Mobile telescoping shiploaders & truck unloaders cut operating costs per tonne

“When mobile telescoping shiploaders are used — especially in combination with portable truck unloading systems — port facilities can realize significant cost-per-ton savings via improved cycle times, minimized loader use, reduced labour requirements, and ensured product quality control by removing any extra handling of material,” says Jarrod Felton, vice-president of sales, marketing and engineering for Superior Industries, a Morris, Minn.-based manufacturer of conveyor systems and components for the bulk and marine material handling industries. Among its offerings, the 40-year-old company designs customized loading and unloading conveyor systems that include highly-mobile automated telescoping shiploaders and radial stacking conveyors combined with a number of transfer point mobility options, truck unloaders, and more.

According to Felton, marine material handling facilities should view mobile telescoping shiploaders and portable truck unloaders as ‘systems’ that can be custom-configured, via a wide range of available options, to meet the requirements of a specific application.“As an alternative to the use of labour-intensive cranes and clamshell buckets, cable stackers and other more costly stationary shiploading systems, custom-configured mobile loading/unloading systems deliver the advantages of a lower capital investment, shorter load times, quick on-site assembly, ease of relocation, and the ability to function efficiently within a small footprint,” he says.

The latest Superior Industries’ release is the new StingrayTM Mobile Shiploader, a portable unit which greatly reduces downtime. Its telescopic capability enables an additional 30% of extension, allowing the shiploader to reach multiple hatches from the same feed point, and delivering a radial extension and retraction over the hatch for evenly-fed and fully-trimmed hatches. The Stingray Mobile Shiploader is ideal for Panamax vessels, but can be altered to accommodate smaller and larger dry bulk vessels and barges. Felton explains that there are three key travel modes that should be considered when using mobile telescoping shiploaders: 1) an inline travel mode; 2) a dock travel or transverse travel mode with a 360-degree rotation; and 3) a radial travel or tow mode.

For example, Superior Industries can combine its mobile telescoping shiploader with a ‘mobile pivot base’ that allows free- ranging transfer point mobility. Essentially, the mobile pivot base features a fixed-width head axle with a swivelling wheel carriage that allows rotation into each mode. Axle jacks relieve the weight, a hydraulic pin is released, and the unit swivels into the next position.

When working in conjunction with mobile shiploaders, portable truck unloaders can further reduce operating costs. The Superior RazerTail® Truck Unloader reduces or eliminates the need for costly loaders by quickly transferring material onto a conveyor, or onto another truck. “This portable truck unloader is a flexible, easy-to-move, low-profile unit that will transfer material to or from a 20-tonne truck in less than one minute. It can feed directly into the mobile shiploader, which has a feed height of up to 14 feet. This is important because the ability to directly hit that key transfer point is a strategy that minimizes material degradation, while reducing capital equipment costs, and allowing efficient use of space on the dock,” says Felton.

AUSTRALIAN PORT NEEDS FLEXIBILITY FOR MULTIPLE MATERIALS A Superior mobile shiploader/portable truck unloader system is currently in operation at Port Kembla in Eastern New South Wales,Australia.The system is easily configured and flexibly reconfigured to load a variety of materials from light metallurgical coke material to coal, and on to heavy iron ore. Its telescopic capabilities allow the ability to feed 5,000dwt to 55,000dwt vessels. The mobile pivot base on the shiploader allows easy, quick transverse travel down the berth to the second and fourth hatches, for example, followed by the fifth and first hatches, for balanced loading on the vessel. The portable truck unloader is used to efficiently transfer material to a screening plant which removes fines from the coke material before it is fed to the shiploader. When handling coal or iron ore material, the portable truck unloader is relocated to feed directly into the shiploader, and the screening plant is removed. Because the system handles a variety of light, yet abrasive materials, as well as very heavy materials, it is customized to include special wear plates, liners, underpans, belt scrapers, and other very heavy-duty components. The new mobile system replaced an outmoded stationary system, allowing the marine logistics company to win a long-term loading contract.



Agencia Aduanal Vejar is a cargo handling logistics solutions company in air, rail and maritime transport. Currently it operates out of two Mexican ports — one at Guaymus, Sonora; and the other in Lazaro Cardenas, Michoacan, Mexico. The company ships iron ore, copper concentrate, petroleum coke (petcoke), and other bulk materials via barge and ocean freighters. It operates three 170ft Superior mobile telescoping shiploaders and four Superior portable truck unloaders.

