Recycling Product News Logo

Scrap Handlers; past, present and future

The LH 40, part of Liebherr’s LH series of dedicated material handlers for scrap and solid waste processing.
The LH 40, part of Liebherr’s LH series of dedicated material handlers for scrap and solid waste processing.

Company info

Burlington, ON


Read more

1957 Sennebogen Trail
Stanley, NC
US, 28164


Read more

11001 Electron Drive
Louisville, KY
US, 40299


Read more

1293 Glenway Drive
Statesville, NC
US, 28625


Read more

Material handlers for scrap processing applications, AKA scrap handlers, over the last decade have become one of the key pieces of equipment for metals and other material recyclers around the world. Very often, these machines are found to be excellent replacements for excavators that have traditionally been used by scrap, auto and other recyclers. While excavators are designed primarily for their intended use in earth moving and construction applications, dedicated material handlers are specifically designed for – as the name implies – handling materials. Of course, in the recycling industry loading, unloading, sorting, cutting, stockpiling and moving materials is central to the process. 

Like excavators these “dedicated” machines, are compatible with the full range of hydraulic attachments, including grapples, shears and suspended magnets, and they are available on wheeled or track undercarriages, or in stationary and pedestal-mount configurations. Compared to excavators, scrap handlers provide recycling applications with increased mobility efficiency and productivity, longer reach, improved safety and visibility for operators, as well as decreased emissions. Many of today’s scrap handlers are available as hybrids, or are designed for operation using electric power which further decreases their environmental footprint. 

We’ve asked four of the recycling industry’s leading manufacturers of material handlers for scrap about the evolution, benefits and considerations recyclers should think about when it comes to this workhorse of the industry.

According to Andreas Scheuerl, Liebherr-Hydraulikbagger GmbH, over the last decade the main focus for manufacturers of material handlers for scrap applications has been on efficiency and exhaust emissions. 

“Machines have increased handling capacities while reducing fuel consumption even with the demands of Tier 4f exhaust regulations,” says Scheuerl. “These improvements have been met by combining intelligent machine control, energy recovery systems and advanced engine technology. 

“For Liebherr machines in particular, this includes an energy recovery cylinder, power and hydraulic optimization and a Liebherr Tier 4f engine with SCR only.” 

Aaron Kleingartner from Doosan agrees that material handlers have changed significantly in recent years. He emphasizes that like with a lot of other heavy equipment, material handlers have become more productive and efficient, versatile and operator friendly. 

“Ongoing improvements to diesel engines and hydraulic systems have increased machine performance, thereby contributing to increased capacity for material handler operators,” says Kleingartner. 

“Machines today are more versatile than past iterations. Customers today can use a variety of attachments, including grapples to load material and magnets to pick up metal. Additional enhancements to material handlers include updated display monitors with access to machine diagnostics and rearview and sideview cameras for enhanced visibility.”

Andreas Ernst, strategic account manager and marketing manager for Sennebogen, says there are two main drivers behind the evolution of material handlers used in scrap applications over the past decade: safety and cost-of-ownership.

“Our challenge has been to design and develop machines that maintain the low cost-per-hour that our customers demand and expect, while meeting the increased environmental and safety regulations in effect both here in North America and overseas.

“Sennebogen has accomplished this, most importantly by providing the operators and service providers of our equipment with the safest work environment possible,” continues Ernst. “With such features as cab with sliding door and permanent catwalks, full upper-deck railing, and handrails/ handles for continuous three-point contact, we are an industry leader in terms of safety. This has been a core value of the company since its beginning and therefore continues to be a key driver for us.”

Sennebogen’s E-Series material handlers range in size and power from a 160-hp model to 680-hp. Shown here is an 830 E model. Units are available with track or wheeled undercarriages, or stationary mounted, with magnet system’s ranging from 25 kW to 40 kW.

Built for scrap handling
Today’s scrap handlers are often referred to as “dedicated” machines. This is due to the fact that they are built specifically for material handling applications , at recycling facilities or in port applications. As “dedicated” machines, for scrap handling, these machines are commonly considered a great alternative to the traditional practice of using a converted excavator to move, unload and load high volumes of materials. 

According to Andreas Ernst, “Sennebogen material handlers are purpose-built for the scrap market, and we build those machines based on the customers’ demands. “We’re not just taking an excavator and converting it to resemble a material handler. Users of converted excavators do not get the lifting and efficiency benefits of a dedicated material handler. There are huge advantages to a purpose-built machine in terms of cost-of-ownership and performance, whether the customer determines that cost by the tonnage of material handled or by hours of machine use.”

