CASE Loaders celebrate success in Polish waste handling market
The waste disposal and recycling sector is growing rapidly across Europe, and Poland is one good example. With a focus on sustainability, the EU and local authorities are pushing for the increase of waste processing and recycling.
Presently, waste treatment in Europe is almost equally distributed between landfill (unsorted waste) and recycling (approx. 38% for both). It is the intention of the EU commission to reduce landfill to 10% of the total waste management and bring recycling to 75% by 2030, while distributing the remaining 15% onto other waste treatment methods. “Therefore, within the next 6-7 years, we expect to see this area of business double. With economies in the EU growing, landfills too will remain an important part of waste disposal business,” said Giuliano Bellardi, Marketing Manager – Central Eastern Europe & Italy.
The role of the wheel loader is crucial in this context. CASE realised this as early as 2016 when it introduced the first 621F and 721F Waste Handler models to its wheel loader range, with customised radiators with wider fins and all possible guards needed for use in landfill. Since then, it has been working closely with customers, developing and upgrading the product.
Now a range of waste-specific wheel loaders can be found in the CASE range and chosen according to the customers’ specific needs, such as productivity per day, dimensional constraints of the plant, whether outdoor or indoor activities are prevalent, dump height or other. Machines can also be customised with factory-fitted options such as the Waste Handler guards package, with high-tip buckets, central lubrication or an extended XR lift arm configuration. Guard packages include articulation covers, front hose covers, transmission bottom guard and front chassis bottom guard, cylinder guards, cylinder ejectors, front light guards, rear light guards and fuel tank guard. Various types of tyres are available too, including higher tread tyres and solid (non-pneumatic) cushioned tyres to protect from cuts and punctures.
Plant managers and operators in Poland have found out just how well adapted the CASE wheel loader range is to the sector. Since the introduction of the Waste Handler sub-models, more than 120 heavy-line wheel loaders have been delivered by Polish dealers to landfills and recycling sites in the country, ranging from the 12-tonne 521G to the 25-tonne 1021G. Most deliveries have happened since 2018, when the CASE distribution network was overhauled, appointing highly experienced and specialised local dealers.
The success of the CASE wheel loader in the recycling sector in Poland is the result of a combination of high quality, value for money and the expertise of CASE dealer service departments, which help customers address any challenges waste handling can pose.
If CASE wheel loaders have already been in use on the sites, customers come back for more of the same, or for an upgrade to a new version. An increasing number of new customers have also decided to buy their first CASE wheel loader. Most machines are used on two shifts, or a total of 15 hours a day. Last winter, we spent some time talking to operators and site managers across Poland about their use of the CASE wheel loader for waste handling. Here are their testimonies: We are starting the journey around Poland in Wrocław, the third largest city in Poland, situated near the country’s western borders, where Ekosystem has been using a CASE 621G wheel loader for a year. The plant opened 11 years ago and processes 6,000 tonnes of biodegradable waste per year. The CASE machine loads green waste into a shredder and mixer, forms compost heaps and loads material to the drum screen. It also loads compost and non-composted material to trucks.
Adam, who has operated the machine from the start, said: “The CASE 621G wheel loader has been trouble-free so far. The ergonomics of the cabin are very good and it was easy for me to learn to operate it. The technical parameters of the loader allow for effective work at the composting plant.”
We are moving east to the village of Olszowa, where the waste treatment plant ZZO-Olszowa serves 130,000 inhabitants, using three CASE machines. Two CASE 721F wheel loaders arrived in 2015, and in 2021 a 721G joined the fleet. The machines load waste into the bag ripper and Błażej, the operator who has been working on the plant from the start, praises their comfort and functionality, as well as their low fuel consumption.
“The CASE wheel loader has very good visibility from the operator's cabin in every direction and additionally a rearview camera with display. It has easy access to filling points for operating fluids and fuels. Attachments can be changed quickly and reliably without leaving the cabin via the quick coupler,” he added.
We arrive at Radomsko, a historic town dating back to the Middle Ages and situated in the centre of the country. The municipal waste treatment plant ZUOK PGK on the outskirts of the town processes 40,000 tonnes/year of mixed municipal waste and 30,000 tonnes/year of biodegradable material. A CASE 721G wheel loader has been in use here since 2019. According to the operator Tomasz Zawisza, the machine gives him a very comfortable working environment, thanks to a comfortable seat and a highly functional arrangement of control switches.
“It has great manoeuvrability and visibility and allows for really good control of the machine’s movements. Equally important is the problem-free use, even though the machine is in continuous operation. No failures, and so no downtime due to failures,” he said.
We move south-east until we come to Rzędów where the municipal waste management plant ZGOK Rzędów processes about 35,000 tonnes of waste per year. In 2022 it bought a CASE 921G wheel loader and a few months later the 1021G - the second largest CASE wheel loader - joined the fleet. “Case wheel loaders are very well suited to the waste industry,” told us operator Łukasz Wątroba. “Thanks to the automatic drive lock, the larger loader copes very well with difficult, sloping and muddy ground. Even with a full load and the bucket extended to the optimal range, the machine doesn’t loose stability,” he added.
