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Modified for high lifting

The UK’s first modified Komatsu WA380-7 wheel loader, giving it a super-high lift specification, is performing well at a recycling facility in Wales.

Earlier this year, BCL Wales purchased the wheel loader specifically to go out on contract work at the Neath Port Talbot materials recovery and energy centre (MREC), near Swansea. The MREC is a high-tech waste treatment plant that processes segregated recyclables and general municipal black bag waste.

The machine was brought in to replace an existing, ageing wheel loader. Although most of the work to be carried out by the Komatsu WA380-7 would involve the loading of a Doppstadt shredder, there was also a requirement to load the largest walking floor trailers, which measure 15ft 8in in height.

With the standard high lift WA380-7 having a hinge pin height of 15ft 2in, a solution was needed to achieve the additional height requirement.

Ulrich Attachments was awarded the contract to carry out the work to ‘stretch’ the loader arms by adding an extension and lengthening the ram rod.

Extensions to other pipework and hoses were carried out by Marubeni-Komatsu’s service team based in Cardiff. The resulting wheel loader now has a hinge pin height of 17ft 2in and can load the walking floor trailers easily.

Mike Madden, site superviser at MREC, said: “The wheel loader is a well-balanced machine and is economical to run. The operators like it because it is comfortable with good all-round vision. They have also commented that they are finding the loading easier and more efficient because the dump roll-back releases the load better, and it has easily coped with the large walking floor trailers.”

The machine moves around 300 tonnes of waste a day at the MREC. Using the Doppstadt shredder, the waste is processed into 300mm pieces, which is then collected by a smaller Komatsu 100M-6 wheel loader to be taken to the next stage of the process.

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