“Our customers’ demands include simplicity,” continues Ernst. “As such, we are not using any computers to control the hydraulics on purpose-built Sennebogen material handlers. Computers are undoubtedly beneficial for other machine types working in other applications, but the scrap market is not one of them. Our customers here in North America and around the world have told us this, and we have listened. As an OEM focused solely on material handling, we can apply those market demands entirely to our products.”

Doosan Construction Equipment, which started producing this category of machine in 2014, offers a choice between a wheel material handler and two tracked material handlers. 

“The Doosan DX225MH-3 and DX300MH-5 material handlers are popular because of their lifting capacity in scrap metal processing and recycling facilities,” says Doosan’s Kleingartner. He adds that one feature that has been popular with customers is an optional hydraulic cab riser. If a customer is doing multiple tasks throughout the work day, such as unloading trucks, loading trucks, sorting materials or moving the machine around, the ability to raise and lower the cab can be convenient. A hydraulic cab in the raised position provides operators with a clear view of the loading area.”

According to John Van Ruitenbeek, president business line manager – Fuchs North America (a Terex Company), their accelerated investment in product development has resulted in a number of upgrades and new machines in recent years. He says their latest models, the MHL390F and MHL370F, are designed specifically to give customers more material handling options to fill a wider variety of application needs.

One of Fuchs’ recent upgrades garnered recognition as the winner of the 2017 iF Design Award, which Van Ruitenbeek says is an international competition, which had over 5,500 entries and awards given based on feedback from a 58-member jury made of experts from around the world. The winner was Fuchs’ purpose-built Fox cab with a unique sliding door, skylight and downward-facing windshield.

“This design produces an unmistakable branding effect,” explains Van Ruitenbeek. “The aim of the design was not only brand recognition, but also to make a connection with the machine operator.” This was done by using repetitive, familiar elements to elevate the operator’s ‘emotional bond’ to the product, he says. “The Fox Cab has been specially designed for handling machines and did not have to be subjected to any compromises as a result. This provides the user with great benefits in terms of ergonomics.”

The new Doosan DX210WMH-5 wheel material handler provides scrap and recycling professionals with improved fuel efficiency, versatility and productivity. Doosan DX210WMH-5 material handlers are designed to excel in scrap yards, recycling and solid waste handling facilities.

Buyer considerations
According to Liebherr’s Scheuerl, the challenge is to buy a machine that can stand up to the demands of the application while also providing long-term, economical performance.

He says more than simply price, total cost of ownership and application should be considered; as well as extended maintenance intervals and fuel consumption. “Is the machine a ‘production’ machine or is it feeding a shredder?” asks Scheuerl. “Does the machine require high lifting capacity or extended reach? All of these factors should be considered and weighed in the purchasing decision to ensure the machine meets the yards requirements and expectations.” 

Doosan’s Kleingartner emphasizes that one of the first considerations when considering the purchase of a mobile material handler is whether it should be a wheeled or tracked machine, and adds that front and rear stabilizers are standard equipment for their latest model DX210WMH-5 wheel material handlers.“The next area to consider is a fixed cab riser or a hydraulic rising cab,” he says. “Doosan DX210WMH-5 wheel material handlers come standard with a 6.5-foot hydraulic cab riser, whereas the DX225MH-3 and DX300MH-5 are manufactured with standard fixed risers. Fixed risers can easily be lowered for transport with a self-contained, electronically powered hydraulic system.”

A third key consideration he says is attachments. 

“Material handler customers can choose from a variety of attachments including grapples and magnets to efficiently load, cut or move ferrous and nonferrous materials,” says Kleingartner. “Doosan offers an optional generator to provide power to the magnet, and the magnet can quickly move material.

He adds that options are also important to consider, and can vary by model. “Options for Doosan material handlers include additional work lamps, cab guarding, frame guards, fuel filter pump, rotating beacon, air compressor, catwalk, diesel-powered coolant heater and straight travel. 

Telematics technology, which has advanced greatly over the last decade is another element to consider when looking at the current models of material handlers available.“When equipped with Terex Telematics, Fuchs material handlers further improve efficiency, productivity and uptime,” says Fuch’s Van Ruitenbeek. “The system tracks critical operating data such as operating hours, fuel level and consumption, machine location, service events, and maintenance notifications. This data is then transmitted to a secured, password-protected website where it can be accessed at any time and from any location in the world where internet access is available.

