Waste Management In Action

Grasshopper growth: West-Trans

Ryan Noble, Grasshopper Environmental Asset & Driver Manager, outlines the importance of durable and high strength hooklift capacity in the growing C&D waste sphere.

The North Strathfield Rail Underpass Project, a joint Federal and NSW Government initiative, was designed to deliver faster, more reliable services on a main rail line that runs from North Strathfield to Newcastle.                                         

With a construction value of more than $130 million, the 2015 project understandably generated significant amounts of waste.

To address these levels of waste, the North Strathfield Rail Underpass Alliance worked to strict environmental standards to maintain a more than 80 per cent recovery rate.Being a government project, the alliance was required to provide quality reports to confirm targets were met.

To facilitate this, the alliance engaged NSW waste management company Grasshopper Environmental to manage waste disposal, transport and recovery.

According to Ryan Noble, Grasshopper Asset & Driver Manager, waste collection points were spread across eight separate sites over three kilometres due to the scale of the project.

“Because the project was situated in a residential area, Grasshopper had to work closely with the alliance traffic management team so deliveries and removals could occur within a precise window,” he says.

“It was a huge project for us, highlighting our capabilities and growth as a force within the NSW environmental space.”

Operating in Sydney for more than 30 years, Grasshopper’s work in the construction and demolition waste sphere is expanding.

As a result, the company upgraded its truck fleet in 2019.

“We modernised our trucks to incorporate new technology, aiding in safety and user-friendly operations. We currently run, plus subcontract, a fleet of upgraded vehicles consisting of skiploaders, hook, front and rear loaders,” he adds.

As part of the new fleet, Grasshopper runs multiple West-Trans Equipment hooklifts, carrying various hookbins from 15 to 38 metres.

This includes a recently acquired HL-20A hooklift, which Ryan says Grasshopper purchased earlier this year.

From a financial perspective, Ryan says purchasing decisions are based on whole-of-lifecyle investment and maximising earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation.

“One of the key factors in the decision to move our units to West-Trans is the quality of the hook itself. West-Trans offers well-built and solid units at a reasonable price, comparative to the quality you receive,” Ryan says.

“Another key factor is the ability to have spare parts available as soon as possible when necessary. Being Australian built, West-Trans is able to sort the problem out quickly and effectively should anything go wrong.”

West-Trans-designed and manufactured hooklifts are constructed with high tensile structural steel with quality components, using the latest manufacturing technologies and production techniques.

All West-Trans hooklifts comply with relevant Australian standards and codes, which Ryan says is a real value-add when working on high-profile government projects.

West-Trans hooklifts are also protected with an anti-corrosive primer base and two coats of gloss finish colour.

Like all West-Trans hooklifts, Grasshopper’s HL-20A was custom built by craftspeople at West-Trans’ Mulgrave factory.

As a family-owned business, West-Trans has been producing civil and transport equipment locally for more than 25 years.

Over this time, Ryan says the company has developed a deep understanding of the unique challenges presented by Australian conditions for the waste and resource recovery industry.

“West-Trans design and manufacture hooklifts from the ground up to deal with real industry challenges, which gives its customers unmatched confidence in its products’ durability,” Ryan says.

The HL 20A is an industry benchmark for high capacity, Ryan explains, with a 20-tonne lifting capacity and fixed and articulated models available.

Using innovate geometry and configurations, West-Trans hooklifts keep the lifting hook close to the rear drive when lifting to improve lift performance and truck stability.

According to Ryan, the HL 20A West-Trans hooklift, which Grasshopper coupled with a Scania P450, has been shown to be a safe and efficient piece of machinery.

“West-Trans offer a fantastic tarp tower as well, which has proved to be user-friendly and a great addition to our hookloader,” Ryan says.

He adds that Grasshopper’s relationship with West-Trans has continued to grow significantly, with West-Trans equipment now installed throughout multiple segments of the business.

“West-Trans offers a one-on-one experience for design changes and extras, ensuring we always have flexibility when it comes to our machines,” Ryan says.

“We recently added a new skip bin fleet to our operations, and given our past experience, we opted for West-Trans lifting units. They’re yet to let us down.”

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