Kyogle Council has found a way to safely secure its excavators at ground level, providing backup support for its waste transportation and maximising payloads.
About one hour west of Byron Bay in NSW lies the town of Kyogle.
Known for its quaint villages and scenic rural drives, the Kyogle region forms an integral part of the state’s rural landscape.
To maintain services for the community, the local council performs regular public infrastructure works.
As part of these works, Kyogle Council drivers transport excavators to its various job sites around the region, in addition to moving around 30 tonnes of waste materials per week and gravel products.
Operators were previously manually lifting two aluminium ramps weighing 60 to 70 kilograms to transport their excavator. The operator would then have to travel down the ramps creating a potential safety hazard.
Robert James, Kyogle Council Plant and Depot Co-ordinator, says that the council resolved to ensure its practises aligned with Work Health and Safety practises.
Around eight months ago, Robert and the council workshop staff sat down to discuss solutions to the problem. After weighing up its options, council identified the Palfinger T18A multipurpose hookloader as the best option as it allows loads to be secured at ground level.
Robert says that council ordered the T18A around November last year and it arrived in May, with its performance already supporting onsite improvements.
Kyogle Council operates one landfill site at Kyogle and three transfer stations at Bonalbo, Woodenbong and Mallanganee.
In addition to its safety benefits, the hookloader also provides a necessary backup for the council’s waste transport activities, reducing downtime for the four facilities. Robert says the hookloader is capable of transporting a range of materials such as municipal solid waste and scrap metal.
“Previously when we wanted to source a truck it was very difficult to do so in a short period of time,” Robert says.
“Our primary purpose is excavation activities so it was a bonus to have a hookloader for additional landfill work if we have to.”
Robert adds that the Palfinger T18A Hookloader also allows drivers to refuel at ground level.
He says the hookloader is considerably lighter than the previous truck. The slightly smaller hookloader means the unit itself is lighter and therefore allows for greater payload before the maximum tare load is reached.
The Palfinger T18A is designed with high-tensile steel which reduces hookloader weight and lowers fuel usage.
“Buying quality equipment makes our plant more profitable as we can move more materials faster,” Robert says.
The council is also using the machine to transport other heavy machinery such as tractors, mowers and loaders.
“Where we used to use our low loader we can use this for shifting other machinery a lot quicker, easier and safer,” Robert says.
He says that due to its added safety features, the unit offers ease of operation and streamlined controls.
The unit’s low build and compact subframe enables a low centre of gravity for safer working conditions. A mechanical safety latch secures the container from falling off during loading and unloading.
“The Palfinger system has a foolproof locking system that keeps machinery such as excavators safely stowed within the back of the truck.”
Robert adds that it was also important to use a system that was simple and easy to train new drivers on, with the drivers adjusting well to the new system. An ergonomic and intuitive cab ensures all check lights are under control.
The T18 unit is equipped with an articulated arm, allowing the hookloader to lift a load in tight spaces due to its lower clearance height while also reducing load sliding.
“It makes it a lot safer to drop bins off too because the angles aren’t as high due to an articulated arm.”
The Palfinger telescopic T18A supports the use of containers with a variety of lengths, including from 3000 to 7380 millimetres. The telescopic hookloaders allows for increased tipping capacity through bi-point units. Its articulated arm enables a lower loading angle.
While the use of a Hookloader vs trailer is in its early stages, Robert says the ease of ordering and truck delivery from Gough Palfinger has been excellent.
“Glen Woodrow, Account Manager at Gough Palfinger, has been exceptional in providing a timely service delivery.”