“This user friendly website reports all the data in a logical, easily viewable and customizable fashion,” he continues. “Machine service event reporting can be tailored to provide alerts to specific key technicians who can quickly address the situation.”

Sennebogen’s Ernst also emphasizes the increasing importance of factory training and local product support, as well as simplicity of design and ease of maintenance, especially in a market that he says is truly global.

“The destinations for scrap products are evolving and shifting constantly, and scrap yards have to both be able to move material in a timely manner and be nimble enough to adjust to changing market demands,” he says. “Machine uptime is extremely crucial for these facilities, so having replacement parts on the shelves at their dealership locally, and at their OEM here in North America, is critical. If it takes a week or two to get their material handler up and running, those customers can’t move product and can quickly lose the momentum of the global scrap market.” 

Introduced in 2016 and designed to deliver the long reach and high lift capacities required in port and scrap applications, the MHL390 F handler is the largest in the Fuchs lineup, with operating weights ranging from 76.2 to 87 metric tonnes (168,000 to 191,800 pounds). It features a broad outrigger base to provide excellent stability when lifting heavy loads at extended reaches of up to 24.5 m (80.4 feet).

The future for scrap handlers Over the next decade, material handlers for scrap applications will continue to advance. We’ll see improved emissions, more options for electric power, advances in telematics and operator comfort, not to mention increased efficiencies.

“Emissions standards will continue to evolve, and applicable engine environmental upgrades will translate into overall product development,” says Sennebogen’s Ernst. “A trend which has already started and probably will continue is the involvement of machine telematics to monitor machine utilization and costs per hour.  

“At the same time, while not every yard is made for an electric machine, Sennebogen electric material handlers are certainly playing a role in today’s industry and will increasingly do so moving forward,” continues Ernst. “An electric machine is well suited for yards where you have a dedicated or mostly dedicated application or job for that material handler, such as feeding a shredder or a baler. As an OEM dedicated to material handling alone, we will continue to develop these and all scrap-handling solutions.” According to Liebherr’s Scheuerl “Technology continues to advance efficiency and performance. From simple systems such as stored operator profiles to advanced data transmission and tracking through telematics, as well as automated safety systems, warnings and even remote control, all are improving efficiencies, safety and ultimately these machines’ ROI.”

For Doosan’s Kleingartner, he points to the development of another high-tech option that should be available at some point in the future. “A long-range goal for us is material handler technology that would help operators by informing them of what material is in front of them. For example, if there’s wire versus metal or plastic versus rubber.” I personally look forward to seeing this development come to fruition. RPN

This article was originally published in Recycling Product News March 2017, Volume 25, Number 2.

More from Metals Recycling

Painting the right picture for recycling

The world needs more positive recycling stories. Article after article paints an inaccurate picture of our industry, often implying that recycling is pointless. Beyond the depressing side effect of being constantly inundated by negative news, what is the true cost of this type of media coverage and what can we do to protect our industry from it? 

Taurus Diablo scrap & auto baler latest available from ELV Select

The Taurus Diablo scrap metal and auto baler DB62, available in North America through Ontario-based ELV Select, is designed for baling of cars and metal shred. According to ELV, these units are built to make very dense bales, with maximum density of 1,000 kg/m3, and to be quick and easy to transport as well as simple to operate, making them ideal for companies with multiple yards or for rental to other metal recyclers.

Crushing it at Silver Creek Recycling

Silver Creek Recycling, located in Redcliff, Alberta, is a family business owned by Danny and Twila Luba and their son Bradyn. Bradyn's wife, Amanda, is a registered social worker. Danny and Twila Lubas' two daughters are Tajia, a business graduate working in commercial lending, and Taryn, a registered nurse. The family has operated Silver Creek Steel Mobile, a mobile recycling operation, since the late 1990s, servicing industrial locations throughout Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta, from large auto wreckers and landfills, to estate cleanups and oilfield demolition. 

Eriez UHF Eddy Current Separator helping Waukesha Iron & Metal recover metallic fines from ASR

Eriez introduced its Ultra High-Frequency (UHF) Eddy Current Separator in 2016 as a way for its auto shredding customers to generate significant additional revenue by recovering aluminum, copper and other nonferrous fines that had formerly been lost within the larger auto shredder residue (ASR) stream.

Canadian government to invest $20 million in Gerdau Ameristeel

July 26, Jennifer O'Connell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance (Youth Economic Opportunity), on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced a $20-million investment in an $81.2-million project that will help Gerdau Ameristeel upgrade its facilities in Whitby and Cambridge, Ontario. The investment will modernize steel production lines, reduce manufacturing costs, reduce the amount of scrap metal going to landfills and improve production capability for billets, which are semi-finished long steel products used to produce other steel-based products such as angles, rebar, flats or channels. The investment will also create 108 jobs and maintain 710 more in Whitby and Cambridge.

