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Electric-Drive SENNEBOGEN material handler attracts attention to Nashville Port facility

The position of the hydraulic cab allows the operator to clearly see the bottom of the barge.
The position of the hydraulic cab allows the operator to clearly see the bottom of the barge.

“Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.” Ryan Hollingshead learned there’s some truth to that old saw, ever since he took delivery of his “better mousetrap” late last year.

Ryan and his brother Jeff along with their father, Mike, operate SRM Concrete, with more than 30 ready-mix locations in Tennessee and Kentucky along with additional plants in Indiana and Florida. This year, they have been enjoying the attention attracted by their latest equipment purchase: a SENNEBOGEN 870 R-HD electric-drive material handler.

The big green machine is installed at the SRM loading facility at Hailey’s Harbor, on the Tennessee River near Nashville, TN. It’s an impressive addition to the river front, weighing in at 204,400 pounds (92,714 kg) and towering 19 feet 6 inches (5.9 m) high as it quickly swings loads of sand, stone, gravel and salt with its 4-yard clamshell bucket.

But what’s bringing visitors into the site is the safety of the 870.

“Safety is huge in our company,” says Hollingshead. “With that electric machine, you can have an entire conversation while it’s running right beside you. It’s just so much safer to be able to talk to the deck hands while they’re down there on the barge. With diesel engines, it’s so loud, I was having to use walkie talkies. The quiet of the electric-drive was a huge point for me on the operation side.”

His operators have expressed special appreciation of the floor window in the 870’s cab. “You can see all the way through the floor through your feet. There are times when I have to put my guys in the barge. You’ve got guys down there, so you want to always be safe.”

Safety and electric-drive go hand-in-hand for SENNEBOGEN, too. “We don’t make safety an option,” promises Constantino Lannes, President of SENNEBOGEN LLC. “All the guarding and handrails you see on every one of our machines, the sliding door and catwalk on our maXCab, the amount of window space and the dual-camera system for operators – these are standard features."

SENNEBOGEN was also a pioneer in the emergence of electrically powered material handlers. Their low noise emissions are matched by zero engine emissions, making every yard and worksite healthier for employees. Because of SENNEBOGEN’s modular manufacturing methods, its “eGreen” electric-drive is just one of many variations available throughout the standard lineup.

“I’m very impressed with how it runs,” Hollingshead continues. “I operate a lot of machines myself and sometimes you might get worried that an electric motor is just not going to lift all that weight. This one runs neck and neck with diesel. I haven’t had any problems. It will lift just like a diesel will. You’ve got all the power there, it’s cheaper on fuel and it provides us with significant maintenance cost savings.”

SRM’s 870 R-HD is mounted on a crawler undercarriage and receives power through a 200-foot tether cable, allowing the machine to move freely and position optimally for unloading at dockside. According to Power Equipment Company, SRM’s local SENNEBOGEN distributor, the same electric-drive machine is also available on rubber tires or a fixed mount.

After running the 870 through its first 1,200 hours, SRM noticed that the electric-drive appears to get a favourable view from regulatory inspectors, too. “Environmental restrictions are getting tighter and I’ve had OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) in here. When they see an electric machine, they just seem easier to deal with. It’s better on the environment. With no diesel and no refuelling, that’s one less fluid I have to deal with and to keep away from the water.”

Both Lannes and Gary Hirsch, Power Equipment’s VP & GM of Scrap, Recycling & Ports, note that SENNEBOGEN’s electric-drive models are increasingly popular in port applications because of their reduced environmental risk. “All of our customers appreciate the savings in maintenance and diesel costs with an electric motor. However, from an environmental impact perspective, eliminating the potential for fuel spills is especially important to those who operate these machines on the waterways.”

Hollingshead has welcomed numerous visitors to the Hailey’s Harbor site for a demo of the 870 because, he claims, “Eventually, everybody’s going to have to go electric. We’re just trying to get ahead of the game. These are friends of ours who are very close to buying a SENNEBOGEN. They’re getting on my crane and signing a waiver just to run it. I’m always open to friends stopping by to come in and look."

The smooth hydraulics, combined with excellent visibility, allows the operator to move the buckets easily into position.

Company info

1957 Sennebogen Trail
Stanley, NC
US, 28164


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