Prior to operating the new equipment; it would take the company up to four days to load 10,000 tonnes of material onto a vessel. The previous method involved the use of a flat bed trailer with two ten- tonne buckets onboard. Loaders would fill the buckets before transport to the vessel site where a crane and a six- man crew would hook up the bucket and lift it over the hold. Another six-man crew inside the hold would partially unhook the bucket to unload the cargo. With two buckets, that meant the method required a total of 12 people on the ground and 12 people in the vessel — a slow, labour-intensive process.

With portable equipment, the new method involves dump trucks travelling from the mines to the Guaymus port and unloading material onto two truck unloaders which feed two mobile shiploaders. Each works simultaneously to load two ship holds at a time. The mobile shiploaders swing left to right, up and down, safely loading and trimming the cargo. The result is a 75% reduction in loading time, while requiring only one-third of the labour force needed previously.


Superior Industries first introduced telescopic conveyor capabilities into its products in 1997, and has since manufactured nearly a thousand mobile telescopic conveyors to serve a wide array of bulk material handling markets. In marine material handling, Superior’s experience includes the world’s highest- capacity mobile telescopic radial travel conveyor — a 72-inch (1,800mm)-wide by 190ft (58m)-long unit that transfers 5,000 tonnes per hour at the Port of Tampa in Florida.

“It’s important that portable shiploaders have the flexibility to serve a variety of vessel sizes, moving from port to port, while also handling a variety of materials — all in one customized and versatile system. Our engineering strength and commitment to research and development has always been dedicated to creating the most mobile equipment on the market today,” says Felton.

Keeping bulk moving with Neuero mobile pneumatic conveyors 

Pneumatic conveyors from Neuero are helping to keep bulk product moving in Indonesia and Georgia.

Neuero’s GSD series has been on the market for decades, and is of particular use in projects where reliable machines and continuous hard work are required.


Palm plantations are increasing their production, and there is a need to solve the logistical bottleneck that has resulted. Logistics are expensive, due to a number of factors. Transporting bulk goods by water is a good alternative, especially in under-developed areas where roads are either non-existent or unreliable. However, using barges and bagging systems can make the loading and unloading of palm kernels slow.

Neuero has delivered its first machines to Indonesia, and they have been successfully tested. They are diesel-engine-powered, and are therefore energy-independent. The GSD250/270 D TA9,5 DA7,5 mobile machine is also used for the unloading of big ships.

The name of the machines are composed by GSD (gebläse saug-druck — blower suction- pressure) 250 — pipe diameter, 270 D Motor size, TA9,5 (telescoping boom with 9.5m), DA7.5 (pressure boom with 7.5m).

It is expected that there will be other new uses of the GSD series in other applications.


This year, Neuero delivered two GSD 280-270 EL TA16.5 DA 7.5s for the Port of Poti with horizontal boom length of 16.5m and electric motor drive. The machine are used to unload and load barges.

This equipment can be used for permanent operation but also is very common where the initial flow volume of product is low, the operation is not constant or the location will change in short future. In this case the GSD is a solution and a compromise in delivery time and cost.


Neuero mobile conveyors are extremely flexible in terms of conveying layout or even location of the conveying or ship position. They can be used for ship-unloading and in some cases shiploading. Neuero is able to offer the optimum solution, as long as it has the following information: product to be handled, capacity expected, annual capacity, operation description, site description, ship size, drive type — electric or diesel. 
Cat® mobile solutions ideally suited for dry bulk port applications 

Caterpillar builds products that are ideally suited to dry bulk handling in port applications, whether in seaport or inland operation. The equipment is used to load and unload ships and barges, transfer, load and store materials, build and manage stock piles, clean and maintain ships and quays.

Port professionals are challenged to meet strict loading and unloading schedules. Unplanned product problems or unexpected downtime can bring production to a halt, increasing costs. Cat equipment and solutions are designed to help maximize uptime and deliver the highest possible return on equipment investment.



