“The CareTrack® program allows us to monitor the fuel consumption the way the operator is operating the machine. If we see a machine that is burning too much fuel, we can address the operator and try and remedy the situation. We have done this over the last three to four years, and our fuel consumption across the board on all our equipment has dropped somewhere in the range of a gallon and a half an hour. If I take that gallon and a half an hour times two thousand hours times fifty machines at three dollars and fifty cents a gallon, that’s a substantial savings to the bottom line.”
The construction industry is one that eats materials for breakfast. It chews them up, spits them out, and then comes back for more. What’s left are the waste materials that can either end up in a landfill or be sent to a recycling facility like Sun Recycling in West Palm Beach, FL operated by Southern Waste Systems.
Founded in 1999, Southern Waste Systems and Sun Recycling are industry leaders in the collection and processing of commercial and residential waste. As the largest privately owned recycler of construction and demolition material, yard waste, recovered materials, and mixed waste in the southeastern United States, their innovative recycling processes have met with national acclaim. Their goal and their business is to turn the highly recyclable products they collect into marketable products that can be put back into the economy instead of a landfill.
Values like these line up in lockstep with those of the company whose heavy-duty machinery keep the West Palm Beach location humming: Volvo Construction Equipment, whose core values are Quality, Safety, and Environmental Care.
At the West Palm Beach facility Sun Recycling operates on a 12-acre site. They take in material from third party customers as well as from Southern Waste Systems. Rock crushers and wood grinders go to work in breaking down construction waste items to their most basic and re-usable forms. In processing wood, metal, concrete, cardboard and plastics, Sun Recycling has a recovery rate of up to 92%. To describe the process in incredibly broad terms, the waste comes in on trucks and then the Volvo construction equipment goes to work.
Southern Waste Systems currently owns 50 pieces of Volvo construction equipment. And each of those pieces puts on about 2,000 hours a year.
Paul Valenti is the Director of Facility Operations at Sun Recycling. As he looks across the wide expanse of the main yard, dozens of Volvo equipment fill his view. When asked why his company has made such an investment in Volvo Construction Equipment, he answers with one word: uptime.
“One of the most important decisions for us in why we purchase Volvo equipment is uptime,” Valenti says. “The Volvo equipment will stand up to our heavy-duty cycle with the long hours, and at the end of the day that’s the name of the game. If there’s no equipment, no uptime, there’s no recycling.”
Over at the rock crusher a Volvo EC300 excavator is equipped with an hydraulic pulverizer attachment, simultaneously moving and pulverizing rocks and concrete the size of motorcycles. In an environment like this, the Volvo Care Cab becomes more necessity than luxury. Mounted on viscous silicon rubber to absorb shocks and provide excellent comfort, the operator cab is a safe environment with superior filtration (14 air vents) and low noise and vibration. With features like a rear-view camera and an easy-to-read color I-ECU monitor, the entire interior is designed with ergonomic comfort and safety in mind.
More excavators are found at the wood grinding operation. These are Volvo EC250 excavators equipped with a three-over-two grapple attachment. The excavators lift piles of wood waste and place them into the grinder. One of the many benefits of working with Volvo is the versatility and ease with which excavator attachments can be switched out depending on the application – whether that application requires a bucket, grapple, fork, or other attachment.
Throughout the Sun Recycling facility a series of Volvo L220 and L250 front end loaders move tons of recyclable products through the process – whether those materials are rock and concrete, logs, wood waste, cardboard or plastics. With more engine power, a quieter cab, and better fuel efficiency than the competitors, these wheel loaders help Sun Recycling keep production moving at peak performance.
Equipped with OptiShift, the front end loaders boast exceptional fuel efficiency and operator experience. OptiShift is a feature unique to Volvo Construction Equipment designed to increase operator comfort and machine durability while optimizing fuel savings. Load and carry applications such as those experienced at Sun Recycling can expect up to 15% fuel savings over the competition, with some applications experiencing up to 30% better fuel efficiency. OptiShift combines Volvo’s patented Reverse by Braking (RBB) system and a new torque converter with lock-up and free wheel stator. The result is shorter cycle times, durability and fuel efficiency. OptiShift combined with CareTrack® (Volvo’s telematics system that provides customers a wide range of machine monitoring information) marries built-in fuel efficiency with the ability to track a machine’s performance and keep tabs on fuel usage.
“With the cost of fuel today, and the amount of hours that we put on the machines, fuel efficiency is extremely important,” Valenti says. “The CareTrack® program allows us to monitor the fuel consumption the way the operator is operating the machine. If we see a machine that is burning too much fuel, we can address the operator and try and remedy the situation. We have done this over the last three to four years, and our fuel consumption across the board on all our equipment has dropped somewhere in the range of a gallon and a half an hour. If I take that gallon and a half an hour times two thousand hours times fifty machines at three dollars and fifty cents a gallon, that’s a substantial savings to the bottom line.”
Spending less on fuel helps add to Sun Recycling’s profit margin. And fueling less frequently means less downtime. As demand increases, that becomes more and more important. With government regulations enforcing higher recycling rates, Sun Recycling must be able to keep up with the increasing demands placed upon them by contractors in their area requiring a recycling facility for their waste materials. Reliable machinery that performs at a consistently high level is necessary for them to stay ahead of that demand.
“As a trendsetter in the industry of recycling construction material, we realize it’s important that we have equipment that can keep up with the demands of uptime,” Valenti says. “Volvo is a key role in that uptime. I’ve used a lot of equipment over the years. By far, Volvo has to be some of the best equipment I’ve used.”
Building a business around environmental sustainability and recycling and reusing construction waste is an admirable proposition. But it’s a business none-the-less. Like any other business Southern Waste Systems and Sun Recycling rely on their equipment to do the job consistently at a high level. Who better to rely on than a company dedicated to smart machinery and smart services: Volvo Construction Equipment.