree360-degree view, the engine bay and bonnet are refined (improving visibility) and a rear viewrear-view camera can be fitted at the factory.
The Cat C4.4 ACERT™ engine alone is at the cutting edge of fuel efficiency and performance. Add features such as Eco Mode, on demand cooling and auto engine idle shutdown and you have class leading fuel economy.
Wear is proportional to friction, pressure and relative motion. When all wheels are spinning while driving into the pile, wear is accelerated, especially on a surface covered in glass and abrasives. Exclusive to Cat wheel loaders is Rimpull Control. Rimpull Control allows the operator to dial down the wheel torque to get the right balance of power and traction. This is done via the soft touch keypad and significantly improves tyre wear.
On average, the Caterpillar research and development budget is roughly $2bn per year. Since the announcement of stringent emissions regulations, much of Caterpillar’s R&D efforts focused on not only meeting the standards, but ensuring doing so didn’t impact the equipment operation or performance. The 914M emissions control system does not require any operator input or downtime. The operator can continue working and will not even be aware of the emissions control system.
After 18 months Wastecycle have put 4750 hours on the 914M. The average fuel burn to date is 5.4L/hr and the Diesel Exhaust Fluid consumption 0.075L/hr.
“In a year we have saved £7,500 on fuel,” says Hogg. Not only that, tyre wear has also dramatically improved. “There is a machine that runs alongside the Cat 914M, in 18 months it lost 7 inches of wear,. The Cat in the same time lost 1 inch. A set of tyres can cost between £10,000 and £12,000, so there’s a big saving there. It’s been a great benefit to Wastecycles bottom line at the end of the day.”
“With the Cat emissions control system, we don’t even know we’ve got it. It starts, it runs and it’s reliable,” says Hogg.
Alistair Witham, recycling operations manager at Wastecycle, added, “The feedback from the operators is really good. They have better visibility; the size of the plant is key too. It can get in and out of the bays easily.”
Hogg is now looking to the future. “We’ve now started looking at the next scale up, at the 930M and introducing that into the heavier side of the business.” . Wastecycle has since purchased two new 930Ms.