  • articulated trucks: offer haulage capacities with simple, easy operation and automotive style comfort;
  • compact track loaders: compact, manoeuvrable, and ideal for working in tight spaces. In poor ground conditions, they offer excellent traction and flotation;
  • hydraulic excavators: Cat hydraulic excavators are an option to distribute material quickly between the extremities and the loading areas. They offer quick cycle times and long reach;
  • mini-excavators: the Compact Radius design, available on selected models, enable work in tight areas that might not be otherwise accessible;
  • skid steer loaders: Cat skid steer loaders are ideal to work around smaller vessels. They are compact, manoeuvrable, and ideal for working in tight spaces;
  • v telehandlers: for tackling tough jobs in high places; v track-type loaders and track-type tractors: Cat track-type
  • tractors and Cat track-type loaders push or pull materials, particularly when low ground pressure is a priority. Track-type tractors excel at the top of the stockpile. The suspended undercarriage improves traction and flotation in soft materials and increases stability, especially on steep slopes;
  • wheel dozers: for mobility, versatility, speed and compaction. Built and designed for demanding work, from coal stockpiling and wood chip handling to cleaning up;
  • wheel loaders: when working the hold, high-efficiency Cat wheel loaders are used to distribute material quickly between the extremities and the loading areas, filling void space to reduce the cost per tonne. Cat wheel loaders are available in standard or high-lift arrangements. They can be equipped with a quick-coupler for fast tool changes. The variety of work tools available include Performance Series Buckets which are specifically designed to enhance machine performance while in load, carry and stockpile applications; light material buckets to move large volumes of loosely packed materials such as fertilizer and wood chips; logging grapples that grasp, rotate, lift or drag logs, timber and other long materials; and
  • wheel material handlers: at the quayside, Cat wheel material handlers deliver high lift capacity, excellent controllability and an operator station that boosts comfort and productivity.



Cat Product Link is a secure and user-friendly application that allows remote monitoring of Cat equipment. It is deeply integrated into machine systems. Events and diagnostic codes, as well as hours, fuel, idle time and other detailed information are transmitted to a secure web-based application,VisionLinkTM. VisionLink includes powerful tools to convey information to users, dealers, including mapping, working and idle time, fuel level and more. 


Caterpillar works continuously to reduce the consumption of energy and raw materials. The company does this by improving the durability of its machines and increasing their remanufacturability. In addition, it follows life-cycle management strategies that boost machine uptime and productivity while optimizing operating costs.

The extensive Caterpillar Certified Rebuild programme incorporates the very latest Cat technology and critical engineering updates into the machine at a lower cost of buying new. After thorough evaluation, including tests, customers get a like-new machine with warranty.

Caterpillar offers remanufactured parts as one of the product support options available to support normal overhauls and repairs as well as Certified Rebuilds. Cat Reman parts are remanufactured in a factory environment to Caterpillar specifications, ensuring same-as-new quality which is backed by same-as-new warranty. The process also incorporates the latest engineering design changes ensuring the components meet the latest performance specifications. Cat Reman parts are available off the shelf and are priced at a fraction of the price of new parts.


Each model comes with an extensive selection of work tools to extend productivity and productivity.


For more than 85 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making sustainable progress possible and driving positive change on every continent.

With 2012 sales and revenues of $65.875 billion, Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The company also is a leading services provider through Caterpillar Financial Services, Caterpillar Remanufacturing Services and Progress Rail Services. 
Telestack’s mobile harbour equipment: the flexible solution 
Mobile harbour equipment offers the operator the mobility and flexibility that is unrivalled by any fixed or semi-fixed equipment. The overwhelming trend in ports and harbours globally is to increase flexibility, productivity and efficiency, while minimizing costs, labour, fuel and emissions. The mobility factor ensures port operators and stevedores can use the equipment as required in one area of the port and move to another very easily, or move the units to storage areas for multi-purpose ports and harbours. This cannot be offered by fixed infrastructure and limits the possibilities of the application. The loading and unloading vessels with wheeled and rail mounted harbour cranes is the traditional and industry standard method for handling bulk materials in ports and inland terminals. 

However,Telestack’s range of mobile harbour equipment offers a proven alternative to traditional mobile harbour cranes/ stacker reclaimer systems in sea ports and inland river terminals. Telestack advantages include lower capital expenditure, lower operating costs, less reliance on human skills/training, better environmental performance, safer sites as less potential for human error, fewer planning requirements, significantly lower civil/infrastructure costs and excellent resale opportunities/values.

Compared with traditional mobile harbour cranes (MHCs) loading a vessel,Telestack solutions can offer:

  • significantly less expensive systems to handle the same tonnage per hour (100–2,500tph [tonnes per hour]); v continuous loading (MHC returns to dockside empty); 
  • lower operating and maintenance costs;
  • elimination of double handling of material on quayside 
  • no requirement for a skilled driver 
  • better environmental performance in terms of dust, noise, emissions; 
  • significantly lower weights/better weight distribution to
  • reduce the cost of dock constructions/civils; 
  • easier for operators to learn/understand the system, operate the system, troubleshoot the system; 
  • ease of movement around the dock/from dock to dock; 
  • the same solution can be used to load vessels, unload vessels, build stockpiles in the port stockyard; and 
  • if market conditions change, the Telestack equipment can be easily shipped GLOBALLY to a variety of industries making resale values excellent. 

