Norwood Metals processes more than 12,000 tonnes of metals per year at its yard on the outskirts of Killamarsh, near Sheffield. And for almost two decades of trading it has used material handling equipment from the likes of Hymac and Poclain before settling in more recent times on Liebherr machines.
With the requirement for a replacement front-line material handler beckoning, managing director Jamie Hull looked at a variety of leading manufacturers before deciding to buy to a new 350MH from nearby Atlas dealer, TDL.
“We keep our cranes on front-line duties for up to 10 years and wanted a reliable, productive and economical loader,” he says. “The specification of the Atlas along with testimonials from other users and a very comprehensive package put forward by TDL Equipment gave us the confidence in changing brands.”
The 36-tonne machine has replaced a similar sized Liebherr handler and has impressed the operations team at Norwood since its arrival earlier in 2019. Regular operator Pete Jacques has been operating machinery for more than 40 years and reckons the Atlas is the smoothest he has operated for a while.
Powered by a Deutz 6-cylinder, 245hp diesel engine, the Atlas 350MH is a dedicated material handler from the ground up. The five-metre long heavy-duty chassis is fitted with heavy-duty axles fitted, each rated at 56 tonnes and is fitted with a pair of hydraulic stabilisers at each end.
The large diameter slew ring supports the upper structure complete with its hydraulically elevating cabin, which lifts the driver’s eye-line from almost three metres up to 5.5 metres. The cabin has bullet-proof glazing and a substantial ROPS and FOPS guard. It is also pressurised to stop the ingress of dust.
The 6.1 litre engine sits low inside the upper structure, allowing the operator a relatively unimpeded view across the rear of the machine. Large gullwing canopies open up on either side of the body to allow unrestricted access to the cooling pack on one side and the hydraulic system on the other.
A key feature on the loader is a reversing fan on the cooling pack. Automatically engaged, the fan clears the radiator cores at regular intervals, lowering the build-up of dust and debris that would eventually decrease the machine’s performance.
Front end equipment on the 350MH comprises of a 10.6-metre straight boom with a 7.75-metre stick and is completed with a five-tine grab with a 1.5 m3 capacity.
The day-to-day operations carried out at the yard require the Atlas to undertake the majority of stacking and sorting operations. A number of smaller material handlers sort incoming material whilst the bulk of the work falls to the Atlas – including the loading of bulk tippers when time comes to remove the material to an end processor.
The machine’s performance from day one has impressed the team at Norwood. “It’s proving to be a reliable and productive machine,” Jamie Hull says.