YELLOW BANKS POWERS UP FOR PROFIT WITH SENNEBOGEN GREEN MACHINE
When Yellow Banks River Terminal took over operation of its facility on the Ohio River, the first order of business was to upgrade loading speed and capacity with a new SENNEBOGEN 850 M material handler.
OWENSBORO, KY – The dock facility at mile marker 751.3 on the Ohio River had been operating for many years, but not as a profit center. That changed in January 2007 when the facility, under new ownership, became the Yellow Banks River Terminal.
“Until we arrived, this dock was receiving just a couple of barges a week,” says Brandon Chapman, the Terminal Supervisor at Yellow Banks River Terminal, LLC. “It was part of the Daviess County Sand & Gravel business, and that was mainly the only product that came through here. With the old equipment we acquired with the property, unloading a barge could take as much as 9 hours.”
The management team had bigger plans. Yellow Banks purchased the facility expressly to load the mine’s coal for a nearby power generating station. A mine had recently re-opened after laying dormant for several years, and its coal needed a place to load. With the right equipment, Yellow Banks could see ample capacity to handle the mine’s coal barges and to expand its revenue base further.
Finding the right machine
To find the right equipment, Yellow Banks only had to look another mile upriver. There at the Owensboro Gateway Terminal, where Kinder Morgan operates a transfer facility, one of the distinctive green SENNEBOGEN material handlers from Brandeis Machinery had already been impressing operators and managers for a few years, loading logs onto rail cars.
The loading equipment that Yellow Banks inherited was a Caterpillar 325, which Chapman says was adequate for previous operations at the terminal, but clearly undersized for the volume that Yellow Banks was planning. Unlike the Caterpillar machine, a converted excavator, the SENNEBOGEN at Kinder Morgan was purpose-built for loading operations and was capable of much faster duty cycles. To upgrade his capacity for heavier loads, Yellow Banks decided on the rubber-tired SENNEBOGEN 850 M model
More material, faster
“It’s very good for a machine of its size,” Chapman says. “We normally use it with a 3.5 yard clamshell to offload coal, pet coke and potash. We also have a 1.25 yard grapple for loading scrap steel barges, and we use a hook to offload aluminum T-bar. If we were moving nothing but coal, we could go up to a 4.5 yard bucket, but we chose this bucket for the versatility to take on different materials.”
As a growing terminal, Yellow Banks continues to expand its customer base, but Chapman hopes to see more coal coming through our facility. “Generating stations need a dependable supply chain, but they need lower delivery costs, too. With the SENNEBOGEN machines, we can offer reliable uptime with the speed and capacity to keep their fuel moving economically.”
Operating for a single shift five days a week, the SENNEBOGEN machine is now moving 40,000 to 60,000 tons of material each month. The time to unload a 1550 ton barge has sped up from 9 hours to just 4 hours – two full barges a day.
The operator’s choice
The owners of the Yellow Banks facility aren’t the only ones who appreciate how SENNEBOGEN designs the machines for barge work. According to Brandon Chapman, equipment operators particularly like the SENNEBOGEN elevating cab and travel speed. Operators can hydraulically elevate the cab almost 9 feet up from the undercarriage, providing an eye‑level view up to 20 feet above the ground.
Normally, the operator loads with the cab elevation set to a mid-range level, which allows a good line of sight into the barge. When traveling along the 200 foot dock wall or back to the Yellow Banks shop, the cab is lowered to ground level. With the material handler positioned tight to the wall and the cab fully elevated, the operator can look right into the inside edge of the barge hold. “He can see the material anywhere in the barge, as well as the skid steer loader working inside the hold. It’s a good safety feature.”
Chapman says the 850 M is maintenance-friendly, too. “The SENNEBOGEN is simply made, there’s no computers to worry about. Everything is easy to access, and it’s not a fuel hog; it has good fuel efficiency for the work it does. It’s fast enough, too, that we can drive it back up to the shop every night, about 2500 feet away, to be refueled and serviced for the next shift.”
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