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Buyer's Guide: John Wade Group on its JCB 457 Wastemaster

Who are you?

Bruce Whitley,  Operations Director, John Wade Group

How long have you worked for your company and how did you get into the waste industry?

I have worked at the company for 32 years. I have an engineering background and originally came into the repair and maintenance division of our quarrying and aggregates operation. Since then the company has diversified and waste & recycling has become an increasingly prominent part of the business.

What did you buy?

A JCB 457 Wastemaster wheeled loading shovel (as pictured)


As our Aycliffe Quarry comes towards the end of its lifespan, we are increasingly building up the waste and recycling facilities at our site. This has led to an expansion of the elements of our fleet that are involved in waste handling.

What was your criteria?

We wanted a machine that is reliable, productive and has the ability to load a range of materials into high-sided vehicles without losing stability.

How did you research your purchase and what other options did you consider?

We currently operate one JCB 436 and two JCB 456 wheeled loading shovel models, so we know what JCB equipment can bring to our operation. We do continuously evaluate the market to make sure we are selecting the most suitable equipment available.

The key reason the latest JCB came out on top is that its waste and recycling machines are purpose built for the industry as opposed to the majority of its competitors which take standard machines and adapt them. This shows when it comes to testing applications as the JCB’s have clearly been specifically designed for the job. So adding the new 457 was a natural progression when we needed a new shovel in this size range.

Were there any particular challenges to finding the right equipment?

The key demand for any of our new materials handling equipment is to ensure that the processing of waste at the front end of our process keeps pace with the incoming material. The stream of incoming waste is continuous and all of it is verified and sorted in a complex waste treatment facility before going to landfill - so the materials handlers have to be incredibly fast, reliable and productive in order to ensure the required levels of throughput.

What were the pitfalls to finding the right equipment?

Any break in the chain means that incoming material would build up - putting pressure on the waste treatment facility. We are certainly not prepared to turn customers away, therefore we have to guarantee the right equipment to handle these volumes and not let us down. Our JCB wheeled loading shovels deliver on this.

Were there any other considerations to the purchase?                                                                       

Loading high-sided vehicles is a major part of the workload. Therefore the Super High Lift arms available on the JCB 457 were particularly important to us. Most competitive manufacturers use conventional arms plus a high tip bucket. We feel that high reach arms and bucket with top clamp is a far more stable and efficient solution.

How does the equipment fit in with the company’s future plans?

I consider our business extremely forward thinking and our purchasing decisions take on board our plans for the future direction of the business and the likely applications that will entail. It is fully expected that the volume and diversity of the waste we handle will continue to increase, and as such this machine’s versatility and ability to handle a complete range of materials - anything from wood to compost to bricks - means it will fully meet our ongoing requirements. Any machine that is only comfortable in one role would quickly become obsolete in our business and we would never take a short-sighted approach.

We are delighted with the performance of the 457 model and envisage that when our existing JCB 456 machines are ready for renewal we will order two more 457s to replace them. The 457 gives us fuel savings of 6% along with 16% more power and 18% more torque than the earlier models.

Is the equipment future proofed?

The key legislation affecting waste handling equipment is that covering emissions – and the JCB model is Stage IIIB (Tier 4 interim) compliant.

We are interested observers on the changes manufacturers will make to meet future legislation and we will always look for equipment that has been designed with the unique waste and recycling environment in mind.

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