Shifting Sugar Could Be
A Sticky Problem
If you were to be asked what wheel loaders are used for, materials such as sugar will be a long way down the list.
A great many food processors have to handle large quantities of loose bulk material and they need equipment to do it.
Faced with a need for greater productivity in handling sugar, Solent Stevedores Limited has made its first investment of Cat wheel loaders from Finning, with the purchase of two 950Ks.
After re-negotiating its contract with the Tate and Lyle sugar refinery, now owned by ASR Group, the port bulk handling specialists process sugar cane shipments from across the world, shifting raw sugar into the plant based on the Thames’ edge in East London.
The two 950Ks have been integrated into the updated fleet, where they are making full use of their 5.1 m³ buckets and newly improved parallel lift capabilities. These two machines are in action on a seven day, 24 hour continuous process.
In addition to the machines the business has opted for an inclusive support solution, which features remote monitoring from the Finning Finsight team, part of Finning’s EM Solutions service.
Needless to say, when handling such products, it is essential that the machines remain ‘dry’ so as not to contaminate the raw material.
Commenting on its purchase Martin Hiscock, Operations Manager at Solent Stevedores, stated:
With the Tate and Lyle plant being the biggest sugar refinery in the EU, it is essential we have the machines best suited to manage this challenging workload and to meet our clients demands. The Cat 950K is an ideal model for us, and the two loaders are now part of a fleet that processes 650,000 tonnes of raw cane sugar every year.
The operators have also commented on how much they like the ergonomics of the Cat machine, the layout in the cab and how easy it is to drive. The company is also impressed with the robustness of the machine and the fuel consumption, which is currently running at around 11.2 litres per hour.
Martin also went on to add the importance of the equipment management support offered by Finning:
Finsight was a key reason for us completing the deal. To have technical support from trained engineers on a day-to-day basis is extremely valuable. The monthly updates on machine performance and fuel consumption will not only allow us to stay on top of machine maintenance, but also to analyse the quality of our operators, both essential to making sure our productivity is as high as possible.
Nick Savvides, account manager at Finning UK and Ireland said that it is great to add Solent Stevedores to the roster of Finning customers and the value they add to the investment with the Finsight package.