Handling gold: Kerfab

Ryan Hoban, Kerfab Marketing Manager, talks to Waste Management Review about the company’s new range of waste industry-specific-wheel loader attachments.

Green waste is regularly called black gold – black because it turns dark when fully decomposed, and gold because of its untapped reuse potential.

Green waste presents a number of handling challenges and as such, is often perceived as too difficult to work with, according Ryan Hoban, Kerfab Marketing Manager.

Ryan adds that green waste’s perceived unviability is one reason the material’s potential remains untapped.

“Green waste is biodegradable, and often comes in the form of garden or park waste like grass, tree cuttings, branches and hedge trimmings, as well as domestic and commercial timber waste,” Ryan says.

“It is wet and heavy, arrives as a mass of varied particle sizes and is ultimately very cumbersome to shift.”

According to Ryan, all waste streams present a unique set of challenges, which highlights the need for specialised equipment.

After years building custom bespoke attachments for the waste industry, materials handling equipment manufacturer Kerfab has noticed a gap in the market.

“We’ve conducted countless site visits across Australia and found most facilities were using ill-suited attachments originally designed for other industries,” Ryan says.

“Most industries aren’t as harsh as the waste sector, and therefore don’t require their attachments to work at the same capacity.”

To correctly handle waste, Ryan says operators require wheel loader attachments designed specifically for their material stream.    

“To tame glass waste for example, high dump buckets are useful as they streamline loading into high-sided trailers,” he says.

“But even then, when buckets are designed simply for general use applications, waste operators are likely to run into challenges.”

Ryan says that after extensive research, it became clear the waste industry needed its own range of prefabricated, purpose-built attachments.

“We developed the WastePro range in response to an evergrowing but demanding industry, where productivity is critical and downtime must be prevented at all costs,”  Ryan says.

“The WastePro range is the only set of attachments in Australia designed solely for the unique demands of waste management companies.”

Ryan says the WastePro range enables efficient procurement and removes the necessity of custom builds. He adds that in addition to green waste, the WastePro range features attachments suitable for all waste stream including glass, cardboard and construction and demolition.

“Kerfab is committed to customer service and working in collaboration with our clients. However, it is not uncommon for an operator to require quick and easy access to attachments,” he explains.

“We hope to facilitate this through our new WastePro range.”

Ryan says because general use attachments aren’t designed to handle waste conditions, they can decrease the effectiveness of wheel loaders and the lifecycle of buckets, which leads to premature wear and increased downtime.

“From green and general waste to plastic recyclables, Kerfab has designed multiple variants of our attachments to help maximise uptime and increase equipment life,” he says.

The new range consists of eight separate bucket and grapple attachments, with different models available depending on an operator’s specific material stream.   

“A bucket used to move large amounts of paper needs different functionality design to one working with abrasive material such as crushed glass, and Kerfab has designed the WastePro Range around that fact,”  Ryan says.

According to Ryan, Kerfab paid specific attention to durability during the WastePro design phase.

“More moving parts means there is a greater chance for breakdowns, which is why it’s so important for grapples and high dump buckets be built for purpose,” Ryan says.

“We have also developed heavier duty cylinders to cope with the immense pressure required to repeatedly operate a fully loaded high dump bucket.”

Unlike Kerfab’s standard line, the WastePro Range is manufactured using Hardox, a wear-and-abrasion resistant steel.

“These attachments are designed to increase efficiency, longevity and maximise return on investment,” Ryan says.

“We know how important it is for companies to have minimal downtime, so our attachments are designed to limit this, and subsequently drive productivity.”

Ryan says Kerfab’s after-sales service BackUp+ offers another line of defence for the range. He adds that Kerfab has a network of engineers and fabricators in every major city in Australia.

“They are in place and ready to assist in routine maintenance, such as replacing cutting edges and wear plates, complex fixes and warranty claims.

“This ensures that any attachment related issue will be dealt with quickly to minimise downtime. However, since Kerfab attachments have a less than one per cent failure rate, this scenario is unlikely,” Ryan says.

The WastePro range has recently undergone final testing, with buckets and grapples already in use at waste companies and councils across the country.

“Kerfab will officially launch the range at the Australasian Waste and Recycling Expo in October,” Ryan says.

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