We go south-east and our next stop is the regional waste recovery centre MPGK in Krosno. The plant has been using two CASE wheel loaders, a 721G and a 821G for over two years. The plant is large, serves some 350,000 inhabitants and processes 64,000 tonnes of waste, including 20,000 in the biological part where the CASE wheel loaders are deployed. The machines load bioreactors and load and unload municipal waste and are used with a number of attachments. Bogdan, an experienced operator who has been working on the CASE machines from the start, said: “Operating is intuitive and the machine copes extremely well with weight. In fact, I can’t even feel it. It's also economical and durable.”
As we move further east to Przemyśl near the Ukrainian border, we find a new CASE 721G XR loader at the mechanical and biological waste processing plant Południe. The plant, which processes some 30,000 tonnes of waste per year, bought the machine in October 2022 and uses it for loading and unloading municipal waste. The operator Grzegorz Szczółko couldn’t conceal his enthusiasm: “At the beginning I thought it was rather big, but a few days went by and I would never want a different loader.”
“The thing I like the most is the joystick. It makes work smooth and easy. The seat is comfortable and heated, there’s air-conditioning in the cabin which makes work pleasant, and the cabin is very quiet. I put the radio on and the day goes beautifully,” he added.
From Przemyśl north to Kraśnik near Lublin, where the waste processing firm Ekoland Polska has been using a 721G CASE wheel loader since 2020. The plant, opened in 2006, now processes 90,000 tonnes of waste per year serving the central-western region of the Lublin Voivodeship. The machine is used for waste processing and for loading and unloading stabiliser.
The operator Marek Dul who has been at the plant since 2015, said: “The cab of the 721G is very well soundproofed and makes for a quiet work environment. I find the bucket levelling by joystick from inside the cabin a revelation. You can level the bucket, lower, lift, set the height by joystick from the cabin. The machine is sensitive and reacts well to the joystick, which is electric. So far it has been without any problems.”
As we go further north-east towards Polands border with Ukraine and Belarus, we find ourselves in Adamki, where the municipal waste management plant ZZOK-Adamki has been using a CASE 721G for five years. It is so happy with the performance that over a year ago a new 721G Stage V version joined the fleet. The machines are used for loading and unloading in the recycling and composting sections of the plant and the employees are very happy with their performance. The operator Michał Gaweł, who has worked on both machines from the start, loves the great visibility obtained thanks to the floor-to-ceiling window of the cabin. “The control is really good too. Same goes for the cabin space and the air filter - no odours make it inside. The older machine is five years old, and literally nothing breaks,” he added.
North-west to Siedlce, where a 821G CASE wheel loader has been operating since April 2022 at the waste treatment plant ZUO Siedlce. The company has been working since 1999 and processes a total of up to 60,000 tonnes a year at its sorting plant and other installations. The loader is deployed mainly at the composting plant for biodegradable waste, where it is used for forming stockpiles, loading green waste onto a shredder, feeding ready-made compost onto a sieve and related works. It has also proved effective loading glass waste, bulky and scrap metal onto the semi-trailer. The operator Patryk said: "The cabin is very well soundproofed. Fuel consumption is also low given the machine’s power.”
In the town of Brodnica towards the north the long-established communal works company PGK Brodnica has been using a CASE 721G wheel loader since 2020. The machine loads mixed waste, glass, plastic, metal, rubble and bulk waste and works at the plant’s selective collection yard and its reloading station. Ireneusz Dembek who has seven years of experience under his belt and has been on the 721G from the start, said: “It’s a very nice loader. The cabin is quiet and there are no obstructions to visibility. This panoramic view is what I like the most. The loading bucket is brilliant, fast and agile, and the machine is working around the clock on two shifts.”
From Brodnica west to Gniezno, Poland’s first medieval capital, where the city firm URBIS was opened 120 years ago. The firm’s waste management plant has been using a 721G CASE wheel loader for 4 months in the feed hall, among others, where use is made of its extended arm. The machine is also used for loading high transport units. Rafał Kaczmarek, the deputy manager of the plant, says: “The machine works on 2 shifts, about 13 hours a day in total, and we are very happy with its performance. The operators love it. So far we’ve had wheel loaders of a lower standard, and this one is extremely top-notch. The service is good too, with regular oil changes, and the machine is economical.”
Our next stop is at Bydgoszcz in the north of Poland, where the Pro Natura communal municipal waste disposal complex acquired a 721G CASE wheel loader at the end of 2022. The facility has been operating since 2013 and it processes some 210,000 tonnes of waste, including 30,000 tonnes at the segregation station. The 721G CASE wheel loader is used for shredding bulk waste and occasionally for loading the sorting line of the selective collection or paper. Marcin, an operator with six years of experience, said: “The machine is very comfortable to operate and has really good visibility during loading."
As we move further north, our last stop will be Sierakowice where Elwoz Eco processes some 70,000 tonnes of waste per year and owns two CASE 821G wheel loaders, acquired in 2020 and in 2022. One of the machines is deployed at the composting installation, and the other at the pre-treatment plant. Andrzej, an operator with 4 years of experience, said: “I like the power of the machine, its manoeuvrability and construction. The visibility is really great, with large mirrors, the reversing monitor and camera. Air conditioning works very well too.”
Our time is up. We haven’t been able to see all waste treatment plants where CASE wheel loaders are deployed and we know that new ones will be popping up soon. We hope to talk to them in the future. Meanwhile, we invite you to contact our wonderful and knowledgeable dealers who will be more than happy to give you any information you might need about CASE wheel loaders - or about any CASE machines that interest you.