March 20, 2013

Petersen Picks Up the Pace with New MH3049

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For more than 30 years Mark Petersen has been a good neighbor to the surrounding community in Coralville, Iowa. And his community has returned the favor by helping grow his scrap iron business.

Petersen, owner of Petersen Iron and Metal, processes and sells more than 1,000 tons per month of ferrous and non-ferrous metals and scrap iron. His compact four-acre yard is brimming over, yet neatly organized to enable smooth, efficient scrap handling and processing.

“There are a lot of demolition jobs in Iowa right now, and it’s meant a lot more volume for us,” Petersen says. “We’ve handled as many as 56 truckloads in a recent three-day period.”

Reach, capacity and speed—Reasons for choosing the MH3049

As the volume grew in Peterson’s compact yard, he needed a bigger machine to reach further to stack and pick heavier loads. That’s one of the reasons he recently purchased a new Cat MH 3049 with a Cat four-tine, 360º rotation orange peel grapple. Petersen also chose the optional 25 kW solid state, on-board generator with plenty of electrical power to operate his 67-inch magnet.

“Sure, we looked at some other machines,” Petersen says. “But after purchasing the Cat MH3049 and putting it through its paces, I knew we had the right machine. It had the power, reach, speed and capacity we needed. I like the smoothness of its operation, the capacity that enables it to pick heavy loads while the boom is at full height, with good visibility. I wanted it because it’s the best. It’s just got a lot of power so you can move a lot more material a lot faster.”

“The whole machine cycles faster—the boom speed, the swing speed, the lifting capacity—it’s just very good performer overall,” he adds. “We can lift from pile to truck in matter of seconds. We can put 60,000 pounds on truck in 10 to 15 minutes.”

And having the ability to enter the comfortable cab riser at ground level was a nice bonus for his knees, adds Petersen. Combined with the new rear view mirror, he says it’s a much safer machine.

Petersen also uses a Cat 330D MH, three Cat Forklifts and a processor to handle the large volume of scrap iron in their operation. He also maintains a fleet of four over-the-road semis for scrap collection and picking up their widely dispersed fleet of 150 containers.

Safe yard

Petersen’s nephew, Carson is the heir apparent and also serves as the company’s safety director.

“We’re always watching safety,” Carson Boddicker says. “We do all the common sense stuff—keeping guys out of dangerous situations, knowing where everyone is in the yard and what jobs they’re doing. And all of our guys wear PPE.”

Petersen avoids anything that is potentially hazardous to the people on the team, the people in the community, or to the environment as a whole. Sealed containers that can be potentially explosive, or containers holding hazardous materials are not accepted. The company maintains a clear line of communication with its industrial customers. “That way we’re all on the same page,” Carson says.

Total support from Altorfer

Peterson’s machines are covered under Customer Support Agreements and were purchased using Cat Financial. Caterpillar and Altorfer also provided on-site operator training for the new MH3049.

“That’s the part I really appreciate about Caterpillar,” says Carson Boddicker. “They showed us around the machine and spent an entire day here with us. I thought that was pretty impressive. Altorfer provides the service, the parts, the mechanics, the personnel—they’re just great people to work with.”

(This article was written by High Velocity and was featured the Cat Industrial & Waste Newsletter.)