Equipment Report

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Recent news from suppliers to the construction and demolition recycling industry

October 31, 2022

Scrap Expo: How to treat balers, shears and loggers like a sports car

Sierra International Machinery co-owner John Sacco presented two sessions with Ricardo Diaz, the company’s lead technician, during Scrap Expo in Louisville, Kentucky.
Photo by Tony Vasquez

For John Sacco, president and co-owner of Bakersfield, California-based Sierra International Machinery, and Ricardo Diaz, the company’s lead technician, maintaining shears, balers and loggers is very similar to maintaining a Ferrari.

During Scrap Expo, which took place Sept. 13-14 in Louisville, Kentucky, Sacco and Diaz discussed how operators should maintain balers, loggers, shears and two-ram balers and why it’s vital to operations in sessions titled Logger/Baler and Shear/Baler/Logger Maintenance and Two-Ram Baler Maintenance.

“The price of a Ferrari is the same price as [shears], two-ram balers and conveyors,” Sacco said during the session. “If you don’t keep your Ferrari [in poor condition], why would you keep a piece of equipment you’re going to spend more money on like that?”

Diaz said the cost of repairs varies, depending on the size of the repair and the time it takes to ship parts, ranging from $500 to $80,000. Additionally, a broken logger/baler or shear/baler/logger could cause up to three weeks of downtime for a company.

To ensure these machines stay in shape, Sacco and Diaz advised performing basic preventive maintenance daily, weekly, monthly and annually. Some basic preventive maintenance tasks operators should have on their checklists include:

  • checking engine oil levels;
  • checking the machine’s hydraulic oil levels;
  • checking for leaks;
  • monitoring grease use;
  • testing hydraulic fluid and cleaning hydraulic fluid reservoirs;
  • checking structural welds for cracks; and
  • checking clamps and jack pins and checking the engine’s coolant.

Management should ensure basic preventive maintenance tasks are completed, Sacco said.

Diaz suggested that operators inspect balers, loggers and shears while they are running to get a full view of how they move, paying particular mind to areas such as circuit boxes, doors and pumps. Even if small parts on these machines break, those small broken parts, left unrepaired, can cause more problems, he stressed.

Preventive maintenance also means being prepared to replace something if it breaks. Sacco said operators should have at least one replacement for parts that see the most wear. For shear blades, specifically, he advised having two replacements on hand because shipping times for shear blades have increased since the start of the pandemic.

Employee training and testing also can play a role in equipment longevity, Sacco said. He recommended that companies perform drug tests on their equipment operators, stressing that someone under the influence should never operate machinery to ensure the safety of employees and the equipment.

In terms of equipment storage and the layout of the scrap yard, Sacco and Diaz said balers, loggers and shears should be parked away from scrap piles or drums to avoid fire risks. Additionally, they said the environment in which operators store and use machines determines how they should be maintained. For example, machines kept on concrete surfaces might not get dirty as quickly as those that are placed on dirt surfaces.

Diaz said operators also should check gauges that come with their machines. He advised against operators removing these gauges because they are helpful for conducting diagnostic tests.

Sacco and Diaz added that operators need to be willing to invest in their equipment, noting that it’s better to spend a little bit of money as soon as something small malfunctions rather than much more later.

Eagle Crusher Co. names Mike Tinkey as president

Mike Tinkey
Photo courtesy of Eagle Crusher Co.

Eagle Crusher Co. Inc., Galion, Ohio, has promoted Mike Tinkey to president of the company. Susanne Cobey, who previously served as president, will remain CEO.

Tinkey has served as chief financial officer since joining Eagle Crusher in 2002, according to a company news release. Previously, Tinkey served as CEO for Holbrook & Manter Inc., chief financial officer for Ohio Industries Inc. and accounting and audit manager for Ciuni & Panichi Inc.

“I have been with Eagle Crusher Co. for nearly 48 years, 32 as president and CEO,” Cobey says. “I have worked closely with Mike for the past 20 years. Already handling many of the responsibilities that the role of president entails, Mike is well-positioned for his new role.”

Tinkey says he initially joined Eagle Crusher because of the unique business model Cobey created, capitalizing on the evolving crushing industry while always prioritizing the needs of customers.

“It is a privilege to be a part of a company that delivers the highest quality crushing and screening equipment, innovative solutions and phenomenal service and support to all our customers,” Tinkey says. “I look forward to working closely with Susanne and our entire team to usher in Eagle Crusher’s next chapter of growth and success.”

Eagle Crusher manufactures a full line of heavy-duty crushing and screening equipment for the recycling, concrete, asphalt, aggregate and sand and gravel industries. This includes the Eagle Crusher line of heavy-duty impact crushers, portable crushing and screening plants, jaw crushers, hammermills and conveyors.