A new L120F is the latest in a quick succession of deliveries of Volvo wheeled loaders ordered by County Mulch Ltd (CML) based at Stanton, near Bury St Edmunds and, according to Operations Manager Dave Williams, it won't be the last.
"We began the change to Volvo last April with an L90F and from day one it fulfilled all our expectations," said Mr Williams. "It proved to be highly versatile, well specified and proportioned and very popular with our operators." Since then a further another L90F and a new L120F have been added to the resident fleet at CML's largest composting facility at Stanton with a further L90F taking charge at their Creeting St Mary operation - all as part of a significant investment programme in both plant and operating processes by holding company Greenview Environmental.
Established in 1985, CML has developed and expanded its composting and green waste recycling on a former mushroom farm and compost production site at Stanton and by 1994 was processing organic waste at a second facility at Creeting St Mary. In 2001 the Company constructed an 'In Vessel' composting process at Stanton to cater for both green waste and catering waste using the EU processing standard of pasteurisation at 70ºC for one hour. The process which is carried out undercover involves the negative aeration of the compost mass drawing air through the material via aluminium tubes and bio-filters. This accelerates the composting process whilst helping to eliminate odours.
At Stanton, the two L90F's and recently arrived L120F are the prime movers receiving 70000 tonnes of incoming green and organic waste from East Anglia, Essex and North London and handling totally some 125000 tonnes per annum over the whole operation. At the receiving point of the process an L90F is in charge of feeding the sorting line. Here material is fed through a trommel, a picking line where plastics are removed by hand to a shredder reducing the material down to 12mm in any one plane. The material is then placed into bays for the sanitisation process. A bespoke fork and grapple designed in conjunction with CML and manufacturers Ulrich Attachments is used for this operation. The 4m³ capacity fork combines a hydraulic top clamp with a unique push out system operated through a changeover valve on the grapple itself. The main benefit of this device means the loading shovel can discharge the shredded material for composting at maximum height without having to drive into the stock piles thus compacting the compost and reducing airflow. The larger L120F operates a much larger 7m³conventional grapple, removing the material from the initial pasteurisation bays to the maturation yard. The third machine is deployed on the so called 'clean' area where the finished product is screened and finally loaded out using a 5m³ light materials high tip bucket. The finished material is supplied to the agricultural market for spreading on arable land.
All three loading shovels are equipped with boom suspension or ride control systems thus minimising spillage on the concrete pad and benefit from the addition of an additional logging counterweight to maximise the load potentials capable with the fork grapples. The L90F and L120F are powered by Tier III 6 &7 litre Volvo engines respectively developing 174 and 243 hp at just 1500rpm. The Tier III/Stage 3 low emission engine delivers high torque at just above tick over, giving the new loaders excellent rimpull and low fuel consumption as well as a significant reduction in noise levels of the E series machine. Much effort has been expended to increase mid-range torque; giving better operability in the most economic engine speed range. One practical consequence of this increase in horsepower is better pile penetration and fuller buckets.
Engine power is converted into work via a new smooth shifting electric-hydraulic HTE transmission. All the operator has to do is select Forward or Reverse. The Volvo Full Automatic Power Shift (FAPS) then takes over and selects which of the four forward and four reverse gears is required - and the perfect moment to change ratio. The system is independent of both machine and engine speed. New software in the ECU adapts to the operators' style of driving, optimizing gear changing parameters and saving fuel by always selecting the right gear. For improved operator comfort, oil-filled clutches and a Pulse-Width Modulation Valve in the transmission allow smoother shifting and minimize jolting when changing between gears. The transmission is also significantly quieter than its predecessor, and maximum speed has also been increased. The fact that all major components of the driveline (engine, transmission, axles) are designed and built by Volvo means that they work in harmony, in terms of performance, reliability and also fuel efficiency.
"Opting for Volvo shovels has revolutionised our operations," continued Dave Williams. "So far we have clocked up around 6000 machine hours without any breakdowns; my operators are over the moon with them in every respect and we really appreciate the attention and regular courtesy calls from the local Volvo home based engineer. So far there is nothing to fault them and we will certainly be acquiring more as we expand our operations here at Stanton and further afield."
County Mulch Limited (CML) and sister company, Covered Systems Limited (CSL) are operating divisions of holding company Greenview Environmental Ltd. Greenview was established in 1985 by the current Chief Executive John Jardine. Greenview plan to develop further sites within the UK fully utilising its operational experience and effective technologies.
Volvo Construction Equipment Ltd market wheeled loaders, articulated haulers, hydraulic excavators, graders, Volvo Compact Equipment and Volvo road machinery products. Nine strategically placed customer support centres and a network of compact equipment dealers ensure high quality customer support throughout Great Britain.