Three telehandlers made by Bobcat are helping ZZO Wlodawa, an intermunicipal waste management organization in eastern Poland, manage a recycling process serving some 24,000 people in seven cities near Poland’s border with Ukraine and Belarus.
Bobcat, based in the U.S., says the ZZO Wlodawa operation runs 24 hours a day, six days a week. The telehandlers “play a key role in the proper functioning of the operation,” says Bobcat and the waste management agency.
“The Bobcat telehandlers are perfect for our conditions,” says Krzysztof Chilczuk, board chair of ZZO Wlodawa. “They are compact, easy to operate and offer a high lift height. Disposal of [materials] on the sorting line is organized in such a way that the loader must rotate through 90 degrees in a small space. This is an easy job with these machines.”
The agency’s first Bobcat telehandler, a TL470 model with a maximum lift height of seven meters (nearly 23 feet) and a load capacity of 3.5 metric tons, was delivered to the plant in Wlodawa in 2013. So far, it has worked more than 20,000 operating hours and is still in use.
“It has never had a serious breakdown and we have never repaired the engine in it,” Chilczuk says. “There was once a problem with the fuel pump, but it was not the fault of the manufacturer, but rather the fuel itself,” he adds.
In 2018, the agency bought a second Bobcat machine, a TL35.70 model, with the same operating parameters as the older machine. That machine is now approaching a total of 5,000 operating hours. Having positively evaluated the first two machines, management of ZOO Wlodawa added a third Bobcat telehandler to the fleet in August of last year. Again, a TL35.70 model was chosen, but this time with a slightly different specification.
Chilczuk explains the choice of this newest machine as follows: “Telehandlers with these working parameters meet our needs and working conditions well. However, the two older machines have 20-inch wheels. When considering the purchase of another telehandler, we wanted it to be equipped with 24-inch wheels. As a result, it has a greater ground clearance and is even more efficient when working in a landfill. In addition, when loading on the processing line, the operator can drive more boldly directly into the waste heap. The new machine also has more features, which include, for example, air conditioning, an air-cushioned seat, cab protection and also a reversing warning system that does not beep, but provides the white noise sound we really wanted.”
At ZZO Wlodawa, there is no division of tasks between the Bobcat telehandlers—each machine is used for all tasks involved, according to Bobcat. The sorting area operates 24 hours a day, so the telehandlers change with the operators. In addition to loading material onto the processing line, the machines are used for pushing and stacking material to maximize the use of available space.
The Bobcat telehandlers also are used to unload composting bins and to create compost piles and turn them over for aeration.
At ZZO Wlodawa, Bobcat telehandlers are used additionally to maintain the currently operated landfill and to rehabilitate a landfill that has already been closed. To perform the variety of tasks, in addition to a universal bucket, two high-volume buckets, pallet forks and a bale grab, the ZZO Wlodawa range of attachments also includes a sweeping brush.
Chilczuk praises the Bobcat telehandlers for their performance, good visibility and versatility, with Bobcat saying he credits them for never having a job “that they cannot do” at the ZZO Wlodawa facility.