Nothing much has changed in the last three years at Cameron River Logistics (CRL), which is, in itself, is a good thing.
The huge transload facility in British Columbia’s Peace River district still receives up to 50 truckloads a day of 5 metre cut-to-length spruce logs.
Every week, dozens of train cars leave the yard, moving the logs to the Dunkley sawmill five hours south. And the Sennebogen 830 M-T log handler shows up to work every day to keep the wood moving.
However, three years ago, uptime in the yard was a challenge. Their previous log loader could do the job keeping up with the required pace of deliveries, but if the machine had a technical problem, it could cause serious productivity issues.
“We had issues with parts availability,” said Andrew Moore, president of Cameron River Logistics. “Wire harnesses were taking four to five months to deliver; a steering knuckle failed and we were told it would be three months before they’d have one to ship from the factory.”
When their previous loader was destroyed in a fire, Moore and his team thought twice about how to replace it. That’s when, in the summer of 2018, they decided to make a change. They chose to purchase a new Sennebogen 830 M T from the nearby Fort St. John branch of Great West Equipment.
Readily available parts
Sennebogen engineers have always followed the principle of keeping equipment repairs and maintenance simple by using readily available parts whenever possible.
Local distributors like Great West don’t have to wait for OEM parts from overseas either. Sennebogen’s 9,300 square metre warehouse in North Carolina maintains a complete inventory of replacement parts for every make and model currently in service. Dealer orders are usually on their way to the customer overnight.
“With Sennebogen, you’re not reinventing the wheel,” Moore said. “It’s got a Cummins engine, Bosch Rexroth hydraulics; all industry-standard components easily sourced nearby, should they be needed.”
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Sennebogen President Constantino Lannes explained that maintaining a dependable parts supply is a core value for the company.
“We’re thinking ‘beyond the machine’ to support our customers’ business through the whole life of the equipment. Recently, we introduced new programs and incentives to help our dealers think and act the same way,” Lannes said.
“We’re very proud of the depth of local inventories, especially in remote locations serving resource industries. And, with our training centre, it has led to Sennebogen having North America’s largest network of factory-trained material handler technicians.”
Moore explained that parts availability already had Cameron River Logistics leaning toward Sennebogen, but the purpose-built design of 830 M-T clinched the decision.
The 830 M-T is a 41,400 kg, 225 hp machine built specifically for log handling and trailer-pulling applications. A specially reinforced undercarriage features dual transmissions, providing powerful four-wheel traction to handle the stresses of pulling heavy log trailers loaded with up to 29,030 kg through muddy yard conditions. Operators have said the Sennebogen has already pulled through spots where, in the past, the old machine would have been stuck.
“Going on to three years, we have 5,200 hours on it now,” Moore said.
“We do our own preventive maintenance servicing. Great West comes out any time we need them – we’re very happy with the parts staff there. About 90 per cent of what has been needed are hydraulic hoses that break in -30 C weather. Nothing big. We added a fire suppression system, and we do a structural inspection every year. With the price of lumber as high as it is, demand for our logs has grown and our Sennebogen is doing the job.”