Supplier at Tata Steel’s Dutch facility opts for Bobcat telehandler - again

Staff Report,

9 Aug 2022

Replacing contractor Van den Heuvel’s 21-year-old Bobcat telehandler, new Bobcat T40.180SLP chosen for its safety features with man platform attachment and remote-control system

Bobcat has announced the delivery of its new T40.180SLP telehandler to the contractor Van den Heuvel at Tata Steel's IJmuiden Works located on the North Sea coast of the Netherlands.

Finished in Van den Heuvel colours, the T40.180SLP has been supplied with a Bobcat man platform attachment that is widely used in the work the company carries out at the Tata Steel site.

In addition to some loading and unloading work, the telehandler, in combination with the man platform, is mainly used for measuring and inspecting pipeline networks, as well as for installation, repair, welding and maintenance work at height. The new machine has replaced the company’s previous telehandler that had reached a respectable age of 21 and was starting to show its age.

“In the end we opted for the compact T40.180SLP from Bobcat; mainly because of the lifting capacity, the lifting height of 18m, the functionality, the man platform and the ease of maintenance. The excellent stability thanks to the low centre of gravity, long wheelbase, heavy counterweight, balanced weight distribution and outriggers were also of great importance to us, because people regularly work on the platform. All these aspects were included in the programme of requirements,” explained Marco Bervoets, who was responsible for purchasing the new machine as Manager of the Support Office at Van den Heuvel.

The company has its own equipment department and owns all the machines in its fleet. This is a conscious choice to give the machines their own identity and recognisability and to be flexible when planning and transporting machines. The new Bobcat telehandler is also dedicated to the work on the Tata Steel site.

Van den Heuvel is a preferred supplier of Tata Steel. Like the other eleven contracting companies that work at the steel works, Van den Heuvel has its own facility in the 'contractor park' on the site. Home to a staff of 12 employees, the Van den Heuvel facility includes an office unit, a workshop and outbuildings for the storage of machines and materials. This temporary location offers considerable logistical advantages, because the Tata Steel site near IJmuiden has an area of more than 750 hectares and is located in an economically important, busy and therefore sometimes difficult to reach region. In addition, it is possible to react much faster for working on the site from its own location at the IJmuiden Works.

In July 2020, as a result of various serious accidents, the laws and regulations for the use of man platforms in combination with lifting and hoisting machines was changed. As a result of this, the combination of the Bobcat telehandler and work platform has had to be tested and certified by TÜV, one of the world’s leading testing service providers. This results in an 'assembly statement' that guarantees both optimal technical functioning of the machine/work platform and also safety for users.

The Bobcat remote control system is an essential part of the specification of the new telehandler at Van den Heuvel. With the remote control, all normal functions for driving, lifting and positioning of the platform can be controlled at height. The man platform is equipped with a small compensation cylinder, which ensures that the basket is always exactly horizontal. In addition, the platform can be rotated 90 degrees to the right and left. In combination with the boom positioning system on the telehandler, the platform can therefore be manoeuvred very accurately.

Marco Bervoets added: “The Bobcat telehandler comes standard with many features that make working with the machine particularly safe. For example, the platform cannot be lifted if the outriggers are not extended, and the outriggers can only be retracted when the work platform has been returned to the transport position. Safety comes first, especially when using a work platform.”

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