Volvo helps customer convert scrap metal into profits

B.N. Steel and Metals’ Volvo EC330B clutches a piece of scrap metal with its shears
More than ever, businesses understand the importance of recycling and reusing. One such company, B.N. Steel and Metals in Canada, is giving scrap metal a new lease of life – with some help from its fleet of Volvo crawler excavators.

Many items, such as paper and wood products, are easy to recycle. But it’s every bit as important to keep scrap metal – materials such as steel from building and tower demolition, household appliances and old automobiles – out of the landfill, even though recycling those materials is a tougher task requiring some tough equipment. That’s where B.N. Steel and Metals – and Volvo Construction Equipment – comes in.

Giving scrap metal a second chance
Based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the company focuses on recycling lighter gauge materials, such as sheet metal, appliances, cars, trucks and farm equipment – but has the capacity to handle most forms of metal recycling. Mark Riffel took over the family business in 2002. Up to that point his father had very successfully run the small metal recycling company, but Mark knew that to survive in the new economy, the company had to grow – and grow it did. In 2007, he purchased an auto recycling company and added it to his ever-growing business roster.

“When I took the business over from my dad,” Mark says, “a big year for him would have been 1,500 tons of assorted material. Now we sort, shred, compact and ship a minimum of 25,000 tons of mixed metal annually – and that number is rising.”

The right tools for the job
So what does it take to grow a metal recycling company by over 150 % in just a few short years? Solid business management is certainly a key factor, and it also requires an ever-growing supply of used material. But employing the right equipment is also crucial to keeping such a business running smoothly. When machines are running reliably, Mark says, employees can be more productive, so downtime is minimized and earnings maximized. For Mark, the reliability of Volvo products is one of the primary factors considered when he looks to purchase a new piece of equipment.

“For my money, Volvo just makes a better machine,” Mark says. “Over the years we have owned just about every kind of excavator known to man, and Volvo has always suited our needs best.”

Mark Riffel, owner of B.N. Steel and Metals, operates his Volvo EC330B crawler excavator.

Currently, B.N. Steel and Metals and its subsidiary, Affiliated Auto Wrecking, own four Volvo EC210C crawler excavators – one of which is equipped with a seven-finger, fully-rotatable grapple and another with a regular bucket and two-finger hydraulic thumb. It also owns a Volvo EC330B crawler excavator that is fitted with a giant shear and uses a Volvo L110F wheel loader.

Service from the Volvo Construction Equipment dealer, Redhead Equipment in Regina, Saskatchewan, is another important factor that makes the Volvo purchase decision an easy one. “The Redhead team is there when we need them,” Mark says. “If we have a breakdown and we need parts or a service technician, Redhead and Volvo are there for us – just a phone call away.”

There’s no question that Mark and his team have turned used materials into a solid business success story, all by finding a niche that needs filling, adding a dash of solid business management – and calling on Volvo Construction Equipment.

Picture 1: B.N. Steel and Metals’ Volvo EC330B clutches a piece of scrap metal with its shears.
Picture 2: Mark Riffel, owner of B.N. Steel and Metals, operates his Volvo EC330B crawler excavator.