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New Liebherr Waste Handler for Alex Smiles Ltd

Alex Smiles Limited has been a Liebherr customer for over 25 years and, in a recent investment, continues the company’s long allegiance to Liebherr-Great Britain Limited with the purchase of a specialist L 5382plus1 PK-HL high-lift wheeled loading shovel waste handler, which is now hard at work at the Alex Smiles Limited waste transfer facilities in Sunderland.

Founded in 1973, Alex Smiles Limited is a multi-disciplined company involved in waste materials recycling and transfer, plant hire and muckshifting, skip and roll-on-off hire, bulk waste movement and hazardous waste treatment. Originally concentrating on reclaiming hardcore and scrap metals in the early days of their recycling interests, Alex Smiles’ waste treatment operations have grown exponentially and now pro-duce a wide range of quality recyclables.

The company recently invested in a state-of-the-art waste processing plant at its 9 acres site in Sunderland’s Deptford Terrace which, con-veniently, is right next door to Liebherr’s latest addition to their after sales and service depot network which is located within the Group’s impressive marine cranes factory on the banks of the River Wear estuary.

Alex Smiles Limited is committed to the production of clean recyclables from the large volumes of incoming commercial and building commingled waste materials, while making sig-nificant reductions in tip-to-landfill volumes with all its associated environmental benefits, plus cost savings on both landfill taxes and transport. Putting the raw waste through multiple and tandem processes of sorting, screening, air-controlled separation and magnetic extraction, the Smiles operation produces high quality recycled aggregates, topsoil, timber, board, ferrous and non-ferrous metals and plastics. The ever increasing volumes of waste being treated required the addition of more specialist materials handling equipment and the company’s new Liebherr L 538 plays a major part in ensuring efficient materials movement at the transfer station. Primarily involved in emptying the bays of sorted and separated mate-rial, the machine is also used for loading collection vehicles; the high-lift configuration and special Ulrich waste bucket with clamp makes this a particular feature of the waste handler, giving a dump clearance of around 5.2m which is ideal for working with high-sided bulkers.

The Liebherr L 5382plus1 PK-HL is an articulated, hydrostatic drive machine in the 12+ tonnes operating weight class and with a tipping load of just over 9 tonnes. Powered by a new generation Liebherr diesel engine type D 934 S AG, develop-ing 105kW, this wheeled loader is powerful, agile and re-sponsive. The hydrostatic drive and Stage IIIA / Tier 3 engine combine to produce excellent fuel consumption returns with a corresponding and significant reduction in CO2 emissions.

Alex Smiles’ L 5382plus1 is specified for waste handling opera-tions with numerous features for this specific application. SG Revolution solid tyres eliminate punctures and both the axles have limited slip differentials to avoid wheel spin for maximum push, with the added benefit of prolonged tyre life. The loader has been fitted with tilt cylinder protection for the 3000mm parallelogram bucket arms. Smiles has also added steel plate protection to the hoses as an additional safety precaution on the 2.5m³ high-tip Ulrich bucket, which is equipped with an hydraulic top clamp to secure material when travelling. Automatic central lubrication is included.

In a dusty environment, engine protection is paramount and the L 5382plus1 combats dust incursion with a cyclonic pre-cleaner for the engine induction system. The isolated cooling pack is equipped with a fine mesh filter and an automatic reversing fan to maintain cooling efficiency. The operator’s cab is typically comfortable, functional and a superb example of the science of ergonomics. Air-conditioned with full instrumentation, it is safety glazed with tinted armoured glass to the front guarded screen, sound-proofed, vibration dampened and with ROPS and FOPS protection. The steering column is fully adjustable and the attachment control is via a multi-directional joystick integrated into the seat armrest.

Numerous operational safety devices have been specified and these include: white noise travel alarm, seat belt warning light and a 12.5mph speed limitation. Additionally, the machine has been fitted with a rear-view CCTV camera and in-cab colour monitor which, combined with numerous convex side mirrors, provides maximum all-round visibility at all times. Should the loader remain stationary for any reason with the engine still running, there is an automatic engine shut-down system which cuts in after 5 minutes, making fur-ther fuel savings and emission reductions.