Porter Press Extra: Loop Organics

By: Cameron Officer, Photography by: Barry Ashenhurst

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  • Earthmovers & Exacavators

In order to help process large amounts of organic material at a compost facility in the Hunter Valley, Loop Organics looked to Hyundai’s powerful wheel loader range to provide a heavy-duty machine solution

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Loop Organics' company director Lisa Rawlinson

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As part of a State Government-mandated project to rehabilitate old mine sites in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley region, Loop Organics is working with energy company AGL Macquarie to rehabilitate an 850ha site.

The work requires a significant amount of biosolids and other organic material to be processed at Loop Organics’ composting facility in Ravensworth. The facility can receive up to 55,000 tonnes of organic wastes for composting per year.

In order to help process these large amounts – in a part of New South Wales with a high demand for such material – company director Lisa Rawlinson says a large new wheel loader was required.

"In establishing the Ravensworth facility, the site for which was chosen because of its accessibility to both Sydney and the Hunter Valley, we knew we would need to invest in new machinery to help process composted material," she says.

"Thanks to a grant from the NSW Environmental Trust, we were able to invest in a brand-new machine which helps give us the ability to through-put the tonnage required for the AGL Macquarie project."

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Loop Organics purchased a new Hyundai HL757-9XTD with a High Dump Bucket attachment

Above ground mining often involves the stripping and stockpiling of topsoil so it can be replaced, but long-term storage results in an inevitable decline in soil quality. Biologically active soil, with high levels of nutrients and organic matter, and low levels of salinity is needed to help return the land to grazing pasture.

Loop Organics supplies the significant amounts of organic matter and compost that are required to mix in with degraded soil.

The company also organises collection and transport of material to the site, as well as the processing, storage and application of the material once it is there.

When Loop Organics began the search for its wheel loader to turn and process biosolids and green waste – and without such a large machine on the fleet already– Lisa says a colleague in the industry recommended Hyundai.

"We knew we wanted a large machine that was going to be able to fulfil several roles for us. We have a windrow turner, but the front-end loader would also be used for turning compost material," she says.

"Additionally, we will be out-loading into trucks eventually and with so many different types and sizes of truck out there, we wanted to make sure we have the capability to load quickly and efficiently regardless of the trucks coming through the gate."

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The High Dump Bucket is used to give Loop Organics’ machine extra dump height clearance

High dump bucket

Lisa and business partner Dominic Flanagan elected to purchase a new Hyundai HL757-9XTD with a High Dump Bucket attachment. The 15-ton machine sits at the mid-way point in Hyundai’s extensive wheel loader range, which is distributed throughout Australia by Porter Equipment.

The High Dump Bucket is used to give Loop Organics’ machine extra dump height clearance. The bucket pivots off a frame, which effectively lengthens the loader lift arm, and is tipped using the frame’s hydraulic cylinders.

This means that dump height clearances more than the loader’s standard maximum lift pin height can be achieved; handy when loading high-sided B-train trucks heading to the rehabilitation project.

Because the processing plant is built on an old mine site, the wheel loader needed to meet mine specification.

"For example, fire is a big risk when working with composted material, so our machine has extra fire extinguishers onboard," says Lisa.

Another Hyundai ‘9 Series’ specification that enables the wheel loader’s operator to work safer and more comfortably is its more spacious, redesigned cabin. This also offers an improved field of vision through front glass, which is rounded and 17 per cent wider than the windscreen fitted to the previous model.

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The Hyundai HL757-9XTD features an on-board self-diagnostic and monitoring system

The Hyundai HL757-9XTD also features a remote-mounted, hydraulically powered cooling fan, which can regulate fan speed according to working temperatures for coolant, intake air, transmission oil and hydraulic oil.

Engineered to help reduce fuel consumption and machine noise, the fan is designed to auto reverse periodically to keep composted debris from the windrows from accumulating on the coolers. The operator can also manually reverse the fan if required.

Once the machine is loading material, other features such as integrated auto boom kick out and bucket positioner will come into play, as will the Hyundai load weight system, which is designed to improve work speed while mitigating the chance of overloading a truck or trailer.

While the Hyundai HL757-9XTD will be supported and serviced by Porter Equipment, it also features an on-board self-diagnostic and monitoring system, which features active displays of the engine, hydraulic system, transmission and electrical components for the driver. Also important in the changeable climate of the Hunter Valley region is the machine’s automatic climate control system, which comprises 11 air vents for optimum temperature control.

There are also defroster vents located on the front and rear windows and an electric pre-heater, making cold starts that much more comfortable.

"I guess it’s fair to say word-of-mouth brought us to Hyundai and Porter Equipment, but the recommendation was a trusted one," concludes Lisa.

"We knew we needed a big machine to handle the job, but we also wanted something that, technologically-speaking, has all the comfort and safety boxes ticked as well.

"We aren’t like a big civil construction company buying this sort of equipment every year, so when we do invest in something like the wheel loader, we need to make sure it will work for us now and into the future."

Then again, with Loop Organics also operating other large-scale biosolids management and reuse programs for Central Coast Council, Hunter Water and Coliban Water – all of which necessitates the processing of more than 100,000 tonnes of biosolids and food waste per year.

 

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