Clydebank Port Services Ltd in Glasgow in Scotland has hired a new Bobcat S550 skid-steer loader with sweeper and bucket attachments from the new MTS Group hire depot at Cumbernauld for ship trimming work at the port. The Bobcat S550 loader is used to help unload shipments of sand, limestone and cement that Clydebank receives on a regular basis, which are unloaded and stored on site prior to being delivered to end customers.

Port Manager, Douglas Anderson, explained: “Bobcat skid-steer loaders are ideal for us. Due to their manoeuvrability, compact size and low weight compared to other machines, they can be lifted onto the ships at the dock and are ideal for collecting up the left over materials, to ensure we remove as much as possible. We are also able to make use of the sweeper to clear the docks both before and after the ships come in.”

When a ship docks at Clydebank, most of the unloading of materials in the hold is carried out by grab systems on the dockside. As the hold on the ship empties, there comes a point where the grab cannot pick up enough of the material, especially in the hard-to-reach sides and corners and this leaves a significant amount of material remaining in the hold.

At this point, the Bobcat S550 skid-steer loader, which is equipped with an optional front door, is lowered by crane into the hold, where it first forms new mounds of material in the centre of the hold for the grab to extract and is then used to ensure that the hold is cleaned out as much as possible.

For shiptrimming work such as that at Clydebank, one of the most important advantages of Bobcat skid-steer loaders – their outstanding manoeuvrability in confined spaces – ensures they are the ideal machines for this application. In the S550 model, the radius lift pattern and short wheelbase are combined with differential steering for highly efficient manoeuvring and super fast cycle times in tight areas, a fast travel speed and more than ample auxiliary pump flow. In addition, the hydrostatic drive enables precise control of the speed and direction of the loader, both forwards and backwards, in any situation.

The S550 skid-steer loader has an operating weight of 2841 kg, a rated operating capacity of 894 kg and a tipping load of 1788 kg. The S550 also has a dump height with standard bucket of 2205 mm and a height to bucket hinge pin of 2908 mm. Enhanced performance results from the use of the Kubota V2607 diesel engine producing 45.5 kW of power at 2700 rpm.

MTS Group runs one of the largest fleets of Bobcat compact equipment for hire in the UK and one of the biggest in Europe. The new Cumbernauld depot adds to the existing MTS hire depots in England at Leigh in Lancashire, Birtley in Tyne & Wear and at the headquarters in Wakefield in West Yorkshire.

To meet increasing hire demand, MTS Group has made another substantial investment in new Bobcat loaders for the hire fleet at Cumbernauld, including new T590 compact tracked and S510 skid-steer loaders. The Cumbernauld depot is conveniently located in the Central Belt of Scotland, within easy reach of major towns and cities such as Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth and Stirling.