In the past, many scrap metal exporters loaded
shipping containers horizontally – with Bobcats, conveyers and
other techniques that could not achieve maximum volume or weight
loads. Not only were these techniques slow and often hazardous,
it was also difficult for companies to accurately weigh their
containers during loading. This would often result in scrap metal
recyclers exporting less than maximum weight in a 20 foot container,
or recyclers using a 40 foot container to achieve maximum weight.
Because of the difficulties inherent in horizontal loading, a
number of new systems have been developed to facilitate faster
loading of shipping containers.
Simon Ward, founder of A-Ward Attachments, said that his firm
identified the need for more efficient container loading systems
in 2005, following more than 10 years’ experience in designing
and manufacturing specialized excavator attachments for the recycling
industry. Ward said, “A-Ward has always been ‘customer wired’
– we have been closely involved with bulk materials handling
businesses around the world for many years. Our customers regularly
face new operational challenges but they know they can rely on
A-Ward to devise the right solutions for their evolving needs.”
In 2006, after conferring with scrap metal customers and 18 months
of product development, A-Ward launched their patented container
tilter system. Now, A-Ward sells an average of 20 container tilters
per year in North America. Tilters are manufactured in Savannah,
Georgia and there are over 100 tilters in use across the country.
When discussing the advantages of his product, Ward said, “Our
tilters are completely portable, approximately half the price
of many horizontal container loaders, and by loading at an angle,
our tilters enable 100 percent of the container’s volume to be
filled. Also, A-Ward’s new container rear brace option eliminates
damage to the shipping container.
“The ACT20R-US Container Tilter model was specifically designed
to suit North American trailer units. This means that trucks
reverse into the container tilter with the container doors facing
the rear of the container. An IP68 Digital Weigh System was developed
with weight display on the power pack and on the hand-held remote
control. The accuracy of our weigh system is currently plus or
minus one percent,” Ward said.
Four power pack options are now available; including 15 KW and
30 KW options in either diesel or electric motors, and A-Ward’s
transport kit option was recently launched. The kit enables customers
to easily condense a container tilter for easy transport to different
A-Ward processing volume, according to customers, is over 1,100
tons of scrap per day for each container tilter. This is based
on a 10 hour shift and 28 ton loads in each container. Tilters
can be operated by a single operator via a remote control and
provide 15 minute turnaround from the time an empty container
arrives on site, until a full container leaves the site on a
trailer. Each tilter weighs approximately 10 tons and can be
delivered 4 weeks from order date.
“The uniqueness of the Swing Thru system is its ability to handle
containers,” stated Lee C. Prunty, president of Walker-Schork
International, Inc. & Container Handling Solutions, Inc.
“This includes from either side, and to transship containers
from one side of the host vehicle to the other in a single, continuous
movement. The system can be utilized as a mobile container crane
to efficiently load and unload other vehicles and it also has
the ability to transport on or off highway. Our product is also
operational wherever the host vehicle can travel and therefore,
a paved surface is not required. Swing Thru can transfer containers
to and from the ground, trucks, trailers or rail wagons,” Prunty
Container Handling Solutions manufactures the Swing Thru, and
Prunty explained, “When used in a truck/trailer configuration,
the double-sided nature of Swing Thru enables the product to
easily load and unload its own trailer, thereby transporting
two containers in a pick-up-and-carry application. Swing Thru
can drop a full container at one side and collect an empty container
from the other, without moving the vehicle. The product handles
transship to ground, transship to rail, and transship to truck
The Swing Thru system provides a stable, safe operating platform
with four-corner stabilization for maximum stability. This makes
it impossible to roll the machine during lifting operations.
Swing Thru has never been involved in a roll-over and no operators
have ever been injured while using Swing Thru, according to Prunty.
Swing Thru models with 60,000 lb. and 77,000 lb. lifting capacities
have comprehensive safety systems, including a minimum leg pressure
setting. This ensures safe footing prior to the boom activation
and load transfer. It also ensures that the ground where the
leg is deployed is firm enough to handle the load.
The 77,000 lb. Rail Link Swing Thru is an alternative to large,
heavy, traditional container lifting methods, in areas of seasonal
or low-container volumes. The new 59,500 lb. Swing Thru was designed
to offer maximum operational flexibility and provide the most
efficient and stable platform for any application. The 10T machine
was designed for both road transport and military markets, for
handling empty or full containers weighing up to 22,000 lbs.
Paul Halpin is president at TEME Engineering, which manufactures
the TEME 90° container tilter. “Our tilter allows for the utilization
of a container’s full loading capacity. The trailer and container
enter the tilter station where the container is unlocked from
the trailer and secured to the tilter. Once locked into place,
the tilter lifts the container free from the trailer, allowing
it to drive away. The doors of the empty container are opened
against the automated closing mechanism. The tilter then lifts
the container to a maximum of 90° to allow for a crane or a magnet
to load the material into the container. This ensures that all
of the container’s volume is used and it is filled to capacity,”
An optional load cell in the base frame of the TEME container
can be used to monitor container weight. This ensures that a
load is in compliance with transport and shipping regulations.
Once loaded, the container doors are automatically closed and
held shut as the load is returned to the container’s home position.
Operators can then lock down the container doors before releasing
the closing mechanism. The tilter transfers the loaded container
back onto the trailer and it is ready to accept another empty
Halpin commented, “Tilting the container through 90° allows customers
to fully load product to the container’s maximum capacity, which
reduces shipping costs and maximizes profits. The angle of the
container can be adjusted during loading as product height is
increased, ensuring total distribution of the product in the
Standard product features include: a pendant remote control with
normal and slow speed capability for use in accurate container
loading; gasoline or diesel fueling; and a hydraulic-control
locking mechanism for quick and easy container control. A detachable
power unit that extends up to 30 feet from the tilter is optional.
The 20 foot container includes a 17 horsepower diesel engine
that powers a hydraulic pump. Other start-up and operating safety
features are also part of the hydraulic unit, which ensures added
control for smooth and efficient operation.