New Cutmaster Black Series plasma cutting consumables last 60% longer

Thermal Dynamics, an ESAB brand, has launched its new Cutmaster Black Series of enhanced performance plasma cutting consumables, which extend operating life by 60 percent compared to standard life electrodes. They are featured on the SL60QD 1Torch, which comes with the Cutmaster 60i handheld air plasma cutting system. Coupled with internal enhancements on the Cutmaster 60i, the new electrode design increases the unit's rated cut and piercing capacity to 3/4 in., a 16.6 percent improvement. The Cutmaster 60i can sever metal up to 1-1/2 in.

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Get our newsletter

Learn more

Bunting Magnetics celebrating 60 years in business

On August 3rd, 2019, Bunting Magnetics Co. will be celebrating its 60th anniversary as a company. Bunting Magnetics Co. is an industry leader in the design, manufacture, and sales of cutting-edge magnetic equipment used in applications such as magnetic separation, metal detection, conveyor systems, and magnetic printing cylinders. The main industries the company serves include the food and pharmaceutical industries, plastics, recycling, mining, printing, manufacturing, automotive, chemical, ceramics, textiles, and more.

Lindner to demo screening and shredding solutions at RecyclingAKTIV 2019

A multitude of different configuration options make Lindner's mobile shredders and system solutions the perfect choice for universal waste processing. The company will be demonstrating just what is possible in the world of waste wood and light scrap recycling from 5 to 7 September at RecyclingAKTIV 2019 in Karlsruhe, Germany. 

Eriez P-Rex rare earth scrap drums provide 50 percent greater recovery of ferrous from bottom ash for Covanta

Engineers at Covanta, one of the world's largest owners and operators of facilities dedicated to recovering energy from waste, reported an immediate 50 percent improvement in recovery of ferrous materials from bottom ash after upgrading a conventional scrap drum to an Eriez P-Rex®(Permanent Rare Earth Xtreme®) Scrap Drum at one of the company's United States facilities. 

American Manganese produces high purity material from pilot plant project

American Manganese Inc. (AMY) is pleased to report that the Company's contract lab, Kemetco Research Inc., has produced a high purity NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt) hydroxide filter cake (shown above) during the final stages of the RecycLiCo Pilot Plant project. The filter cake was produced using a 35L batch sample of Pregnant Leach Solution that was collected during Stages 1 and 2 of the Pilot Plant project.

Sierra Recycling & Demolition celebrates 60 years

Celebrating their 60th year of commitment and service to their customers and the recycling industry, Sierra Recycling & Demolition was started by Ben Sacco in 1959. Now the sister company of Sierra International Machinery, the California-based recycling equipment specialist, Sierra has deep roots in recycling, and they have for 60 years. Based on this foundation, Sierra International Machinery states: "Our equipment is designed by recyclers for recyclers. At Sierra, we have the same experiences and challenges that other recyclers have, and we know the problems and the issues other recyclers face. We use the experiences from Sierra Recycling and Demolition, our engineers, operation managers, and service technicians to produce superior machines that we actively use in our own yard."

Collaboration between Goudsmit Magnetics and Sortatec results in a single separator for waste flows

Cooperation between Dutch company Goudsmit Magnetics of Waalre and German company Sortatechas resulted in a mobile metal separator that separates both ferrous and non-ferrous metals from bulkflows. The companies will jointly demonstrate the Goudsmit Mobile MetalXpert at the Recycling Aktivin in Karlsruhe, Germany. 

Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more

CM introduces Solo single-shaft shredders lineup

CM Shredders has introduced a new single-shaft shredders line that features a "Smart-Ram" system which automatically adjusts ram pressure for maximum efficiency. The new CM SOLO series is ruggedly built and engineered for performance, durability and low cost of operation. Units produce minimal dust and require reduced power usage and manpower.

KINSHOFER P-series orange peel grapples handle heavier loads and increase efficiency

KINSHOFER offers an extensive range of excavator orange peel grapples for scrap, demolition, loading and unloading applications. Unlike competitive grapples, according to Kinshofer, the P-Series hydraulic system is fully enclosed and protected, reducing the risk of damage to hoses and other components. Additionally, the grapple's unique tine design enhances material penetration, increasing the amount contractors can safely secure in one cycle and saving time on the jobsite. 

