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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