Compared with traditional stacker reclaimer systems in the port stockyard Telestack’s range of mobile stockyard solutions can offer

  • flexibility of the same piece of equipment to build stockpiles, reclaim from stockpiles, load rail wagons;
  • support to existing stacker reclaimer system during breakdowns/planned maintenance whereby the Telestack solution can keep the stockyard processing;
  • Telestack solutions can access hard-to-reach parts of stockpiles and so it is possible to reclaim from these hard to reach areas; and
  • Telestack solutions can stockpile in hard-to-reach parts of the stockyard and so you can increase stockpile capacities

Telestack solutions are in use in numerous ports and river terminals around the world handling a wide variety of dry bulk materials from coal, iron ore, aggregates, grains, fertilizer, wood chip and many more materials.

More and more customers are turning to Telestack to solve their material handling problems and the company has a proven record of performance of supporting customers around the world before, during and after the sale.

Within its UK facility, Telestack designs, manufactures and fully assembles to test all functions, before it ships the equipment to its customer. Telestack’s ISO 9001:2008 status demonstrates that it has processes in place to help ensure it delivers on time and within budget what the customer has ordered.

Hitachi launches the new ZW220-5 wheel loader 

Hitachi Construction Machinery (Europe) NV (HCME) has introduced a new wheel loader, the ZW220-5. Hitachi designed the new wheel loader to satisfy the requirements of its European customers for machines with an exceptional level of comfort, as well as excellent productivity, advanced technology, and a range of features for enhanced sustainability, safety and easy maintenance.

Comfort was one of the most important considerations for the design of the new ZW220-5. The cab is more spacious than the previous model, because the heated air-suspension seat can slide further back, providing more leg room. The tilting telescopic pop-up steering column has also been repositioned to create additional space.

The air conditioning system regulates the temperature inside the cab, and an optional filter is available for industrial waste job sites. Sound insulation reduces noise levels from the local environment and improves the operator’s overall experience.

The ZW220-5 wheel loader complies with EU regulations on emission standards, but does not compromise on productivity. It has a 7.8-litre six-cylinder water-cooled turbo engine that enables a powerful digging performance, impressive travel speeds and excellent fuel consumption. The new ZW-5 wheel loader is easier to manoeuvre than the previous model, which also results in higher levels of productivity. A new clutch cut-off system allows for smooth operation when it is loading.

Two simple work modes provide an appropriate level of performance for a particular task. In Standard mode, the engine speed is controlled, which allows for smooth and efficient acceleration during loading, regular operations and travelling on level terrain. Fuel consumption is reduced by up to 10%, enhancing its environmentally friendly performance. The P mode is useful when greater traction force is required for heavy-duty excavation and travelling quickly uphill.

When changing work modes, the ZW220-5 has a quick power switch, an example of its advanced technology, which boosts the power when required. The wheel loader also features a new hydraulic circuit, which facilitates the combined operation of the bucket and lift arm for loading, and prioritizes the use of the bucket for unloading.

The optional auto-engine shutdown function avoids fuel wastage while the wheel loader is long idling. In addition to lowering fuel costs for the customer, this enhances the sustainability of the ZW220-5. It also has a muffler filter to capture air pollutants, which are automatically burnt thanks to an oxidation catalyst and exhaust temperature control.

To enhance safety on the job site, the ZW220-5 offers greater visibility from the operator’s seat thanks to a pillar-less windshield and large sun visor. The counterweight is also now visible from both sides of the machine. The shift-up delay to third gear makes the wheel loader safer to operate in confined spaces, because it can perform excavating and unloading tasks more safely in first and second gear.

A variety of easy maintenance features has been incorporated into the design of the ZW220-5 to ensure maximum availability. For example, the redesigned engine and radiator cover can be opened fully, providing quick and convenient access for daily inspection. The greasing points, oil levels and fuel filters can all be accessed at ground level. For operation in dust-filled environments, the ZW220-5 wheel loader can be equipped with an optional wide- pitch fin radiator to prevent clogging. Another useful feature for routine maintenance is the automatic reversible cooling fan, which allows for easy cleaning of the radiator with its one-minute automatic reverse rotation every 30 operating minutes.

Tadayoshi Aoki, HCME Engineer for wheel loaders, is looking forward to the reaction of the European market to the launch of the ZW220-5. “We believe that the new wheel loader not only meets our customers’ expectations of high quality and reliability, but also provides a safe working environment, a comfortable cab with easy-to-use controls, and overall, a machine that responds quickly and precisely.”

