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Liberty Iron & It’s Affiliated Companies Prepare For Industry Rebound With SENNEBOGEN Electric Drive Scrap Handlers

Dedicated electric drive material handlers will maximize uptime and reduce operating costs for three auto shredding facilities.

SENNEBOGEN 835 A special feeds an auto shredder.

SENNEBOGEN 835 A special feeds an auto shredder.

PHOENIX, AZ – While a growing number of recyclers are looking into the idea of switching from diesel to electric drive material handling machines, Marc Olgin has already jumped right in.

Olgin is the third-generation part owner of Liberty Iron & Metal Holdings LLC, a family business with over 65 years in the recycling business. Along with the firm’s joint venture partner, Scholz AG of Essingen, Germany, Liberty Iron & Metal Holdings has commissioned new electric drive SENNEBOGEN material handlers for three recycling yards since January 2009.

“Electric is the way to go,” Olgin says. And he has no doubt that SENNEBOGEN is the way to go electric.

Partnered for production

All three of Olgin’s new SENNEBOGEN machines are pedestal mounted 835 A specials (2 C Series & 1 D Series models). Each one is assigned to feed an electrically powered shredder, typically working 55 hours plus per work week. Joe Plumadore, the Operations Manager for Liberty Iron, said, “We prefer to have the scrap handler dedicated to the shredder. As much as we like the mobility of the wheeled 835 M machines for general loading duties, we don’t want to see the shredder units driving off to some other part of the yard. As long as the shredder is ready to go, the SENNEBOGEN will always be ready to feed it.”

Olgin knows SENNEBOGEN equipment well. Liberty Iron and it’s affiliated companies have been operating SENNEBOGEN material handlers for nearly seven years and currently operate over 25 SENNEBOGENS at its locations in North America. Along with the green machine material handlers, Olgin also operates one of SENNEBOGEN’s unique Multihandler 305 machines to load scrap into ocean-going containers.

The first electric drive machine was commissioned in January to serve an American Pulverizer 60X85 shredder in Chihuahua, Mexico (first machine of its type in Mexico), at its joint venture partners yard, Kalischatarra S. DE R.L.

A month later, the second one arrived at Interstate Shredding LLC in Girard (Youngstown), Ohio, where it feeds a Metso Texas Shredder 80X104 auto shredder. The third began operating at Liberty Iron & Metal Southwest LLC in September alongside another Metso Texas Shredder 80X104 shredder in Phoenix, Arizona. All are equipped with 1.25 to 1.50 yard 4-tine grapples on a 66 ft. boom/stick combination. Each stands on a 13’1” pedestal with a hi‑rise cab providing the operator with a total elevation over 22 ft. Plumadore notes that this pedestal mount provides more reach and allows higher stacking than a conventional scrap handler would allow.

Each of these facilities, as well as all its other locations in North America, also operate wheeled SENNEBOGEN machines for loading and sorting applications, bringing the total SENNEBOGEN units to over 25 in North America. “We did look into using an umbilical tether for the electrical connection on a crawler mounted SENNEBOGEN unit. The mobility of the tethered machine made it an interesting option, but we decided the stationary units were the best fit for our application.”

Olgin and Plumadore both commented on the added safety features that SENNEBOGEN has added in its D Series models. D Series machines are equipped the new maXCab, which allows safer entry and exit to the cab by way of a sliding door and adjacent catwalk. According to Plumadore, the maXCab climate control systems create ideal working conditions for the Phoenix and Mexico locations, keeping the operators comfortable, alert and productive.

Long-term profitability

“We saw SENNEBOGEN electric drive machines at work in other facilities before we bought our own,” Olgin reports. “We could immediately see the potential savings: reduced maintenance cost, reduced machine wear, reduced parts… the reduced fuel costs are certainly a benefit, but we were sold on electric power by the maintenance savings alone.”

Of the three Liberty Iron facilities, Phoenix pays the highest rates for electric power. Olgin expects that the machine will still save him a bundle compared to diesel power. “Depending on the current energy costs at any given time, the savings can be quite dramatic. We ran a comparison of the SENNEBOGEN 835 with electric drive against the same machine with a standard diesel engine. Overall, the electric drive unit showed a saving of more than 70% of the energy and service costs.”

“For our analysis, we set electrical power costs at 2 cents/kWh and diesel fuel at $2.00/gal. At those rates, the basic energy cost dropped from $13.00 per operating hour to about $1.92. Maintenance costs were also much less: under half of the service time during the first 2000 operating hours. Altogether, through 2000 hours, the electric drive saved nearly $30,000 per machine.”

Joe Plumadore adds that the electric drive also offers an advantage in operator uptime. “The operators can get to work faster. They save time on their daily checks for the engine and undercarriage, and they don’t need any breaks to refuel.”

Plumadore and Olgin both appreciate the long-term thinking behind the installation of the SENNEBOGEN machines, too. Instead of simply embedding the pedestals into a concrete base, the machines are set into a carefully prepared floating structure. Constantino Lannes, President of SENNEBOGEN, explains that “… compared to a concrete mount, this system does a better job of absorbing shocks from the boom to the base in normal operations. The floating structure also gives you more flexibility to move the machine if you decide to reorganize the yard some time in the future.”

With this investment, Marc Olgin feels his operations are in a good position for the coming rebound in the economy. “We see the business stabilizing right now. This equipment ensures that we will be ready to handle higher volumes competitively in the long term, with the highest uptime and the lowest possible operating cost.”


SENNEBOGEN has been a leading name in the global material handling industry for over 65 years. Based in Stanley, North Carolina, within the greater Charlotte region, SENNEBOGEN LLC offers a complete range of purpose-built machines to suit virtually any material handling application. Established in America in the year 2000, SENNEBOGEN LLC has quickly become a leading provider of specialized equipment solutions for recycling and scrap metal yards, demolition, barge and port operations, log-handling, transfer stations, waste facilities and the tree care industry from coast to coast. A growing network of distributors supports SENNEBOGEN LLC sales and service across the Americas, ensuring the highest standard of professional machine support and parts availability.

For more information on the full line of SENNEBOGEN green line material handlers, contact:

1957 Sennebogen Trail
Stanley, NC 28164
Tel: (704) 347-4910 or fax (704) 347-8894