Werk-Brau offers extreme-duty bucket line - Construction & Demolition Recycling

2022-09-17 13:56:41 By : Ms. Summer liu

Company says its extreme-duty excavator buckets are abrasion resistant and designed for “brutal” conditions.

Findlay, Ohio-based Werk-Brau Co. Inc. says its new line of extreme-duty excavator buckets have been designed for durability and effectiveness, even in brutal conditions, by featuring “an aggressive dig angle, rugged construction of abrasion resistant AR400 through AR500 steel and horizontal wear strips.”

Werk-Brau says the buckets are made in the United States and available with “industry-leading lead times.” The extreme-duty buckets are available in sizes available from 3/8 of a cubic yard to 10 cubic yards “in various widths, with special designs and capacities available on request,” says Werk-Brau.

The company adds, “Werk-Brau Extreme Duty Excavator Buckets are ideal for demolition work, shot rock, abrasive applications, moderate prying and—when paired with a thumb—material handling.”

The cutter bit on the buckets is made from what Werk-Brau calls “extreme duty T-1 [ASTM A514 steel] material,” while other critical or high-wear components use AR400 through AR500 high-carbon steel for strength and durability, the firm says.

“By starting with robust, dependable materials, the bucket is designed for heavy-duty action and able to endure excessive wear and tear,” states Werk-Brau. “In addition to strong materials, the design of the bucket was also made with durability in mind. Horizontal wear stripes and an extra thick cutting edge backed by a wear plate that covers the entire bucket bottom ensure greater endurance. Side wear plates protect high wear areas to extend the buckets’ operational lifetime.”

A video demonstration of the Werk-Brau Extreme Duty Excavator Bucket can be found on this webpage. 

In the COVID-19 era, steel scrap’s industrial feedstock role has cast a spotlight on its value in a much wider supply chain.

Demolition contractors see scrap iron and steel in projects related to dismantling and obsolescence. Once it crosses the scale at a scrap yard, however, the same material begins a new role as the first link in a supply chain vital to producing the shiny new cars and appliances populating automobile showrooms and retail stores across the country.

The nearly unprecedented interruptions to global economic activity caused by COVID-19 unmistakably affected the construction and demolition sectors. The scrap metal market also coped with abrupt interruptions, and those changes consequently moved through the supply chain.

As the U.S. and global economies chart paths to economic recovery in the wake of the virus, their ability to create enough discarded material to keep basic material supply chains intact will be one of the measures watched by economists.

“Scrap is a product of affluence,” veteran ferrous scrap trader Nathan Fruchter told the Recycling Today Media Group in a May interview, referring to the impact of humming factories, demolition job sites and traded-in vehicles and appliances on regional and global flows of scrap metal.

In the second quarter, that affluence was largely absent in North America and Europe, as both continents dealt with COVID-19 and subsequent workplace shutdowns. The ripple effects of the COVID-19-related decline in scrap generation provided a case study that backs Fruchter’s observation and demonstrated the valuable role of scrap metals in the global economy.

In the ferrous scrap market, even as steel mills scaled back output dramatically, scrap prices rose by $30 to $50 per ton in early May because scrap collection had dropped even faster.

Governments in some parts of the world—recognizing the value and current scarcity of scrap—began to impose or propose banning the export of scrap metals. The United Arab Emirates placed such a ban on ferrous scrap in mid-May, and South Africa banned the export of both ferrous and most nonferrous scrap metals starting in mid-July.

Longer term, a recent analysis by Arlington, Virginia-based B. Riley FRB Inc. predicts a potential shortage of high-grade ferrous scrap in the United States as additional higher-grade electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmaking capacity comes online in the next couple of years.

For demolition contractors, the appreciation for scrap iron in high places could lead to medium-term healthy pricing as economies rebound and try to recover from the COVID-19-related damage.

Even in China, whose government has waged a high-profile campaign against imported scrap materials, steelmakers and trade associations have been taking measures to make imported ferrous scrap shipments more welcome by trying to have scrap reclassified from “waste” to a “resource.”

One source tells the Recycling Today Media Group that steel firms there are increasing their EAF capacity, and are particularly eager to be able to bring in imported ferrous shredded scrap. Even some Chinese policy makers “realize that it is more effective than importing iron ore because of economic issues as well as environmental issues,” says the source.

At the onset of summer, some of those wider global factors were having an impact on the scale price demo contractors were experiencing at their local scrap yards, while uniquely American aspects of the market also came into play.

After the May rise in scrap prices, caused by America’s excruciatingly non-affluent April, the subsequent rise in scrap yard scale traffic and a restart in demolition and construction activity helped boost supply, causing prices to head back down about $40 per ton in July.

