Waste Management In Action

Long-life loading

Western Composting Technology was formed in 2004 by the Geelong-based Dickens family to compete for the Greater Shepparton City Council’s tender to build, own and operate the first green waste alternative waste treatment facility in Victoria.

Construction on the company’s flagship Shepparton composting plant was completed in October 2008, with the facility using in-vessel composting technology to process roughly 20,000 tonnes of organic material each year.

As policy-driven increases in landfill levies promote recovery and recycling of organic waste, Western Composting Technology is seeing increased demand for its specialised technologies and services. To keep up with that demand, the company has invested in a series of Caterpillar front-end wheel loaders.

Western Composting Technology’s John Wilson explains that given the rough terrain of the company’s facility, the wheel loaders work to facilitate user-friendly material movement for operators.

“We use the wheel loaders to move all of our material, right for the very start when the trucks unload, to loading the decontamination hoppers and tunnels.

“We also use the loaders to move and shape our windrows. All of our product movement on site is done with front end loaders, so they’re integral to our operations,” Wilson says.

Western Composting Technology operates a range of 924G, 928H and 962H Caterpillar wheel loaders, which work to streamline material handling and loading in a safe, fast, precise, and profitable manner. Wilson adds that the compost dust created on-site is harsh on the equipment. He explains that performance under harsh operating environments is one of the key benefits of Caterpillar equipment.

With over 40 years’ experience in the waste industry, Caterpillar is committed to providing its customers with purpose-built machinery for waste handling applications. Wear in waste handling applications is serve and can drastically cut down a machine’s life. As such, all waste handling machines are protected in key impact areas, including undercarriages, axles and cabs.

“We always stick to our maintenance schedules, and get the machinery serviced regularly. One thing the really impresses us about Caterpillar is the servicing and break down call outs,” Wilson says

“Whenever we’re due for a service we call our local William Adams CAT mechanic. We have a really good working relationship with him and he’s always more than willing to rework his schedule to fit us in and visa versa.”

William Adams CAT is the Caterpillar dealer servicing Victoria and Tasmania, specialising in the sales and support of heavy construction, forestry and waste equipment since 1926. Combined with the resources of Caterpillar’s subsidiary company, Caterpillar of Australia, the team at William Adams CAT have developed a long association with the waste market segment. William Adams CAT currently operates fourteen branches across Victoria and Tasmania, along with two rental service branches and several resident servicemen.

Keeping to a tight maintenance schedule enables a long working life for Western Composting Technology’s wheel loaders. According to Wilson, the company’s oldest machine is going to tick over to 21,000 hours in the next couple of months.

“That’s extraordinary in this environment. The longevity of Caterpillar machines is unreal,” he says.

“We find Caterpillar loaders to be fit for purpose, and that’s highlighted in the fact that we bought another machine last month.”

The recent addition to Western Composting Technology’s range is the 924K wheel loader, which features an optimised Z-bar loader linkage that delivers the quick loading performance of a traditional Z-bar with the parallelism and load handling capability of a tool carrier.

The 924K features a high torque, low speed C7.1 engine that works in concert with an intelligent hystat power train to deliver fuel efficiency as standard.

“We’re more than happy with the quality of Caterpillar machines, as well as the great after sales support, spare parts and services,” Wilson says.

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