Metal balers are large, powerful machines that compress scrap metal so that it can be shredded. The average metal baler can crush with the intensity of around 4,000 lbs. per square inch. Metal balers are typically used in recycling and industrial settings to compress loose scrap into tight, easily transportable bales.
Greg Wright is sales director at Granutech-Saturn Systems. The company has manufactured auto flatteners for over four decades. “The market has been moving towards logger/balers for a while now. In response, we have developed our MAC Magnum Logger to handle both automobiles and ferrous or nonferrous metals. Most customers will use it to make lower density shredder logs, but it does have the capability of making higher density – up to 80 lb./ft3 – bales as well. The unit is completely portable, with a 20’ loading chamber, and a continuously rotating crane with a 5,800 lb. capacity and a 27’4” reach. Our customers need the versatility of a logger. Many of them process very few cars and more loose scrap, so they want a machine that can handle both,” said Wright.
He continued, “We began business in the late 1960s with the original flat lid car crusher, which is still part of our product line. Our line has expanded with a focus on size reduction. We offer crushers, balers, loggers and an assortment of shredding technologies for auto salvage, metals, tire processing, electronic scrap and other industries.” Wright noted that engine emission requirements have grown more strict in recent years. He expects that ultimately, Final Tier IV will be the standard requirement for all engines.
Harris manufactures a variety of metal balers for ferrous and nonferrous applications. Bob Pfeffer, director of U.S. and Canadian sales, explained, “For ferrous applications, we offer the heavy duty TGS and the TG Baler lines. They are Triple Compression Balers and scrap recycling workhorses. We also manufacture a line of nonferrous balers, including vertical, closed door and the ever-popular two ram balers.”
Ferrous balers by Harris provide for high density #1 and #2 bales for furnace feed. Pfeffer said their nonferrous baler line offers the widest selection, can handle any baling application and all produce export-size bales. “The Harris Badger Baler continues as the #1 selling two ram baler in the world and countless nonferrous processors depend on this workhorse day in and day out. Our HRB, Centurion and Gorilla are other top sellers,” he noted.
The Harris ferrous baler line originated in the 1940s for densification of scrap metal. The company was the first to build a two ram baler for the recycling industry back in the 1960s and they are the only manufacturer in North America to offer a complete line of metals processing balers, including the largest ferrous baler in the world, according to Pfeffer.
He noted that energy efficiency is an increasingly important attribute among those in the market for a baler and he suggests that buyers confirm a given manufacturer’s technology before making a purchase. Two Harris manufacturing facilities can accommodate any level of market demand and Pfeffer said Harris’ comprehensive product line is very helpful to him in advising clients in their baler selection.
“Buyers should look for a product that will best match their processing needs now and looking forward. It is important to evaluate the products offered and the company behind the products for a smart investment. Some other balers on the market may last only three to seven years. In contrast, I know of a 50 year old Harris baler that runs every day and two ram Harris balers over 40 years old that also function daily.”
Iron Ax manufactures two different size balers and has been in the scrap business for 45 years. One of their baler models has a 16’ long baling chamber, and the other has a 20’ long baling chamber. Both units are offered with or without a crane. Iron Pack Balers are high speed, high production balers. The baling cycle is approximately one minute long. Each baler features remote control and automatic cycle. “We also offer programmable pressure settings. This means that the hydraulic pressure can be increased or decreased with the touch of a button. This is a great feature that gives the operator total control when it comes to making a loose or a tight bale,” commented John Kitchens, vice president.
He said the firm’s most popular baler is the IPB-20. It has a 20’ long baling chamber, but no crane. He said the 16’ balers are more popular in the international market due to the smaller size of their automobiles, but American customers prefer the larger sized model. The minimal set up time for Iron Ax balers facilitates increased production and efficiency. After the baler is unhooked from a vehicle and outriggers have been lowered, the operator is ready to process.
Kitchens noted that processing volumes vary from customer to customer, but that processing volume increases after installing an Iron Pack Baler. The company’s clients range from small, one yard operations and large, national and international companies. Kitchens anticipates growth in the baler market. “Many years ago, car crushers were very popular, but we see the demand for balers increase more and more. With a crusher, you are limited to one thing and one thing only. A baler can do everything a crusher can do and so much more. We’ve had many customers switch from a car crusher to a baler. They quickly learn how they’re able to grow their business because they can process different types of material that they previously could not.
“We own and operate 5 scrap yards and over 20 years ago we began manufacturing products for use in our scrap operation. It was a natural transition to introduce our products in the marketplace because we know the scrap industry. We know exactly what our customers need to get the job done and they seem to appreciate our unique perspective,” said Kitchens.
OverBuilt first manufactured car crushers in 1996 and they have shipped over 550 crushers nationwide, to South America, Europe and the Middle East. The company offers the only true “high speed” car crusher, with a patented oil bypass system. The system provides reduced cycle times of up to 43 percent. The Overbuilt product also has the largest crushing chamber opening – 10’ – which allows the operator to process more tonnage in one stack.
“We’re the fastest selling crusher in the market and we employ mechanics, welders, hydraulic and electrical experts and others who maintain an excellent sales, service and parts program,” said Steve Besch, sales manager. The company has been family-owned and operated for two generations and the entire family is involved in all parts of the operation from the original design to final assembly, customer relations and promotions.
Besch stated, “Throughout the market fluctuation over the years, we’ve been proactive in meeting the needs of our clients in the scrap and auto salvage industries. The OverBuilt Baler Logger introduced in 2008 provides scrap recyclers with fast and efficient performance. With a 20’ charge box and a crane providing a 26.5’ reach and a greater lifting capacity, the machine compresses metal and vehicles into a very dense, stackable form. That results in faster loading and transporting of the finished product to market.”
Sierra International Machinery Inc. has a new two ram baler named the Recycle Everything Baler (REB). “This is the best two ram ever made. The REB-1 (75 hp) and REB-2 (150 or 250 hp) has an 8-second cycle time and the most face PSI among all two-ram balers available, in its class,” said Philip Sacco II, western sales representative. He noted that Sierra uses every piece of equipment they manufacture in their own yard before it ever enters the market. The company also carries a huge inventory of parts to help minimize down time for their customers.
“Sierra stands behind its products and its customers. We excel in customer support because we do the same type of work as our clients, every day, in our own recycling yards and we are also adept at helping clients eradicate downtime. Whether it is a shear, logger, grapple, automobile logger or a Sierra two-ram baler, we can help,” remarked Sacco.
Sierra is a family owned business and founder, Ben Sacco, started Sierra recycling in 1960. Sacco explained, “As a successful, full service scrap recycling company, Sierra International Machinery was born in 1984 and through our experience we’ve grown to make the best line of processing equipment in the scrap industry.”