Mercian Skip Hire, based at Kings Norton on the outskirts of Birmingham are said to be one of the fastest growing skip hire businesses in the West Midlands and have been trading for over 12 years. In recent years the company has invested heavily in new trucks and plant & machinery to keep the business at the top of its game, enabling them to offer the most reliable service to its customers, many of which are blue chip national companies.
Mercian’s transfer station currently processes on average around 25 – 30,000 tonnes of commercial, industrial and construction waste per year with on average an impressive 98% of the waste being recovered and recycled, that’s a lot of rubbish being recycled by anyone’s standards and more importantly not heading to one of the ever-diminishing landfill sites.
What you don’t immediately notice when you visit this Environment Agency licenced site is the 304 panel, 76kw solar panel system which is mounted on the roof of the main sorting shed, this set up provides enough power to run the entire waste transfer station meaning that the company can proudly boast of having a 0% carbon output thanks to its renewable energy installation.
The company has recently invested in a new fleet of 8 Scania skip wagons and they have ambitious plans to expand their operator’s licence enabling them to increase the size of the truck fleet to meet the ever-increasing demand for skips.
Historically in the past Mercian had used competitors’ excavators and wheeled loaders but in more recent years the company has turned to Hyundai kit supplied by local dealer Molson Group.
Mercian’s Site Manager Stephen Shiels explained the decision to choose the Korean built machines, “We did take demonstration models from all the major players and really did our homework evaluating the machines like for like. We really liked the look of the Hyundai’s and felt that they represented excellent value for money, in addition feedback from our operators was very good regarding the Hyundai’s. We also listened to other end users who had recommended the brand too and who had told us about the good service and back up provided by the dealer”.
Stephen continued, “Molson offered the best overall deal, so we went with them and opted for the premium extended warranty package, so for us it’s literally a case of just adding fuel, which offers us great peace of mind going forward. We are now 3-years into this working relationship with Molson and we are already in the process of planning the next upgrade to our fleet of machines”.
The oldest Hyundai on the fleet is an R 210LC-9 hydraulic excavator which was a second-hand unit supplied by Molson, this machine is primarily engaged in feeding shredded material onto an MK Group FBS1200 feeder belt which feeds a STS920 trommel screen, while larger items not screened head for the picking belt above a 5-bay recovery station, where a team of manual pickers sort through what is left and despatch it into the corresponding bays below.
By contrast the newest machine on the fleet is a 6-month-old HX220L hydraulic excavator, which perhaps surprisingly, rather than a rotating selector grab, which seem to be growing in popularity, this excavator is fitted with a fixed demo style grab mounted via a Geith fully automatic hydraulic quick hitch which it uses to load the shredder. When this machine is not performing this task, it is often deployed with a bulk digging bucket where it is put to work loading the company’s inert soil processing Keestrack Novum 3-way screener in another part of the yard.
The machine is powered by a Tier 4 final emissions compliant 6 cylinder Cummins QSB 6.7 engine which is down rated to 136kw (183hp) @1950rpm. It has been supplied in full demo/waste specification with heavily beefed up side skirt protection, cab guard cage on both the front and roof, thicker belly plate, turret guard, and strengthened track motor guards, in addition it features a reversible fan and air pre-cleaner to cope with the dusty work environment, all modification work on this machine was done in house by Molson. Under the terms of the extended warranty package Molson also change the air filters on all the company’s Hyundai machines twice as often as recommended by the manufacturer due to the dusty conditions.
The HX220L has proved to be extremely economic on both fuel and AdBlue consumption and a vast improvement on the earlier Dash 9 model in the fleet.
The prime movers around the yard are a pair of Hyundai HL760-9A wheeled loading shovels which are factory fitted Waste Handler specification. The Waste Handler model includes a number of significant upgrades over its standard counterpart in the wheeled loader range, these upgrades include, uprated heavy duty axles for improved performance under load and frequent braking, front and rear window guards, heavy duty rear grill guard, the machines also benefit from additional heavy duty underside belly guards to prevent damage from any potential debris build up around the engine or transmission, fuel tank guarding, hitch and steering cylinder guards are also provided as standard in waste spec as is automatic hose protection and air pre-cleaner with mesh screen.
Molson also supplied and fitted the HL960-9A’s with SG Revolution air cushioned solid tyres which have proven to be the ideal choice in this kind of application. A Lincoln Auto-Lube system is also fitted and an in cab RDS Loadmaster – Alpha 50 weigh loader systems were also installed.
In this waste application the machines have been also been supplied with high tip buckets which offer increased lift/tipping height, which is especially useful when loading high sided bulk skips.
Tipping the scales at just over 20 tonnes the WL760-9A’s take their power from a six-cylinder Stage 3B emissions compliant Cummins QSB6.7 water cooled, 4-cycle, turbocharged, electronic controlled diesel engine which offers a net power output rating of 166 kW (222hp) @2,100rpm. The fully automatic power-shift transmission has four step shift modes: manual, light, normal and heavy. The machine has 5-forward gears offering a potential top speed of 44.0km/h (27.3mph) and 3-reverse gears with a top speed of 30.4km/h (18.9mph).
Summarizing about the Mercian Hyundai fleet Stephen Shiels said, “These machines have proven to be excellent for our family business, the operators are on them all day, every day and they love them and as we know happy operators are productive operators. It’s well known that machines deployed into the waste sector take a beating, such is the harsh nature of the environment they are working in, but these Hyundai’s have proven to be more than up to the challenge in every aspect”.