The backbone of metal movement: Liebherr-Australia

The backbone of metal movement: Liebherr-Australia

To support its sustainable growth strategy, Ferris Metal Recyclers relies on a series of high-powered Liebherr material handlers.

In 2018-19, roughly 5.60 million tonnes, or 223 kilograms per capita, of metal waste was generated in Australia, according to the Federal Government’s latest National Waste Report.

The recycling rate of 90 per cent was higher than any other material category, with metal recycling well-established in every state and territory. Collection efficiency is also high at 93 per cent, reflecting extensive collection systems for steel, aluminium and copper.

When it comes to states and territories, South Australia was the highest ranked jurisdiction, with a resource recovery rate of 85 per cent and a recycling rate of 80 per cent.

The National Waste Report’s findings are welcome, if not expected news for Ferris Metal Recyclers, which has been operating as South Australia’s premier scrap metal processor for over two generations.

Bill Tolmachoff, Ferris Metal Recyclers Director, explains that the company buys scrap metal throughout Adelaide, while regularly travelling across regional South Australia for site clean-ups.

Operating out of a six-acre processing site in Burton, Ferris Metal Recyclers is committed to sustainable growth and offering South Australian industry a responsible avenue for the recycling and reuse of metals.

“Our growth strategy has remained consistent – we grow with the market. We grow a little bit every year, and we try to do that at a steady rate,” Tolmachoff says.

He adds that Liebherr-Australia, which has been supplying Ferris Metal Recyclers with material handlers since 2007, is a key part of that growth strategy, primarily through the reliability and high-quality of their machines.

“Liebherr material handlers unload and load all of our processing equipment, they’re the backbone of how we operate,” Tolmachoff says.

“We’re moving scrap metal all day long, so the material handlers are at the core of our business. We get high productivity out of them, low maintenance and minimal breakdowns.”

Ferris Metal Recyclers’ Liebherr range includes wheeled material handlers, high rise material handlers and crawler excavators, which operate six days a week – working to improve the company’s throughput and reliable service.

According to Tolmachoff, Liebherr’s material handlers are the highest quality machines on the market, backed-up by good maintenance, serving, parts and troubleshooting.

“Liebherr-Australia’s main office is here in Adelaide, so we get really good support. We’ve maintained a great working relationship with them over the last 14 years,” he says.

Liebherr-Australia has operated out of its head Adelaide office since 1981, with offices now present in Brisbane, Mackay, Melbourne, Mount Thorley, Newman, Perth and Sydney.


Given scrap metal is one of the toughest operational areas in industrial material handling, Liebherr designs its material handlers to be as sturdy and efficient as possible.

Liebherr material handling machines guarantee the prerequisite stability, and with their sturdy and durable construction, ensure the lowest downtimes in the scrap recycling industry.

According to Cameron Tanner, Liebherr-Australia Area Sales Manager, high lift capacities and fast work cycles are key for efficient handling operations.

“The optimum interplay between the hydraulics and electronics of our machines guarantee powerful, fast movements during handling, while ensuring precision in challenging sorting tasks,” he says.

“These machines come packed with innovative features like our Energy Recovery System, which not only brings about an enormous increase in performance and a higher handling capacity, but also generates fuel savings of up to 30 per cent, lower operating costs and reduced noise pollution.”

Tanner explains that Liebherr’s long-term partnership with Ferris Metal Recyclers is driven primarily by the performance of the machines.

“Our Partnership with Ferris Metal Recyclers began in 2007 when they purchased their first material handler from Liebherr,” he says.

“We were able to demonstrate to them clearly the benefit of buying a Liebherr material handler for their recycling operations.”

Over the past twelve years, Ferris Metal Recyclers have expanded their fleet of material handlers and crawler excavators from Liebherr.

“Our sturdy and durable design ensures smooth, reliable operation of the machine. And the ergonomically designed cab is equipped with necessary comfort for the operator, allowing them to concentrate on what is important – the handling capacity,” Tanner says.

He adds that Liebherr’s customer support is another factor, with the company’s qualified and experienced technical specialists available to support Ferris Metal Recyclers around the clock.

“Ferris Metal Recyclers are supported by a team of Liebherr trained technical staff who bring a depth of experience as well as agility, with a high level of mobility to provide them quick responses to their service requirements,” he says.

“We have a wide service footprint and as our customer base expands, we are investing in our future – we are always expanding our service team and our service infrastructure.”

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