Material handler shows its metal in Grangemouth

EARLY indications suggest the first ever Liebherr-Great Britain machine purchased by a long-running Grangemouth scrap metal specialist has exceeded expectations.

Foundry Steels, which has been in business for over 30 years, recently snapped up a new LH 24 M mobile material handler to replace the firm’s existing machine. The company operates a very compact yard, with its material handler sitting on one spot for most of its working life.

Owner Dick Morton entered discussions with Liebherr-Great Britain about buying a machine, despite having never purchased from the manufacturer previously. “The Liebherr brand was always seen as the expensive end of the market,” Mr Morton said. Liebherr said initial discussions with Brian McGrane from Liebherr’s Bathgate depot resulted in the two companies meeting to agree a “comprehensive machine specification”.

Liebherr-Great Britain subsequently supplied the yard with a new LH 24 M mobile material handler, featuring an operating weight of 24 tonnes and a GA10 configuration that the manufacturer said offers a potential maximum reach of 10m at ground level and a discharge height of 9m to the underside of the GM65 / 0.6m3 grab.

The machine has been designed solely as a material handler. Each end of the chassis houses a pair of hydraulic stabilisers with maintenance-free cylinders, which Liebherr said ensures the machine retains its stability even at full reach. The Liebherr-manufactured heavy-duty slew ring is centrally mounted in the chassis to provide optimum weight distribution and hot-galvanised steps and grab rails provide “slip-free access” to the hydraulically-elevating cabin.

Commenting on the interior of the cabin, Alec Dillon, from Foundry Steels, said, “It is so comfortable and the controls are well laid out and easy to use.” Particular praise was given to the “smoothness and precision” of the controls.

The LH 24 M is powered by a Liebherr D924 four-cylinder diesel engine. Delivering 150 HP, the 4.5 litre engine meets stage 3B emissions regulations, removing the need for SCR and EGR technology. Four operating modes are available – Sensitive, Eco, Power and Power-Plus – though the company has only needed to use Eco so far. Liebherr said fuel figures have been reported to be “extremely positive” compared to the company’s previous 13-year-old machine.

Although the LH 24 M has been purchased mounted on a wheeled chassis, it won’t be required to travel around the confined yard. Foundry Steels selected the wheeled option due to the greater potential resale value. Liebherr’s Bathgate depot will undertake all machine maintenance and servicing with a dedicated R&M contract.

Liebherr added that early indications are that the machine has “surpassed all expectations”, with Dick Morton commenting that the initial purchase price was “comparable” with other manufacturers yet features superior build quality and engineering.