Hyundai Loaders for Laverstoke

January 25, 2023

A native of South Africa, Scheckter enjoyed success in Formula One between 1972 and 1980 and remains the only driver from the African continent to win the World Championship which he did in 1979 with Ferrari. On his retirement in 1980, he was snapped up for commentary work with various broadcasters including CBS Sports, ABC and ITV.

Jody now spends his time as an organic farmer having bought the 2,500 acres Laverstoke Park Farm, near Overton, Hampshire. Laverstoke Park Farm is now seen as the UK’s premier producer of organic Buffalo Mozzarella, Buffalomi, Ice Cream and a range of biodynamic sparkling wines. The farm’s aim was to become self-sustaining and self-sufficient, producing the best produce available, the best-tasting, healthiest food, without compromise, and this is something they have achieved thanks to creating the most ideal, natural, healthy environment that will enable their animals and crops to thrive.

Whilst buffalo cheeses and sparkling wine are a major part of the farm’s output, the production of high-quality compost is now a massive part of the drive to biodiversity for the farm.

Michal Kolinek is the farm’s Managing Director and looks after both the production and composting facilities with his small, but very experienced and focussed team. “The 7-acre composting site is run by just three operatives. We like to try and keep our whole operation simple and cost effective.” Michal explains “We also want the whole operation to be run as environmentally friendly as possible and this means using a combination of highly productive and fuel-efficient equipment as possible.”

The site operates a mixture of static and mobile shredding and screening equipment to produce their compost products. The static plant, whilst productive, requires material to be brought to it. The mobile plant on the other hand, is exactly that and provides the team on the ground the option to move around the yard and process material where and when they need to. Green waste is sourced from across the south of England with many local authorities sending their material into the site. Current planning permission allows the site to handle 75,000 tonnes of material on an annual basis with each batch of material taking nine weeks to move from the initial green waste into the highly desirable compost products shipped out in bulk on a daily basis. “We are very choosy about the material that we handle here.” Michal explains “We will happily turn a load away if it is too contaminated. We know we are going to have to pick out some contaminants, but we have had loads come in with the actual household green waste bins mixed in!”

To handle the huge amount of material, the farm has used a variety of loading shovels since they started, settling on Volvo machines for the last few years and still with a single machine in the fleet. But, following an open day held by Bristol based dealers Molson Green, part of the Molson Group, two years ago, a pair of Hyundai loading shovels have entered the fleet. “We looked at the loading shovel Molson brought to the open day and had the chance to use it for a week or so against the Volvos we had.” Michal explains “We were very pleased that in the short time we could evaluate it, it outperformed our existing kit and used less fuel too. As we are constantly looking to reduce our operating costs, this was an eye-opener for us and as we were looking to start replacing our fleet, we started talking to Molson about taking the HL970 as a permanent fixture into the fleet.”

The three loaders are all required to undertake the same work around the yard whether that is feeding the screening plants, moving the raw material to the windrows, or turning the windrows on a daily basis and are equipped with bespoke Ulrich toe-tip buckets to undertake this work.

The largest of the two Hyundais, the 24 tonne HL970 carries a huge 10m3 bucket for quickly relocating the material from screener stockpile and during its first 12 months on site has performed exceptionally well according to Michal. “We have had no issues with the first machine at all, Sylwek likes the comfort and driving position far more than his old machine.”

The second machine from the Hyundai stable is a new HL960AHDXT model. With an operating weight of just under 20 tonnes, the HL960AHDXT is the latest generation of StageV engined machines with a compact 6.7 litre Cummins delivering 168kW.

As a dedicated waste sector specification loader, the HD designation gives the HL960A more robust axles, additional under-body protection plates which are all removable for maintenance and an array of additional protection measures such as rear radiator guards, light cluster protection, bucket cylinder protection and windscreen guarding. The XT part of its name relates to the additional load-over height from the machine’s longer arm set-up and gives an increase in load-over height from the standard arm configuration of 430mm.

The HL960A carries a similarly manufactured Ulrich toe-tip bucket but this time with a smaller 6m3 capacity. “The smaller bucket is ideal for loading some of the smaller mobile screening equipment we have on site.” Michal explains “Our regular operator of this machine, Przemek, loves the new cab. It’s very quiet, comfortable and the view from the seat is added to by the addition of Hyundai’s AAVM 360° camera system.”

Not only has the addition of the Hyundai wheeled loaders enhanced the operator’s working days, but they have also decreased the composting side of the businesses fuel use. “We are using at least 10-12% less fuel per day with the Hyundai shovels.” Michal comments “Over a three-year operating life, that will add up to a huge saving for us. We are also benefitting from less downtime too as the Hyundais are far more reliable than our other shovels were.” On the subject of increased uptime, Michal and his team report that whilst the shovels have been totally reliable, when they have required a tweak or servicing, Molson have been on the ball.