The summer months prompted a series of push-and-pull factors that impacted prices, with some economic activity ramping up while other sectors stayed dormant. Globally, export buyers—as they often do—waited for a monthly drop in prices to then come back into the market and bid prices right back up again.

The ability of Americans to buy cars (and actually be able to drive them somewhere) has always tied into scrap supply and prices, as a new car or pickup truck in the driveway means another could be headed for the salvage yard. Along with construction and demolition activity, it is a sector that has a major impact on both scrap supply and demand (measured by steel melt shops churning out steel for vehicle parts or beams and rebar for buildings.)

On the automotive front, an analysis of American auto purchase and maintenance habits by London-based IHS Markit, released in late July, concluded the average age of light vehicles in operation in the U.S. has risen to 11.9 years, about one month older than in 2019.

Underlying weakness in several segments of the market combined with increased vehicle prices have provided upward pressure on the average age of vehicles, as some consumers hold on to their vehicles for a longer period of time, the study concluded.

For steel mill melt shops that rely on a steady stream of scrap, it might mean that as the economy (and steel output) ramps up, scrap supply will lag initially, prompting a rise in prices.

As of early August, steel mill output in the U.S., as measured by the Washington-based American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), was just beginning to rebound in an attempt to reach pre-COVID-19 production levels.

The steel mill capacity rate in the U.S. reached 59.3 percent during the week ending Aug. 1, rebounding from a COVID-19-related weekly low of 51.1 percent in the week ending May 2. The steel output figure for the week ending Aug. 1 of nearly 1.33 million tons represented a 16.5 percent increase from the 1.14 million tons of steel produced during the week ending May 2.

The early August figure is encouraging, but in pre-COVID-19 America, as measured by the week ending Aug. 1, 2019, production was closer to 1.85 million tons of steel. Thus, the year-to-year output decline in steelmaking comparing those two weeks was 39.1 percent

Even in one of the most difficult financial quarters in recent American history, the largest scrap-fed steelmaker in the United States was able to turn a profit converting ferrous scrap into finished steel.

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Nucor Corp., the largest electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmaker in the United States, announced net earnings of nearly $109 million in the second quarter of 2020. That result, while still profitable, represented an earnings drop of 71.8 percent compared with the more than $386 million netted by Nucor in the first quarter of 2020.

Nucor indicated overall operating rates at its steel mills decreased to 68 percent in the second quarter from 89 percent in the first quarter and 84 percent in the second quarter of 2019.

The steelmaker kept its scrap prices in check, saying the average scrap and scrap substitute cost per gross ton used in the second quarter was $284, a 3 percent decrease compared with $293 in the first quarter and a 14 percent decrease compared with $330 in the second quarter of 2019.

Nucor predicted raw material (including scrap) prices would remain modest throughout the third quarter, as would demand for some types of steel. “Nonresidential construction market conditions continue to benefit our bar and structural mills, but market conditions for our sheet and plate mills remain challenged, and average selling prices remain depressed,” stated the firm in notes accompanying its second quarter results. “The performance of our raw materials segment in the third quarter of 2020 is expected to decrease compared to the second quarter of 2020 due to depressed pricing for raw materials.”

As of early August, statistics gauged by the Arlington, Virginia-based Associated General Contractors (AGC) led the association to fear a post-COVID-19 rebound in construction was beginning to stall.

According to AGC, construction employment in the month of July increased by 20,000 jobs, but the gains were limited to the housing sector. Meanwhile, employment related to infrastructure and nonresidential building construction slipped by 4,000 jobs, potentially signaling an alarming trend for steelmakers and demolition contractors alike.

“It is gratifying that the construction industry continued to add jobs in July, but last month’s gains were entirely in residential building and specialty trades,” remarks Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “It is likely that many nonresidential jobs are in jeopardy following the completion of emergency projects and ones begun before the pandemic. Projects that had been scheduled to start this summer or later are being canceled by both public agencies and private owners, while few new facilities are breaking ground.”

The AGC is among dozens of associations that have renewed calls for the federal government to provide infrastructure funding for state and local budgets, or provide other measures that will keep job sites humming and melt shop furnaces heated.

Presidential candidate Joe Biden announced in July his intention to champion a $2 trillion infrastructure package should he win the election. Bloomberg reports the Trump administration is preparing a nearly $1 trillion infrastructure proposal heading into the 2020 campaign.

Politics aside, many contractors say they do have projects in progress, on the books or out for bid. New York-based accounting firm Marcum LLP says its first annual Marcum National Construction Survey, released in mid-July, revealed an overall “positive outlook by respondents about the current and future state of the industry, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The results are encouraging considering the same surveyed contractors were keenly aware of the challenges in the first half of 2020. “The second quarter of 2020 is likely to prove the worst quarter of our economic lives,” states Anirban Basu, Marcum’s chief construction economist.