RDS launches LOADMASTER α100 on-board weighing system 

RDS Technology has launched its new LOADMASTER α100 on- board weighing system, described by the UK-based manufacturer as being the new industry benchmark in terms of accuracy and ease of use in difficult conditions and terrains.

This on-board weighing system is ideal for use on mobile equipment such as front-end loaders.

The RDS LOADMASTER α100 is an all-new CAN-based system combining cutting-edge sensor technology and signal processing techniques providing precise and consistent weight information.

With the ever increasing focus on productivity, LOADMASTER α100 has been designed to operate within the fastest loading environments and toughest of conditions compensating for uneven, sloped ground and restricted loading areas reducing cycle times and maximizing tonnes per hour performance.

Loading correctly first time eradicates return trips to the stockpile reducing vehicle movement, fuel usage and machine and tyre wear.

The new RDS LOADMASTER α100 uses a 7” colour, resistive touch screen display and additional physical keys providing a modern and ergonomic operator interface. Suitable for use with up to ten different attachments e.g. buckets or forks, the system can be retrofitted onto wheeled, telescopic and tractor type loaders. The system continually measures hydraulic pressure using up to four sensors. The pressure signals are captured and filtered through a weighing ‘arc’ provided by inclination sensors measuring the angle of the main boom. All signals are processed in the RDS Smart Box and the resultant weight calculation is sent to the terminal mounted in the cabin.

SQL database capability with up to eight reference fields providing virtually unlimited inputs of products, customers, trucks, hauliers, locations, destinations, mix blends and notes. There is a blend facility with an infinite number of mixes and products. 

GPRS or Wi-Fi connectivity provides one or two-way communication with the back office to send and receive job information.

Video input for switching head unit into reversing camera mode removes the need for additional screen, releasing valuable cab space.

Buttimer’s mobile loaders match flexibility with durability 

Buttimer has been designing and fabricating high-quality mobile harbour equipment in Ireland for many years. Its core product range includes ship unloading units, custom-designed to handle grain, coal, ores, aggregates, biomass and other dry bulk products. The units can discharge to trucks rail and conveyors, depending on port requirements, and can be fitted with a range of dust control and aspirations features. Many of the units supplied by Buttimer are self-drive vehicles on sturdy rubber tyres; however they have also been mounted on rails, static structures and driven by their feeding crane. Buttimer’s mobile harbour equipment has been developed with knowledge of requirements in a busy port environment, with flexibility and durability in at the heart of their design.

Buttimer’s most recent equipment order, from Associated British Ports (ABP) in the summer of 2013, has been for two mobile ship unloading hoppers for the Port of Hull, England. The two state-of-the-art ship unloaders will primarily handle wood chip and wood pellets as part of the port’s new biomass handling capabilities. Buttimer won this project by specifically meeting the client’s handling needs, and was selected above products from a number of very well-known port equipment brands. Existing units are operating effectively, some many years after commissioning, at ports including Cork and Dublin in Ireland and Gdynia, in Poland.

Buttimer is preferred by its customers for a number of reasons, but all arise from a practical understanding of the demands placed on mobile harbour equipment in practice at busy bulk terminals. A number of key innovations allow Buttimer equipment superior durability and flexibility than competitor products, a few of these are: 

  • sound structural design: including a detailed estimation of forces and loads to be borne on the ship unloading hopper’s frame and wheel structure. It is not uncommon to hear of damaged unloading hoppers even where equipment has not been overloaded, this is often due to poorly designed equipment which hasn’t been designed to withstand the loads on stress points and structural twisting during the loading process. As no port wall is level and mobile unloading hoppers can be up to 14m wide, 14m long and 18m high, there can be deviations of up to 1m over the diagonal length of the unit. In conventional units, the structure is made in a way to take up these differences but as the structure twists it puts very large torsional loads on the structure with obvious consequences. Buttimer’s engineers have designed a hydraulic suspension system to take up the differences in levels and hence keep a constant loading on each corner. Buttimer’s equipment is designed to be robust enough to accommodate the full rigour of bulk product handling, the occasional accidental bump from a grab, and manoeuvring to and from the quay wall — the full impact of a busy port!
  • manoeuvrability: a limited commodity at the majority of bulk ports is space. Buttimer has developed patented steering and wheel technology, designed to give equipment a very tight turning radius, making units highly manoeuvrable and efficient even in tight quay areas. An impressive tight turning radius, coupled with an ability to tolerate variations in the level or surface of the quay wall, give Buttimer’s equipment an ease and speed of repositioning and manoeuvrability that belie their robust frame and structure.
  • customizable environmental controls: each bulk product, port and environment will require different levels of dust suppression, aspiration and environmental control functionality from its mobile port equipment. Buttimer can design and fabricate a wide range of dust suppression features on all units, to the client’s and product’s requirements. Buttimer offers solutions such as a 3m-high grab-enclosure thimble with a mechanical dust suppression system; a built-in dust suppression flex-flap system, and inserted cassette filters that return the dust into the product. These options combined with out-loading dust suppression chutes allow for a greater control of emissions and mitigation of explosion and fire hazards; whether feeding into a conveying system, direct to trucks, train wagons or barges.

