Luke Wyatt likes to learn by doing. A co-owner of Rockwood, Tennessee-based Roane Metals Group LLC (RMG), Luke learned the recycling trade on the job working alongside his father-in-law, Albert Baisley, at Rockwoods Southern Alloys and Metals. When RMG began, they used a hands-on approach to learn their way around scrap handling machines.
"We tried all the usual suspects: different types of loaders and different dealers," Wyatt reports. "One machine might be a little quicker. Another might have a stronger boom. But at the end of the day, it just made sense to put all our eggs in one basket. We chose the best machine with the best dealers. We figured that's how to make sure we have the dealer's attention when we need support."
For RMG, the right combination was Sennebogen purpose-built material handlers, backed by the nearby Power Equipment dealership.
RMG now runs a number of Sennebogen machines, with most of them on their main site in Rockwood and another at their branch in Crossville.
"We got our first Sennebogen, an 825 M, from Power Equipment in 2007," says Wyatt. "It's still doing all our loading work in Crossville with over 26,000 hours on it. It's had a couple normal wear parts through it, but it still runs on all its original pumps. It's done pretty doggone well for us."
On balance, Wyatt feels that most machines in the category they require would be able to handle their day-to-day work. RMG chose to stick with Sennebogen for the long-term reliability of the machines and parts support available from Power Equipment.
Gary Hirsch, Power Equipment vice president and general manager, says it's no surprise. "Purpose-built material handlers are the way to go. And Sennebogen has invested heavily in its U.S.-based parts inventory and factory support services. Providing first rate customer service is the driving value behind Power Equipment, and we are thrilled to have represented Sennebogen for the last 10-plus years."
RMG is also investing in its facilities. Recently, Wyatt says, they poured close to a half million dollars worth of concrete to expand the paved area in its main yard. The RMG truck fleet now totals 18 tractors, trailers and roll-offs to serve customers within a 150 mile radius of Rockwood - not including the 85 units operated by their sister company, Roane Transport.
RMG recently took delivery of their newest Sennebogen machine, an 835 M E Series model. All of their material handling equipment runs on rubber tires; the new machine is dedicated to feeding the site's 750-ton Sierra International shear/logger/baler. The operation sorts, grades, shears, compacts and ships up to 70,000 tons of ferrous and non-ferrous metals per year. The other scrap handlers offload material trucked in by customers and prepare loads for shipping by truck or rail.
"We put the new 835 M E in the hands of our longest-serving operator, Darrell," says Wyatt. "He keeps the material moving 8 to 10 hours a day, every day. The elevating cab puts Darrell over 18 feet in the air, so he has a good look into the shear. We have very little downtime problems with the Sennebogen, because we've never had any major issues with any of these machines."
Still, the learning process will continue at RMG. Wyatt has plans to send his technicians to the Sennebogen Training Center in Stanley, NC soon. "We appreciate the support we get from Power Equipment," he says. "But if we don't have to call the dealer every time we need to service the equipment, that works for me too."
This article was provided on behalf of Sennebogen LLC, and was first published in the March 2018 edition of Recycling Product News, Volume 26, Number 2.