Big build disposal: Palfinger

To keep up with Victoria’s Big Build, Rangedale Drainage Services has introduced a range of Telescopic Palfinger hookloaders to its non-destructive drilling fleet.

Set to overtake Sydney as the country’s most populous and economically significant city by 2026, Melbourne is in a state of growth.

As reflected in Victoria’s Big Build, the city will see more than 100 critical road and rail projects delivered over the next five years.

Furthermore, with the recently announced Recycled First program, which builds new recycled content requirements into future road projects under the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority, Victoria’s Big Build is going green.

The M80 Ring Road, Monash Freeway and South Gippsland Highway upgrades, for instance, will all use more than 20,000 tonnes of recycled materials, with a further 190 million glass bottles to be used in surfaces on the $1.8 billion Western Roads Upgrade.

With recycled content requirements and government procurement at the forefront of industry minds, Neil Kermeen, Rangedale Drainage Services Managing Director, is highlighting the parallel importance of environmentally sound construction and demolition waste disposal.

“As the state’s infrastructure projects begin including more recycled content, we also need to ensure that the other end of the spectrum, disposal is given the same environmental consideration,” he says.

According to Neil, Rangedale has performed non-destructive digging (NDD) services at several high profile infrastructure projects, including the West Gate Tunnel and Level Crossing Removals.

NDD, he says, is a process that facilitates the safe excavation of underground utilities such as pipes and cables. Despite its many benefits, such as limiting amenity disruptions, NDD presents some challenges, namely the production of large masses of liquid and slurry waste.

To appropriately manage the NDD slurry, Rangedale has recently invested in three Palfinger Telescopic hookloaders, which will be used to transport slurry for sustainable disposal.

“Our NDD trucks have internal barrels between six and 20 cubic metres, which means they are often overloaded when they leave construction sites.” he says.

“To address that challenge we’ve bought a group of sealed bins that need to be picked up by separate trucks, which is where the Palfinger hookloaders come in.”

Rangedale approached Palfinger as a number of their in-house staff had had experience with Palfinger hooks and skips in the past.

“Given the material we’re dealing with, the hooks need to be extremely robust. Plus, we run a 24-hour operation, meaning every hook will be used extensively each day,” he says.

“Our team that had worked with Palfinger equipment before recommended them enthusiastically. I was told they are the best at what they do.”

Palfinger’s range of Telescopic hookloaders are manufactured using high-tensile steel, which reduces hookloader weight and in turn, allows Rangedale to transport more waste in one trip.

Furthermore, the units are bi-point, meaning horizontal forces are reduced and tipping capacity is increased.

While it’s still early days, Neil says the Palfinger Hookloaders are operating above and beyond his expectations.

He adds that the three Telescopic hookloaders are just the beginning of Rangedale’s relationship with Palfinger.

“This is a growing arm of our business, and if things continue as they are, we expect to see a lot of expansion. We’ve got 35 bins so far, and there’s more being delivered, which means we’re going to need more hooks and trucks,” he says.

“We’re also currently getting trailers built that we’ll tow behind the hookloaders. And we’re planning on purchasing more tow trailers to hook up to the Palfinger units as well, so the versatility of their product works very well for us.”

Palfinger’s units facilitate multi-length container use, with integrated in-cab controls that position the articulated arm during low loading situations and allow a maximum tipping angle of 48 degrees.

The unit also comes with an automatic pneumatic safety lock that secures containers from falling during loading and unloading.

This, Neil says, is a particularly significant feature when transporting the liquid waste, which if incorrectly secured, could pose several health and safety issues.

Reliable and easy to handle, Palfinger’s hookloaders facilitate safe working conditions, with a Soft Stop option to reduce noise and shocks to the hookloader and truck chassis.

Neil says Palfinger’s support was strong and consistent throughout the purchasing process.

“We were novices in this space, and Palfinger Australia really helped us along and gave us the right suggestions. Since then we’ve been moving in the right direction, it’s all been very smooth,” he says.

According to Stuart Cameron, Palfinger Key Accounts Manager for Victoria, SA, and Tasmania, the company’s nationwide service partners ensure minimal downtime and ongoing service.

He adds that for an expanding company such as Rangedale, which offers a 24/7 service, this is a bonus.

“High flexibility and competence in production and a national sales and services network give us a crucial competitive edge and ensures our customers lifetime excellence,” he says.

As a company committed to innovation, Stuart says Palfinger is a perfect partner for Rangedale.