Buttimer has also manufactured a range of other port equipment, ranging from entire material handling systems, to bespoke pieces of equipment. Last year Buttimer developed an innovative mobile conveyor shiploader, in partnership with Telestack Ltd. The unit used an innovative six-wheeled chassis to quickly change from parallel, radial and straight drive modes, allowing rapid movement between hatches, and optimized efficient loading of iron ore at 2,000tph. The unit was developed for ArcelorMittal and is in operation in Buchanan, Liberia.

Buttimer is an expert in the mechanical handling of dry bulk products. The design and manufacture of port equipment for handling bulk goods is one area of its business which also includes turnkey bulk port design, and material handling solutions, design and consultancy for industries such as mining, power generation, food, malting and brewing and animal feeds. 
IBT develops concepts for mobile stacker conveyors 

IBT has developed a few concepts relating to mobile stackers that are directly, or indirectly, linked to a feeding hopper.


In the concept of the mobile stacker with connected feeding hopper, the stacker (5) is permanently linked with the hopper (1). The feeding hopper is provided with a set of double tyres and has a flexible connection with the mobile stacker.

The feeding hopper can be loaded from the rear. The width and height of the inlet can be customized according to the requirements of the customer. The available capacity ranges from 500tph (tonnes per hour) up to 2,000tph.

The stacker has a boom (5) with an adjustable inclining angle up to 25°. On request the boom can be provided with a dust reducing hopper or a loading spout. In order to prevent run- back of product, the belt can be provided with 32mm-high chevrons.

Depending on the needs of the customer, the belt widths can range from 800mm to 1,400mm, which offers a wide range of capacities. All the wheels (3) of the stacker are swivel-mounted, so the machine can move directly forward, in any direction or at rightangles to the mobile stacker. All the wheels can rotate over 360°, allowing movement in any direction. All of the stacker’s wheels are electrically powered via frequency converters, enabling variable speeds.

This concept is unique in that the stacker can slew around its central point (4) while the feeding hopper remains motionless. The advantage is that the feed hopper follows the movements of the stacker while travelling.

The total empty weight of the feeding hopper (1) in the toughest implementation is approximately 18.5 tonnes. The weight of the stacker including the counterweight — but without product — is approximately 30 tonnes.

The feeding hopper (1) and the stacker (5) are provided with plug connections so that the individual parts can be transported separately.

The unit can be used for loading ships, and for the storage of bulk materials in an open or closed storage. For rough or unpaved terrain, the stacker can be mounted on tracks without compromising flexibility.


This mobile unit (see graphic on p91) consists of a mobile stacker (7) connected to two mobile (4) conveyors. The fixed loading point (2), that is integrated in the first mobile conveyor, can be loaded from another mobile conveyor or directly from a feed hopper.

The last link in the three parts of this mobile unit is a the height-adjustable mobile stacker (7). The stacker is connected by two mobile conveyor belts in line. The first in line connected is provided with a sliding loading point (2). The loading point will stay in a fixed position and will only rotate while travelling with the stacker.

All conveyors are equipped with tyres (1, 3 and 6) so that total unit as a whole can travel. All the wheels are steered in such a way that the direction of the moves of the connected conveyors can be determined by the operator.

By providing flexible connections (5) between the individual components and a sliding connection (2) below the loading point, the stacker is able to travel over dozens of metres without having to interrupt the unloading. By choosing a central loading point, the stacker is able, depending on the specifications of the individual components, to travel from 35 to 60 metres without changing the position of the loading point. The fixed loading point (2) makes it possible to provide the electrical power connection at this point. The design of this concept is based upon a capacity of 500tph up to 2,000tph, with a belt width of 800mm up to 1,400mm. The individual length of the conveyors are 12 up to 20 metres for the connected belt to the stacker, and 20 up to 32 metres for the belt conveyor with the sliding loading point.

