Toowoomba Regional Council services one of Queensland’s largest geographical regions. A Caterpillar MH3022 Material Handler is helping ensure an efficient operation.
Towoomba Regional Council in southern Queensland is transitioning away from conventional landfill sites to waste transfer stations.
As landfill sites reach their end of life and near capacity limits, the council is taking a proactive approach to ensure it can continue to provide waste services for the local region.
Matt Torr, Manager Waste Services, says the success of the waste services operation is dependent on reliable and productive machinery.
“We have around 165,000 residents, which is about 65,000 properties we service,” he says. “We have 23 waste facilities scattered around the region, which are separated into tiers, depending on the size of the facility. This includes eight landfills, nine transfer stations and six bin stations.
“We also use external contractors who we can outsource for different materials.”
Matt says the MH3022 Material Handler was selected to be used at the service’s main transfer station, which provides waste disposal for the Toowoomba area, following a thorough tender process to find a suitable brand and model of machinery.
“Our new transfer station facility is a flat floor design, which allows customers to unload waste on a flat floor rather than bins on site,” he says. “This waste is then pushed up and the MH3022 Material Handler picks it up and puts it into a tipper. From this point, the waste is taken to landfill.”
Matt says the flat floor design has provided a range of benefits, particularly for the council’s resources.
“When using bins, it is difficult to get good compaction, this process allows us to do more loads and, using the MH3022 Material Handler, we can quickly move waste. It saves our operation in terms of transport time and cost,” he says.
Similar to other products within Caterpillar’s catalogue, the MH3022 Material Handler has been designed and developed with adaptability in mind.
Able to be used for indoor and outdoor waste sorting applications, the MH3022 Material Handler has a Cat C7.1 engine, which satisfies EU Stage IV emission standards.
Efficient hydraulic systems provide accuracy, and a dedicated swing pump enables the machine to exert smoother movements. Matt says the operators at Toowoomba Regional Council have so far been impressed by the machine’s capabilities.
“It is brilliant when lifting because we can see into the back of the truck. This is obviously a massive advantage for the operator, as they are able
to see what they are doing and optimise loading times. It has been very reliable to date,” he says.
“With this machine we are also able to undertake different types of jobs in various areas of the site, such as the removal of products like scrap metal.”
“The options and specifications are also an added bonus. Features such as full rubber tyres and other components, which are designed for waste treatment, have worked very well. The machine has worked well from day one.”
The MH3022 Material Handler has been configured to meet the demands of the Australian waste industry and can support various waste handling additions, which can include mesh packaging to protect the cooling hood and an engine air pre-cleaner.
Matt says that during its 12 months of operation the MH3022 Material Handler has required only standard maintenance. The material handler features ground level access for routine maintenance for engine oil filters or fluid taps. Automatic features such as an electric lift pump and lubrication system also extend required maintenance intervals.
Relevant machine data such as fuel consumption, idle time, location, and hours are all available via the Product Link feature.
HD Advantage, which is a proactive equipment health and maintenance monitoring program, is provided as standard from the local Caterpillar dealer, Hastings Deering.
The sheer size of the MH3022 Material Handler is also proving to be a standout feature for on-site operators.
“Compared to some of the previous machinery on site, the operators prefer the MH3022 Material Handler as it is slightly larger,” Matt says.
“The MH3022 helps council fulfill its aim of using flat floor arrangements at the waste transfer station. Without a machine of this type, we would be stuck using our previous methodology, which would increase our costs across the board.”
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