New frontiers: wading into waste management

New frontiers: wading into waste management
A Volvo CE L110F wheel loader handling municipal waste disposal in Lebanon’s third most populous city.
Published: 2 April 2017 - 7 a.m.
By: John Bambridge

While the most direct association between heavy equipment and the Gulf’s ever expanding urban cityscapes is the relentless spate of building and road construction projects, a secondary consequence of all this development is an ever growing mountain of garbage, and as a result, waste management is very firmly on the municipal agenda in the region.

The result is a niche that the largest manufacturers are not always eager to fulfil if it requires diversification away from their main lines where their economies of scale prevail and their profit is made, or they may require significant lead times for such requests. However, a few of the manufacturers out there are actively and outspokenly targeting the segment.

One of these is Dressta, which, with its specialisation in bulldozers, sees itself as a prime candidate for handling the rough and ready rigours of the landfill site.

Dressta used the Intermat exhibition in 2015 as a platform to launch the TD20M bulldozer, a 23.65-tonne machine equipped with Trimble telematics and tailored for applications at landfill sites — a feature hailed as the next big thing in landfill.

 

The TD20M comes with self-cleaning tracks and extensive guarding to protect it from the unpredictable debris associated with sites, while the telematics enables the operator to optimise the number of passes they have to make to process the site to ensure, for example, optimal gas dispersal.

Since Dressta’s acquisition by LiuGong in 2012, it has seen major investment by its new parent company into, first and foremost, its research and development activities, and secondly, its manufacturing capabilities.

The first fruit of the investment was the S series compact crawler dozers with its dual-path hydrostatic drive systems for transmitting full power to both tracks “for smoother speed changes, pivot turns and counter rotation” for precision, better productivity, and easy and safe operations.

Another prominent product, and one which is being directly targeted towards landfill applications in emerging markets, is Dressta’s TD-25 mid-size crawler dozer.

The machine is one of the most successful Dressta products by volume thanks to its two-speed drive system, which gives its better traction in tough applications.

Howard Dale, chairman of LiuGong Dressta Machinery, commented: “Because of the nature of our customers and their heavy-duty applications, Dressta is becoming increasingly popular around the world. This is not least because all of our machines are manufactured in strict concordance with our product values: productivity, durability, flexibility, and ease of maintenance.”

LEVANT LITTER

Also tackling matters head on is Volvo Construction Equipment, which already has a recent case study in a municipal waste setting in Lebanon where its local dealer Amtrac has delivered an L110F wheel loader as part of an upgrade to the waste disposal systems for Lebanon’s third most populous city, Zahlé, following a tender in January 2016.

Amtrac secured the tender by pitching the L110F as a versatile and multi-purpose machine for feeding the various sorting lines and loading trucks with material to either process or dump in the on-site landfill.

Together with the L110F’s robust electrics and effective air filtration and engine-cooling systems, the promise of high uptime and long service intervals were also critical to the selection of the machines for a role that would see it work 10-hour shifts and move over 250 tonnes of waste each day.

Anthony Abdelmassih, part of the team who submitted the bid, explains: “A fast delivery period and Volvo CE’s reputation and product performance were the main reasons that we were able to win this tender.”

The L110F’s fast work cycles, smooth bucket work and Volvo TP-Linkage, which combines high breakout torque with parallel lift throughout the entire lifting range, will all make the difference for the task at hand.

GREEN MACHINE

In September 2016, Volvo CE also went one step further with the unveiling of the LX1, a prototype hybrid-electric wheel loader that can deliver an improvement in fuel efficiency of up to 50% — thanks to a completely overhauled, fully electric powertrain.

Powered by four individual electric drive motors mounted directly on the wheels, the LX1 also has electrically powered hydraulics, and its small 3.6-litre diesel engine is used purely for recharging the battery.

Waste management is one of the key markets that Volvo CE is targeting with the LX1, as the machine’s streamlined profile will enhance the rear visibility for the operator in confined waste sorting yards while the lack of axles driving the wheels lowers the risk of debris getting caught on the undercarriage.

The next step for Volvo is to test the LX1 at a waste management plant in California in an urbanised area with noise restriction — where its holds a further advantage. As the only noise the LX1 makes when running in electric mode is the whirring of its electric motors, it will be able to run in twilight hours — doubling its productivity.

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