The conveyor system is ideal for the loading of sheds, an open-air storage facility, or for shiploading — or even for the loading of trains. A feed hopper could be used to feed the above-mentioned systems.


The option of a mobile stacker with feeding hopper can, by the integration of two mobile belt conveyors be completed up to a four-piece unit.

The options listed here are all basic concepts and will vary depending on the product specifications and capacities in a ‘custom made’ implementation.

The control cabinet is found in all situations on the stacker. The position of the electrical connection is on the fixed point of the sliding support of the belt conveyor.

Equal to any challenge: the SENNEBOGEN 870 M special at Wismar seaport 

Thanks to its central location,Wismar seaport in Germany is an important logistical hub for freight traffic between Central Europe and the Baltic. For flexible loading and unloading, Seehafen Wismar GmbH relies on the dependable, mobile SENNEBOGEN materials handling machines. A new SENNEBOGEN 870 M was put into service in the summer of 2013.

Wismar seaport can look back over an eventful 800 history, since the 13th century. Today in Wismar on 66 hectares, approximately 7mt (million tonnes) of bulk cargo and piece goods are transferred and shipped throughout the world. Since 2008, Seehafen Wismar GmbH has relied fully on the SENNEBOGEN Green Line material handling machines for demanding transshipment of bulk cargo, scrap or round wood. In June 2013, the company, LST Bau- und Industriemaschinen GmbH, was able to transfer a new 870 M special to the seaport. The machine is part of a multi-year rental contract and supplements the existing two 850 M machines and an 840 M. The new machine is particularly impressive with its extensive range of 24m and the robust and reliable design. Equipped with a 2m HGT log grapple, the SENNEBOGEN 870 M mainly works in timber loading applications and thus achieves work rates of up to 140tph (tonnes per hour). The comfortable maXcab, which can be elevated 3m and moved forward 2.6m, offers significant advantages, particularly when unloading ships. In this configuration together with the 0.75m mast, the new 870 M provides an ideal overview of the work area and an optimal view into the hull of the ship.

Ships with loads of up to 5,000 tonnes and a maximum length of 120m are unloaded by the SENNEBOGEN machines in Wismar. The flexibility of the mobile machines is a particular advantage when the task at hand is to approach different berths or to unload large ships piece-by-piece. The powerful 300 kW Deutz diesel engine ensures the necessary force reserves and is designed for ease of maintenance and ease-of-service.

Driver Sven Dominik has special praise for the camera system with rear and side-view camera and seven monitors, that ensures an optimal all round view — a valuable plus for safety, and which is provided as standard equipment. Dominik's experience confirms that the extensive range of 24m and the special materials handling equipment together with the curved banana boom and long grapple stick make the SENNEBOGEN 870 M the perfect machine for unloading ships.

The machine is also used for loading on truck and rail. Operation up to 24 hours per day can frequently occur; this kind of work requires reliable and robust components. The local sales partner, LST Bau- und Industriemaschinen GmbH, handles regular maintenance and service and ensures smooth operation of the SENNEBOGEN machines.

“We have profited from our long-standing collaboration with SENNEBOGEN, and again we decided on a machine that perfectly meets our requirements. As a modern seaport we always want to be equipped with the latest technology to satisfy customer requirements. With the new SENNEBOGEN 870 M we have had outstanding success in this endeavour,” says Michael Kremp, CEO — Seehafen Wismar GmbH. 
Staying on the move with mobile unloaders from VIGAN 

VIGAN Engineering SA manufactures a range of bulk materials handling systems, including mobile equipment. Its main product range includes:


  • mobile pneumatic conveyors or vacuvators or grain pumps;
  • pneumatic continuous barge unloaders and mechanical barge loaders;
  • mechanical and pneumatic continuous ship unloaders for vessels up to post-Panamax; and
  • mechanical loaders for any size of ships. VIGAN’s capabilities include also complete turnkey projects for port terminal including shiploading and unloading, storage facilities and bagging operations.


Among the mobile equipment offered by the company are, notably, its portable pneumatic unloaders, commonly called ‘mobiles’ or ‘grain pumps’:

Model T120: working in ‘suck only’, ‘suck & blow’ or ‘blow only’ mode, their capacity ranges from 100tph (tonnes per hour) to 170tph, depending on configuration and product transported; and

The high-capacity model T200 is able to unload at rates of up to 250tph in sucking-only mode, without producing any dust emissions. Products are discharged by gravity, optionally through an integrated belt conveyor. It is equipped with an automatic self-cleaning filter with air-compressor.

