SENNEBOGEN Material Handler Duo
Already long-established as one of the Ohio River’s premier port terminals, new ownership brought new equipment opportunities for the busy River Road Terminal in the transportation hub of Louisville, Kentucky.
Within weeks of Watco Terminal and Port Services acquiring the 3rd-generation family-owned business in the spring of 2016, modified excavators used for unloading barges “as a stopgap measure” were replaced by 2 purpose-built SENNEBOGEN mobile material handlers.
“Excavators aren’t really what we need to use,” explains Paul Lawson, Terminal manager, a 34-year veteran of the facility who heads up the 11-member Louisville team that remained pretty much intact during the ownership transition. “The motion of the excavator versus the long boom and the clamshell of the SENNEBOGEN is just not conducive to the type of work we do here.”
The type of work Mr. Lawson and his crew do in Louisville is the unloading of bulk material such as fertilizer, salt, coke and assorted coal types like anthracite and lignite. The materials are loaded either directly into trucks or, in the case of fertilizer, into hoppers for storage and later distribution. The River Road Terminal is in a prime location within a kilometer of Interstate 71 that, with its nearby intersection with both Interstates 65 and 64, can facilitate quick and simple material distribution in all directions of Middle America.
In an “average” month, the single-shift Louisville operation will unload a brisk 40,000 t of material at the terminal’s expansive 381 m of Ohio River frontage, which can accommodate 3 barges at once.
Having worked with other Watco facilities in the region, Brandeis Machinery, the local SENNEBOGEN dealer, surveyed the River Road Terminal yard to properly outfit the 14 ha facility on Louisville’s busy east side.
In order to maximize production at the Louisville site’s riverfront, to which machines can strategically sit within 3 m, the resulting equipment solution was the duo of a rebuilt SENNEBOGEN 850 M and a new SENNEBOGEN 860 M. The mobile material handlers are equipped with 2.3 and 3.8 m3 clamshell buckets respectively.
The hydraulic elevated cabs on the wheeled machines provide the operators with a clear view into the barge hold, supported by cameras outfitted to each unit’s boom, with skid steer loaders cleaning up inside the barges while the SENNEBOGEN material handlers reach in from the shore.
The ability to position the machine “close to the pool” further helps keep things tidy at the facility, says Paul Lawson. The site is serviced by a pair of wheel loaders, in addition to the 2 skid steer loaders and 2 SENNEBOGEN material handlers.
The SENNEBOGEN 860 M not only offers the additional heft to handle the fertilizer needs of today, but has additional production opportunities that Mr. Lawson is planning to pursue once the River Road Terminal site completes an ongoing physical reorganization. For example, with a quick attachment change, the machine will come in handy for handling wire rod.
The SENNEBOGEN 850 M, with about 11,000 hours of service, was rebuilt by Brandeis Machinery. Beyond regular preventive maintenance which Watco conducts itself, the terminal will rely on Brandeis for all service of both SENNEBOGEN machines, says Paul Lawson.
With an ever-growing network of facilities, the Watco Terminal and Port Services division of Watco Companies LLC is a leader in bulk, break-bulk and liquids rail/truck transloading, as well as railroad switching, warehousing, liquid tank storage, and barge and vessel loading/unloading. The company’s ports and terminals handle more than 350 different products including dry bulk, waste materials, chemicals and crude oil, always handled in the most safe, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly manner.
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