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Fall 2013

An improved method to handle trash

A powerful, high-lifting Bobcat S850 skid-steer loader adds new dimension to Arkansas transfer station

Robert Hendrix, executive director of the Craighead County Solid Waste Disposal Authority, Jonesboro, Ark.

Robert Hendrix, executive director of the Craighead County Solid Waste Disposal Authority, Jonesboro, Ark.

Transforming a solid waste disposal transfer station began with an old building, a pile of repair bills and a cumbersome articulated loader. Within six months they were replaced by a new building, a different handling system and a powerful Bobcat® skid-steer loader.

“The result — less downtime, more uptime and a more cost-effective way of doing business — has been very positive,” says Robert Hendrix, executive director of the Craighead County Solid Waste Disposal Authority, Jonesboro, Ark. “This is an application that is not easy on equipment, but I think we have put together a very efficient way of handling solid waste.”

The facility, commonly known as the Lake City Transfer Station, serves garbage and trash haulers, contractors and cities in the eastern portion of the county.

New building is first step

In December 2011, the county replaced a 20-year-old building with a new structure. All waste materials are unloaded inside the building, which features a 6,000-square-foot tipping floor and a new 40-foot scale.

The Bobcat industrial grapple attachment makes it easy for the operator to see the work area, with good all-around visibility from the M-Series S850 skid-steer loader cab.

The Bobcat industrial grapple attachment makes it easy for the operator to see the work area, with good all-around visibility from the M-Series S850 skid-steer loader cab.

Previously, a large articulated loader pushed the trash onto an inclined conveyor, which dumped it into a hopper. Then the material was placed into an 8-cubic-yard compactor. Once 16 tons of compact trash was accumulated, a semitrailer that is especially designed for this type of work hauled the material to a sanitary landfill.

“This system served us well for some time,” says Hendrix, “until the conveyor began to break down. Parts were always wearing out, and we had to constantly bring in a welding crew to do repairs. Month after month, invoices for fixing the conveyor would show up. We all got tired of that.”

Although they had the articulated loader, Hendrix and his staff decided the machine lacked sufficient maneuverability to keep up with the work. The solution, they decided, was a skid-steer loader.

“As a government agency, we are required to take competitive bids, but it quickly became apparent that a Bobcat S850 loader was best for the job and less expensive than a new articulated loader,” Hendrix says. “The chute into our hopper is about 8 feet high, so we needed a machine that could comfortably clear that distance.”

Purchased from Hugg & Hall Equipment, Jonesboro, Ark., the Bobcat S850 is one of the highest lifting skid-steer loaders on the market with a 12-foot lift height. The vertical-lift-path loader provides more reach at full lift height, making it the ideal machine for this application.

“The new system, which features the S850, solid tires and industrial grapple and pallet fork attachments, has proven to be very efficient,” Hendrix says.