County’s investment in Sennebogen material handlers eases burden on operators

Solid waste facilities run at a frenetic pace. With high incoming volumes and demanding space constraints, efficiency is of the utmost importance. So when the team at Polk County Solid Waste Management in Minnesota saw an opportunity to ease the burden on its operators while simultaneously streamlining production, they jumped at the chance.

Not satisfied with how the county’s existing payloaders and excavators were performing at handling incoming waste, the team from Polk County Solid Waste Management partnered with a coalition of local municipal solid waste facilities in northern Minnesota to find a better solution.

Polk County participates in a regional integrated solid waste management program that includes the adjoining counties of Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Mahnomen and Norman.

Polk and Beltrami Counties, along with the four other adjacent counties, applied for, and were awarded, a capital assistance grant through the state of Minnesota to upgrade their respective waste facilities. That grant allocated funds for new equipment purchases, and the counties joined together to maximize their purchasing power.

In 2017, the teams began testing various machines from different suppliers. According to Polk Country Solid Waste Management Operations Manager Ron Larson, when operators got the chance to demo the Sennebogen material handler 818 E-Series provided by RMS-Road Machinery and Supplies in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, they knew they found the right fit.

“The selling points were it’s a very smooth-running machine. It’s super quiet, and we really liked that aspect of it because it’s running inside a building. We use it to load a feed hopper, it’s stockpiling waste for us and it’s loading walking floor trucks on a daily basis. We found that it’s just a really nice machine to run. We tested two other machines and we found out that the Sennebogen was just a great fit for us,” Larson says.

According to Larson, Polk County Solid Waste Management took ownership of the Sennebogen material handler 818 E-Series in September 2017 and started using the machine on-site in January 2018. Nearby Beltrami County Transfer Station also took ownership of one 818 E-Series in the fall of 2017. Polk County Transfer Station and the Polk County Landfill each got one 818 E-Series in spring 2018. In total, three new 818 E-Series Sennebogens were purchased in addition to a preowned E-Series for the landfill.

After outfitting the Sennebogen with a Rotobec clamshell bucket, the team was ready to put the machine into action. According to Larson, the difference became immediately apparent.

“This is the first material handler Polk County has owned,” Larson says. “We’ve had excavators and payloaders before, and this machine is different. It gives the operator the capability of just sitting in one spot and doing quarter turns to handle the material instead of having to completely rotate the machine 360 degrees or otherwise move it. It’s much more efficient. It can go from a pile of waste directly to a hopper with limited movement. This also equates to enhanced safety since you’re limiting your required movement.”

Greater efficiency was pivotal for the team at Polk County since the machine is tasked with managing a heavy workload. The facility runs the material handler seven hours per day, five days a week to process approximately 900 to 1,000 tons per week.

Larson says that despite the stresses the facility puts on the machine, the E-Series has proven extremely durable. He notes that for the routine maintenance that is required, most service can be done directly from the ground or from points that are easy to access from the top of the equipment.

Beyond greater efficiency, better safety and streamlined maintenance, Larson says the functionality of the Sennebogen material handlers is more seamless than any machine his operators have used. This translates to greater control and more comfort for the team’s personnel.

“These machines have a short learning curve. Our guys had run other equipment before, but the movement was limited—you couldn’t do much,” he says. “However, once they got into this machine, the motion was so fluid and you could even elevate the cab when you needed to so you could see what was going on better. Beyond that, within 10 or 15 minutes, you essentially had the motion of it down and understood how it handled. It’s been a very good machine for us.”

For more information on Sennebogen’s material handlers for waste: industries/waste/

The Waste Handling Industry Never Sleeps!

The endless stream of commercial, industrial and municipal solid waste (MSW) calls for dependable, efficient equipment that can keep pace and meet diversion targets. SENNEBOGEN provides proven solutions to move more material efficiently, tirelessly, while reducing costs and maintaining a safe work environment.


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Sun Services’ switch to Sennebogen material handlers leads to greater savings, processing capacity

Sun Services in Beltsville, Maryland, has served the waste and recycling needs of customers throughout Maryland, northern Virginia, eastern West Virginia, southern Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. since 2004. Specializing in commercial disposal, residential demolition recycling projects and construction dumpster rental, their team relies on streamlined operations to increase efficiency and maximize production.

Determined to capitalize on its thriving hauling operation, Sun Services constructed a new construction and demolition (C&D) recycling plant in October 2013 to better leverage the value of the materials it collected.

The company designed the 33,000-square-foot plant on five acres to house all material loading and processing under one roof for local ordinance compliance. As such, having the right equipment to safely and effectively handle the vast volumes of incoming material was of paramount importance.

That’s why in 2018, when the time came to replace the company’s existing excavators used for loading material into its shredder, Sun Services President Brian Shipp did his due diligence to find the best equipment on the market.

After researching and testing various options, the Sennebogen 818 material handler track unit won Shipp and his team over thanks to its versatility and maneuverability as well as its potential for fuel and cost savings. Sun Services added a rotating demolition grapple attachment to the equipment for increased functionality.

“We wanted to get machines that had an elevated cab as well as a rotating grapple that could pick the material a lot better,” Shipp says. “We also wanted to visually inspect what was in the grapple and be able to spin the load around before we dropped it in the shredder. The Sennebogen 818 material handlers offered that flexibility. Also, they priced out lower than the other equipment, and we didn’t have to worry about a lot of wasted pump power for digging that you sacrifice [while] running excavators. So, the setup of the machine was actually way more fuel efficient than a regular excavator of a comparable size.”

Shipp says the company purchased three 818s—two to run consecutively and one to switch out every week for Sun Services’ scheduled cleaning and preventative maintenance service. While Sun Services is always mindful of maximizing its equipment’s uptime, once the company received the material handlers, Shipp says he wasted no time in seeing what they were capable of.

“We handle a large volume of construction and demolition debris that is brought here from our roll-off dumpsters,” Shipp says. “We set it up so a wheel loader pushes the pile of debris up to where the Sennebogen is sitting. Then, our operator does a sort with the material handler, which we’ve outfitted with a grapple to get out any big steel or concrete pieces that we don't want going through the shredder. On any given day, the machine handles 500 to 700 tons of C&D debris over 10 to 12 hours. I’ve been in both the excavators and material handlers, and there is no comparison—the material handlers can move a lot more material than a comparable sized excavator.”

Beyond the improvements in processing capacity, Shipp says the Sennebogen’s design is more operator-friendly.

“The design of the Sennebogen definitely allows more freedom for the operator,” Shipp says. “There's a lot more room, and the cooling system works a lot better than a standard excavator. There's also a lot more open space with the way the engine is mounted. In these units, the engine is placed parallel with the stick versus perpendicular across the back. So, there's a lot more room for the cooling package, and the Sennebogen machine is able to deal with the dust a lot better than a standard excavator does. But the fact that the cabs are huge in these units is ideal for our operators because being able to work for 10-plus hours a day without feeling encapsulated makes for a better environment and is good for their wellbeing.”

Shipp says that with all the benefits the Sennebogen material handlers offer, perhaps the greatest is their ability to keep working long after other machines reach the end of their service life.

“With our rugged environment, our excavators were pretty much trashed at about 7,000 hours. With this set of Sennebogen equipment, we’re hopeful we can double that, and with the volumes we process, that is significant.”

For more information on Sennebogen’s material handlers for waste: