Six CASE 721F wheel loaders are in use at the Port of Ravenna in Italy. They are being used by Ecofert for handling and loading fertilizer for shipment to countries worldwide. The contract was managed and concluded by MAIE, CASE’s long-standing dealer in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy. In the words of Andrea dal Bello, Sales Manager at MAIE: “Our customer needed wheel loaders capable of transporting heavy loads from the warehouses to the loading dock, and then loading the fertilizer onto cargo ships to be sent from Ravenna to countries around the world.” Fourteen- tonne CASE wheel loaders were the obvious choice. These extremely robust, technologically advanced machines are designed to ensure manoeuvrability, high bucket force and low fuel consumption.

The granular fertilizer handled by Ecofert for Yara, a large Norwegian firm with a production facility in Ravenna, is stored in seven warehouses in an area covering 15 hectares. The wheel loaders enter the warehouses and then load the fertilizer into hoppers. These then feed conveyor belts that carry the fertilizer to silos for packaging (after which it is transported by lorry or ship). The loaders carry 40 quintals per trip.

However, CASE wheel loaders clearly offer other advantages besides just the amount of material they can handle. They feature CASE’s HI-eSCR engine technology, which eliminates the need for exhaust gas recirculation or any diesel particulate filter (DPF). This technology only uses durable components, it is maintenance-free and fuel efficient. Another advantage is that it is safe to use near flammable materials, as the maximum exhaust temperature is 200°C, much lower than that of a DPF.

Another feature that is extremely valuable in material handling applications is the CASE heavy duty cooling option, which prevents clogging of the radiator. An extra- thin inlet grille stops bigger particles; sealed radiator covers guarantee the cooling air is 100% filtered; and the wide core radiators increase the self-cleaning performance of the reversible fan.

Franco Amadori, Director of Ecofert, explained what all this means: “To ensure round-the-clock production we need equipment that can guarantee maximum reliability combined with low operating costs, and CASE machines give us exactly what we need.”

It comes as no surprise that CASE machines make up two thirds of the company’s fleet, which includes new G-Series wheel loaders currently being used at one of its recycling facilities. The relationship with MAIE, the dealer in Ravenna, is also important, as the customer explained: “We have been working with MAIE since 2009 and this is the third time we have bought new machines. They have a well-established network and guarantee immediate support whenever we need it. They know our business well and have the expertise to respond to our needs.”

This expertise is reflected in very concrete actions. Dal Bello explained: “Ecofert’s CASE wheel loaders have been adapted to suit the specific type of work. They have been painted with special wax to prevent the fertilizer from corroding them and certain parts have been replaced with a material that cannot be damaged by dust.” Optional fittings have also been adapted, for example the bucket dimensions have been modified to comply with road traffic regulations, as required for vehicles used at ports.

The operators are also satisfied. Gianluca Pollini from Ecofert told us: “The engine is powerful (FPT Industrial, 195 hp) and can easily withstand work cycles that alternate loading and travelling over large areas. The loaders are extremely manageable, an essential requisite when deployed inside warehouses.” Operators also appreciate the visibility and comfort they provide: “The low shape of the rear hood provides excellent visibility, which is further enhanced by the rear view camera. And, when working long shifts, cab design is also of fundamental importance. CASE offers five- star comfort, with height-adjustable ergonomic seats and ventilation, air filtration and pressurization systems.”

Comfort, power, cost efficiency — CASE is the key to profitability, whatever material is to be handled.

CASE Construction Equipment sells and supports a full line of construction equipment around the world, including loader/backhoes, excavators, motor graders, wheel loaders, vibratory compaction rollers, crawler dozers, skid steers, compact track loaders and rough- terrain forklifts. Through CASE dealers, customers have access to a true professional partner with world-class equipment and aftermarket support, industry-leading warranties and flexible financing.

CASE Construction Equipment is a brand of CNH Industrial N.V.