Glazewing invest in a pair of Liebherr LH 40 material handlers.

Rural Norfolk has been home to Glazewing, one of the longest established names in the metal recycling industry, for over half a century.

Whilst their semi-rural location gives an air of calm, the busy operation handles over 70,000 tonnes of material not only from Norfolk and the surrounding counties but also further afield as and when its long list of Blue-Chip clients requires.

Material is delivered to the yard on an almost constant basis to be sorted and graded prior to processing. Large items are either hot-cut or sheared to size prior to being stockpiled. The large stockpile is handled by a single material handler feeding a 1000t LeFort scrap shear with the resulting chopped up material being prepared ready for dispatch to steel makers across the world.

Over their years of trading, Glazewing has used a variety of material handling machines. ‘We have found different levels of service and machine build quality from each manufacturer.’ Said Director Scott Godsiff. Looking to replace its existing material handling fleet, Glazewing entered into talks with Liebherr Great Britain for a pair of 17m reach machines. ‘At the time of our initial enquiry, Liebherr weren’t able to supply a 17m reach handler on the size of chassis we required, however our sales manager, Craig Cherry, made an inquiry to the factory in Germany, and they confirmed that the configuration we required would be possible in the form of an LH 40 material handler.’

The company specifically needed a 17m reach machine in order to fill containers for export. Whilst many scrap metal processors still load ships with raw material, transporting material in containers costs less and allows smaller volumes to be shipped as opposed to filling the entire cargo hold of a ship. Many UK yards have invested in lifters to raise a container vertically with the doors chained open to allow the material handler to fully fill the box with scrap. ‘We could have taken the easy option and chosen a 16m machine but with a 17m machine we are able to ensure each box is fully loaded and compacted rather than relying on gravity to give minimal voids, thus giving us the best return on each box leaving the yard.’ said Managing Director Jason Minns.

Whilst previous machines have been relatively standard items on the Glazewing fleet, the two new LH 40 M handlers have been customised in black paint and Glazewing signwriting. ‘We were just chatting in the office one day and Jason proposed we get the machines in gloss black!’ Scott exclaims. ‘After mulling it over for a minute or two, we called Craig and he added this to the specification.’ The resulting finish gives the two machines a totally different look which the directors are very pleased with.

Aside from the different paintwork and the longer reach, the Liebherrs are very much a standard material handler manufactured at the Kirchdorf factory in Germany’s Baden-Württemberg region. Front and rear independent stabilisers on the long and wide chassis provide a stable base from which the machine can work from. The chassis has also been painted to match the upper structure and with its galvanised steps and handrails providing a contrast to the black paint work, the result is impressive. The elevating cabin provides the operators with an unobstructed view of their working area, and this is enhanced in the new arrivals with the addition of joystick steering for the first time. ‘The lads took a little getting used to not having the steering wheel in front of them at first, but they soon got used to it and now like the precision and feel from the joystick controls.’ Scott commented. Both operators have had nothing but positive feedback for the Liebherr cab saying its comfort and layout is far better than the other machines they have operated and that they are a very quiet workspace too. Front and top FOPS protection has been added in addition to an impact resistant windscreen and roof window. A full suite of high-capacity LED lights has also been specified for the boom, stick, cab and upper structure.

The 9.6 straight boom and 7.5m flat-angled stick carries a five-tine GM65 grab with a single motor and 0.6m3 capacity and semi-closed shells. Both machines are also fitted with Liebherr’s ERC cylinder mounted in between the two main boom hoist rams. This ram effectively stores energy recovered when the boom lowers and uses it to aid in lifting the boom on the following cycle. Not only does this reduce fuel consumption, but also reduces noise pollution from a harder working engine.

Fuel efficiency is a major issue for many operators with the switch to white diesel and what seems to be ever-increasing fuel costs. The LH 40 is powered by a 7 litre D934 four-cylinder diesel engine that delivers 211hp at just 1800rpm. The new machines are said to be better on fuel than their predecessors offering Glazewing some much needed economies on their overheads. The engine emissions are controlled by an AdBlue SCR system which brings the machine in line with the latest European Stage V regulations. Both operators say the machines are ideally suited to running in Eco-mode at all times and cope easily with the demands they place on them. Should they require finer control or a boost in power, Sensitive, Power and Power + modes are also selectable.

A typical day for the team at Glazewing sees the two Liebherr handlers processing and loading materials on a constant basis. One of the machines is situated next to the LeFort shear, steadily loading it with a variety of scrap and piling the resulting cut material up for the second Liebherr which loads the stream of containers coming into the site. The very busy operation is well managed by the small team and results in a smooth and flowing process. In between each loaded container being lowered onto the waiting truck and the next one raised skywards, the Liebherr disappears up the site to sort incoming material out before returning to its loading position. Despite the volumes of material handled at the site, the yard is impeccably clean with both machines cleaning their working area when the opportunity arrives.

Both Jason and Scott are very pleased with the arrival of the new Liebherr machines into the Glazewing fleet. ‘They have not only given the brand a new lease of life, but they are giving us some operational savings in terms of fuel consumption. Dealing with Liebherr and Craig in particular, has been an easy process.’

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