These mobile portable unloaders are particularly adaptable, as they can be put on a ship’s deck or on quay: directly on the ground, on a frame or on a hopper (see picture above). With a wide range of accessories available, they can be customized to meet customer’s needs for cargo handling in many different working configurations: from vessels to trucks/railcars/ conveyors/silos or warehouses and inversely to load ships, but also for transshipment for instance.

Their compact dimensions (≈ 4.5 x 2.5m without booms) and low weight (≈ from 5 to 15 tonnes depending on the model and accessories) make them among the most flexible of all grain handling equipment.

For higher capacity requirements (from 200tph up to 800tph) and annual throughput (over 250,000 tonnes per year),VIGAN designs and manufactures pneumatic continuous ship unloaders (CSUs) on gantries, called ‘NIV’ models. Self-propelled on tyres or rails, they can be powered by diesel engine or electrical motors with cable reels.

The most frequent combinations found are either rail- mounted/electrical/discharging into quay conveyors to ensure a regular movement parallel to the quay conveyor, or on tires/diesel/into trucks for ports which are not equipped with rails and conveyors. Each gantry is designed bespoke according to the port requirements (dimensions, wheel load and/or rail span, etc.). Boom length, piping system diameter and length, airlock size volume, filter size and number of turbo blowers all determine the expected unloading rate. Many optional devices are available.

The mobility on the dock alongside the boat allows highly efficient unloading of vessels up to Panamax size, following the typical required unloading chart of the holds.

Furthermore,VIGAN’s range of equipment also includes a mobile mechanical continuous ship unloader called ‘SIMPORTER’ designed to meet very high discharging rates up to 1,500tph (metric). It is particularly suitable for large bulk carriers up to post-Panamax. The twin-belt SIMPORTER technology offers major benefits: efficiency, cost-effectiveness (minimum energy consumption, reduced operational and maintenance cost) and environment-friendly qualities (minimum noise, dust control, etc.).


VIGAN pneumatic unloading machines are suitable to convey all types of cereals, beans, seeds, most of the raw materials for animal feeding and also many other products such a chemicals, alumina, soda ash, and more — not only in powdery form but also in pellets (granules) or prills for instance.

Generally speaking, the products must be free flowing — or, in other words, must flow down freely when a certain amount of product in your hands is released when progressively opening them.

The natural angle of repose is usually around 30°: the particle size and physical form must allow this free-flowing nature.

Usually the apparent density is around 0.5 to 1.5: i.e. 500kg/m3 to 1,500kg/m3. Humidity and/or fat content should be adequate to avoid the product sticking when travelling into the pneumatic pipes.

For slightly compacted material such as soy bean meal (SBM), VIGAN has engineered a special efficient accessory to free flow the material before its suction.

According to the product characteristics (its delicate nature), VIGAN will suggest the appropriate equipment to minimize breakage.

Mechanical unloading machines like Simporter are able to handle other products but each product in bulk has its own behaviour and specific handling techniques are required:VIGAN engineers have more than 40 years’ experience in those areas.

For the loading of ships, almost all products in bulk with a granular form including fertilizers can be ideally transported by VIGAN equipment.

The most common products handled by VIGAN machines are: wheat, rice, corn, soybeans, soybean meal, rape seed, oats, rye, barley, malt, palm kernels, cocoa beans, coffee beans, wood pellets and other pellets from the agricultural industries; most feedstuffs; alumina, soda ash, and a few fertilizers.

Materials which are not suitable for transport by VIGAN machines include: sand; cement; coal and minerals such as bauxite and iron ore.


VIGAN’s major clients include: v port authorities which manage and operate port equipment; v independent port operators which offer loading and/or unloading services to their customers by using their own port equipment; v direct customers which have their own handling equipment for their private usage: for instance a flour mill along a river with its own quay — for example, the Cargill group has many large industrial plants with VIGAN machines for its own usage.

There are of course variations to this — for instance, a port operator can have port authorities among its shareholders as well as some of its customers also as shareholders to guarantee sales volume.


The CSU market is very competitive with experienced manufacturers mainly from Europe and/or North America countries.

Some new competitors from fast-emerging countries such as Brazil, China, India,Turkey for instance can be also active with equipment of quality.

For more than four decades,VIGAN has forged its reputation by offering reliable equipment adapted to the customer’s requirements: technical characteristics most suitable to each particular project with value-for-money machines.

Guarantee of long term supply of spare parts from most well- known suppliers and highly professional technical assistance also remain first choice criteria that decision makers are considering for their industrial assets which are most critical for the profitability of their business.