"We have the capacity to load 15 rail bunkers at a time here, and we need those three SENNEBOGENs to do it," says Scott Wilkinson, himself a 30-year industry veteran. "We've got a 24-hour timeframe to receive rail cars and turn them around, and we need to have the ability to load 15 cars in those 24 hours.
"As did its "cousin" company in Brownsville, Wilkinson Gary Iron & Metal first introduced a grapple-equipped, SENNEBOGEN 835 M and later an 825 M to its Laredo fleet a few years ago. The larger machine keeps the Laredo yard's shredder full when not assisting the smaller machines in loading rail cars with processed material during those intense, 15-car turnaround days. A normal weekly throughput rate is about 40 rail cars, serviced full-time by the 825 M material handler.
But with the SENNEBOGEN material handlers, designed and built with a greater emphasis on durability and strength, and less on electronics, "You don't have the repair bills and breakdown issues that you normally have with other kinds of converted material handlers," Scott Wilkinson says. A SENNEBOGEN machine will operate throughout the day without overheating the engine or burning out any of the hydraulic system's components; an automatic reversible fan keeps the rads clear. "We always have the SENNEBOGENs running," says Scott.
When a service or maintenance issue does arise, Waukesha-Pearce Industries (WPI), Inc., the local SENNEBOGEN dealer and their representative Darryl Woods are able to provide parts promptly, supported by SENNEBOGEN LLC's 100,000 sq. ft. fully-serviced parts facility in North Carolina. This, says Scott, is a substantial upgrade from a previous make of material handler used at the Laredo yard.
With their Cummins engines mounted front to back, the intelligently designed SENNEBOGEN machines are easy to work on, yet do not compromise creature comforts, says Scott. Each of his three SENNEBOGEN operators "absolutely loves" the easy-to-access, easy-to-operate, air-conditioned machines. The elevating cabs provide the operators with good visibility into trailers when unloading them, or rail cars when loading them.
Caption: Family-Owned Wilkinson Companies rely on the SENNEBOGEN material handlers. Here a SENNEBOGEN 825 is loading railcars in Texas.