Basu says some of the optimism pertains to a pre-COVID-19 economy that “was blissful for many contractors.” He adds, “A combination of strong job growth, technology-induced transformation, healthier state and local government finances, rising incomes, consumer confidence, low inflation, and minuscule interest rates propelled construction spending higher.”

Like the politicians, Basu says there is a part to be played by the government if the optimism is to prove on target. “Construction’s recovery will be far more rapid if two things occur: 1) federal stimulus directed toward state and local governments to help them balance their budgets; and 2) a federal infrastructure investment package.”

This article appeared in the Sept./Oct. issue of Construction & Demolition Recycling magazine. The author is a senior editor with the Recycling Today Media Group and can be contacted at btaylor@gie.net.

With the receipt of DOJ approval, one of the conditions to the closing of the acquisition, GFL announced Sept. 29 that it expects to close the acquisition on Oct. 1.

GFL Environmental, Ontario, Canada, announced on Aug. 12 that it had entered into a definitive agreement with Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), New York, via Macquarie Infrastructure Partners II (MIP II) to purchase WCA Waste Corp. and its subsidiaries for an aggregate purchase price of $1.2 billion. Thanks to receipt of Department of Justice (DOJ) approval, one of the conditions to the closing of the acquisition, GFL announced Sept. 29 that it expects to close the acquisition on Oct. 1.

"We are pleased to achieve yet another major milestone in our history and are excited to be welcoming our new WCA employees to the GFL family on Oct. 1," GFL founder and CEO Patrick Dovigi says. "This transaction, together with the acquisition of the divestiture assets resulting from the Waste Management Inc. and Advanced Disposal Services Inc. merger, provide us with attractive opportunities to expand our geographic footprint into the United States.”

“We still expect to close the purchase of the Waste Management Inc. and Advanced Disposal Services Inc. divesture assets early in the fourth quarter," Dovigi continues. "Looking ahead, we remain focused on creating long-term shareholder value, including through operational excellence, superior customer service, accretive acquisitions and investing in innovative and sustainable solutions."

WCA operates a vertically integrated network of solid waste assets, including 37 collection and hauling operations, 27 transfer stations, three material recovery facilities and 22 landfills supported by over 1,000 collection vehicles, across 11 U.S. states. WCA has a regional platform with a growing footprint across the Midwest and Southeast, including three key markets in Texas, Missouri and Florida.

Wisconsin-based Rock Machinery named Superior crushing dealer in parts of the Midwest.

Morris, Minnesota-based Superior Industries Inc. has announced the appointment of Allentown, Wisconsin-based Rock Machinery as its crushing equipment dealer in Wisconsin, most of Illinois and the western half of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

“Larry Hetzel and his team at Rock Machinery have built a dealership well known for customer service and support that exceeds expectations,” says John Garrison, Superior’s vice president of sales. “Together, we’re excited to offer exceptional products and services to our crushing customers.”

From is headquarters and repair facility in Allentown, Rock Machinery will sell, service and support Superior’s Liberty Jaw Crusher, Patriot Cone Crusher, Sentry Horizontal Shaft Impactor and Valor Vertical Shaft Impactor models.

“Superior’s brand is a status symbol for the highest quality equipment in the aggregate industry,” says Larry Hetzel, president of Rock Machinery. “Our whole team is very honored and excited to represent Superior’s crushing equipment.”

Superior Industries says Rock Machinery’s “brand new [service] facility creates a state-of-the art home for field service personnel, in-house repair and replacement parts for several industry-leading brand crushers.”

Company’s River Metals Recycling subsidiary acquires three facilities, including the former Mansbach Metals shredder yard in Kentucky.

The River Metals Recycling (RMR) subsidiary of the Cincinnati-based David J. Joseph Co. (DJJ) has announced the acquisition of scrap processing locations in Ashland, Kentucky; Coeburn, Virginia; and Charleston, West Virginia.

The recycling plants were acquired from Mississippi-based Columbus Recycling, which retains ownership and will continue to operate its nine other facilities in Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky.

The three facilities acquired by DJJ had been operating under the name CRHC Mansbach Metal LLC. Mansbach Metal was formerly part of Alabama-based Progress Rail Corp., which is itself a subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc. The Mansbach locations, which include an auto shredder in Ashland, changed hands in 2017 when Progress Rail sold them to Columbus Recycling.

RMR now operates 17 locations in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, Virginia, West Virginia and Alabama, including auto shredders in Ashland, Newport and Louisville, Kentucky. “The addition of these new locations, including a shredding operation in Ashland, is consistent with RMR’s growth strategy and demonstrates DJJ’s commitment to expanding its regional recycling platforms,” the scrap firm says. 

Columbus Recycling is owned by Florida-based Trivest Partners LP.