“Palfinger is committed to leadership in innovation. In the past, trailblazing developments have revolutionised products and, in future, intelligent system solutions and unique functionality will shape the industry and new product development,” he says.

“As Rangedale continues to grow and expand its industry offerings, Palfinger’s innovation streak is sure to come in handy.

“We look forward to maintaining our relationship with them long into the future.”

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Team hookloader: Palfinger

Waste Management Review speaks with the Palfinger hookloader team about working together to achieve maximum payloads.

Industrial conglomerate Sime Darby’s recent acquisition of Gough Group’s New Zealand and Australian operations led to a change of ownership for hydraulic lifting and handling company Palfinger.

The change came at a time of growth for the Australian arm of the company, which has been investing in and expanding its hookloader capabilities over the past three years.

According to Glen Woodrow, Palfinger Queensland and Northern Territory Account Manager, Palfinger’s Australian hookloader operations have traditionally played second fiddle to the company’s higher-profile crane manufacturing business.

“Globally Palfinger is renowned for its cranes, and while our hookloaders have always been just as structurally and operationally impressive, it’s only over the last few years that we have dedicated time and resources to grow this vital part of the Palfinger Australia business,” Glen says.

“The waste industry has been central to growth for us. Additionally, working with councils on tailored transport and waste solutions has really expanded our knowledge of the sector.”   

Palfinger brought Glen on as National Account Manager Hooks and Skips three years ago to expand its hookloader operations. He says that prior to his appointment, Palfinger didn’t have a dedicated hookloader team.

“I immediately worked with the developed hookloader business plan, which the team has been successfully using ever since,” he says.

“The central ideas are collaboration and knowledge transfer, which helps us deliver maximum payloads for clients, and as a result, maintain long-term relationships. Tailoring the business plan to suit both demographic and geographic demands has been part of the key to our success.”

To continue this momentum Palfinger Australia has expanded its national footprint, with two additional team members joining the business over the past two years.

They are Stuart Cameron, who oversees Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia, and Seth Ozbas, who joined the team four months ago to run New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.

Palfinger’s Western Australian interests are supported by Perth-based Palfinger crane salesman Mick Stone, completing the national field coverage.

The four account managers work closely together and for every unit sold, produce a detailed specification and legal loading sheet that provides clients with a complete understanding of each build.

“We debrief weekly on what went well with the sale, potential room for improvement and overall customer satisfaction. This means other team members can learn from our experience and have similar wins themselves,” Glen says.

Glen says Palfinger’s customer engagement in the preparatory stage is another critical success factor of Palfinger’s hookloader business plan.

“We work hard to make sure that when we deliver a hookloader, it’s right the first time. It’s a very bespoke process with considerable research involved – rarely are two Palfinger hookloaders the same,” Glen says.

“I like to think we turn customers into clients.”

Stuart says an increased ability to manage national accounts is a key benefit of having dedicated teams in each state.

“When a supplier’s operations aren’t centralised, problems can arise, such as red tape surrounding where an order was originally placed and where the servicing will occur. But for us, this isn’t a problem. Palfinger always has an expert available to manage the situation in every state,” he says.

Stuart says this is further supported by an extensive list of 37 fully trained service partners located throughout Australia.

Before joining the Palfinger team, Stuart worked for another hookloader manufacturer. He says while there are many good products on the market, Palfinger’s hookloaders stand out for their durability and strength.

“I know the market well and can confidently say that our top-quality European products are the best hookloaders available,” Stuart says.

“I was recently involved in fitting a 20-year-old Palfinger hookloader to a brand-new Scania because the hookloader was still operating at an optimum level. Palfinger can provide that kind of longevity.”

Seth, the newest member of the hookloader team, expressed similar sentiments, saying he is impressed with the quality of the product and streamlined nature of Palfinger’s operations.

He adds that while he covers the entire New South Wales and ACT region, he spends most of his time in Sydney’s western suburbs.

“Most waste and recycling companies are in Sydney, so I have spent the last few months meeting with clients and cold calling potential prospects,” Seth says.

“I want to make sure our clients feel comfortable to call me whenever they have a challenging opportunity, so I can arrange a quote on a new product or organise a service on existing equipment.”

According to Seth, a key benefit of the multipronged Palfinger sales strategy is the ability to quickly access all previous sales and equipment data.

“When I’m speaking with a client who needs specific information about a product, I am able to call the responsible person who provides the information straight away, rather than wasting time scanning through documents,” he says.

“The team is really invested in working together to grow and expand Australian hookloader market.”

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