TOMRA'S Frank Van de Winkel to participate on Harbour Aluminum Summit Market Outlook Panel

Frank van de Winkel, business development manager for TOMRA Sorting Recycling, will participate in a panel discussion during Harbor's 12th Aluminum Outlook Summit, held June 4-6, 2019, at Chicago's Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel. The Session 5 panel discussion will focus on North America's aluminum scrap & secondary market outlook, diving deep into emerging trends and market challenges. The session will take place in the Radisson's Atlantic Ballroom, starting at 8:25 a.m. on Thursday, June 6. 

Lifting magnets, power sources and electrical control systems: FAQ with Winkle Industries

Some magnets are simple, like the small, hand-held versions that hold paper clips or which affix photos, calendars and notes to metal. Magnets attached to mobile material handlers to lift metal are much more complicated. Following are answers to some of the most popular questions often asked about lifting magnets, power supply sources and electrical control systems. 

Q&A with Robin Wiener

Many North American recycling businesses rely on the hard work of industry associations to help ward off burdensome legislation. The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) in the U.S. and the Canadian Association of Recycling Industries(CARI) in Canada provide members with educational resources, networking opportunities and advocacy muscle at home and abroad. These associations also have a long history of collaborating with one another to combat common issues. 

Newco Metal & Auto Recycling commissions Wendt modular shredder and separation system

St. John's, Newfoundland-based Newco Metal and Auto Recycling, in April, commissioned an M6090 Modular Automobile Shredder Plant and Non-Ferrous Separation System from WENDT Corporation. The installation represents Newco's first automobile shredder and offers new market opportunities and economic advantages for processing the company's scrap metal.

Recycling industry seeks relief from excessive rail charges at Surface Transportation Board

The nation's recycling industry is calling on the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to address unreasonable railroad practices related to railcar supply and storage fees. Members of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) today testified before an STB hearing that rail is a critical mode for transporting ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal, particularly for distances greater than 200 miles. Since many recycling facilities are served by only one major freight railroad, there are rarely alternative modes of transportation - which means scrap metal and other recycling companies are too often suffering poor rail service and seeing skyrocketing fees.

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Get our newsletter

Learn more

American Manganese applies for battery recycling patents in seven countries

Larry W. Reaugh, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Manganese Inc. ("American Manganese" or "AMY" or the "Company"), is pleased to report the Company has filed National Phase Patent Applications for the Company's flagship technology on recycling lithium-ion battery cathode materials. Seven additional countries have been selected for National Phase Applications for the Company's original PCT Application No. PCT/US2017/060794 filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization on November 9, 2017. In addition to US Patent No. 10,246,343, which was granted on April 2019, AMY has selected the following additional countries for the National Phase Applications:

Recycling industry calls on U.S. Mint to resume mutilated coin redemption program after unexpected shutdown

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) expressed concern over the announcement by the U.S. Mint to re-suspend the Mutilated Coin Redemption Program and is offering its expertise to work with the agency to identify and resolve any concerns as quickly as possible. Along with the Mint, ISRI shares the goal of recovering and recycling coins while protecting the program's integrity. 

Liebherr presents material handling machines for recycling applications at bauma 2019

At bauma 2019 Liebherr presented two material handling machines: LH 18 M Industry and LH 26 M Industry, both specially designed for recycling applications. With these models, Liebherr says the company is positioning itself specifically in the field of small material handling machines, thereby expanding its product portfolio. As an example, for its electric material handling technology, Liebherr presented the LH 26 Industry with mobile undercarriage.

​Sierra International Machinery introduces REB-X Press Portable Two-Ram Baler

Bakersfield, California-based Sierra International Machinery has introduced the REB-X Press two-ram baler. The REB-X Press two-ram baler is designed to be easily transportable while maintaining a heavy-duty construction, remarkable performance and the ability to process a variety of material. According to Sierra, this portable two-ram baler is also highly adaptable and is the ideal machine for various applications at multiple facilities that need a baler to use on a rotational basis or during maintenance shutdowns, demolition projects, disaster cleanup, landfill projects, and rural locations.

New P-Rex84 Scrap Drum among multiple Eriez innovations on display at ISRI2019

Eriez latest model in the P-Rex scrap drum series will be among a wide range of magnetic separation and sorting equipment and technology the company will have on display at ISRI 2019 in Los Angeles, April 8-11.  Other equipment technology will include the company's Shred1 Ballistic Separator, UHF Eddy Current Separator, and Metal Loss Monitor.

Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more