Up until four years ago, McKinstry Skip Hire, had never bought a JCB. Now, Northern Ireland’s leading waste management company runs a fleet of 14 – all supplied by local dealer BC Plant. Sourcing a large fleet of materials handling machines from a single supplier helps McKinstry to maximise productivity at its growing operations. This is not only because the machines are designed to handle the waste and recycling environment but also, McKinstry need only turn to one source for support to maintain uptime for its entire fleet.

The latest additions to its materials handling fleet include a 437 wheeled loading shovel, two Wastemaster Loadalls – a 560-80 and a 531F-70 – and a JS131 tracked excavator. Another recent acquisition was a JS20MH material handler. With this excavator, which has a 20,720 kg maximum operating weight, the operator can gain greater visibility over a site and high piles of waste thanks to its hydraulically-raised cab.

McKinstry specialises in waste management and recycling, skip hire, waste services, biomass, quarry products. From its plants in Nutts Corner, Belfast and Portadown it provides cost effective and efficient waste solutions to both the public and private sectors. It is a specialist in the collection and recycling of dry waste and all construction and demolition waste streams.

Seven JCB machines work at the Nutts Corner facility, which is McKinstry’s main site and where it has made significant investments in its Material Recovery Facility (MRF). With the company striving towards achieving zero waste to landfill, it is playing a significant role in the development of sustainability in Northern Ireland. A decade ago, 90% of all the waste collected by McKinstry from across Northern Ireland went straight to landfill. That’s been reversed with over 90% of waste now being recycled – with a broad variety of waste streams leaving its MRF for destinations across the globe.

“We are very busy with a throughput of 250-300 skips per week – and that’s just the skips part of the business,” says McKinstry. The company also happens to be Northern Ireland’s biggest producer of Biomass. “We receive a lot of waste from third parties and are contracted to biomass through Stobart Biomass.”

Commingled waste received by McKinstry is loaded into a shredder, using the JCB JS20 material handler, to give a consistent size. A variety of recovered recyclable materials are exported worldwide and the residual waste is processed into clean, dry one-tonne square bales of RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel), which Stobart then delivers to consumers.

The materials handling machines are vital in keeping all of McKinstry’s operations productive.

“Our JCB machines are very reliable; they are powerful and we have good service and back-up so there’s no down time – that’s important,” says Mark McKinstry.

Among the waste-spec features on JCB’s machines that Mark McKinstry highlights as being advantageous for working on the company’s sites are the maintenance-free solid tyres, which are a big contributor to uptime. He also cites the safety reversing cameras, immobilisers and ground clearance that allows the machines to drive over waste easily. McKinstry is also keen to keep the fleet operating at optimum productivity by not racking up the hours on the hard working machines.

“We have a programme to replenish our JCB machines because we don’t want to put a high number of hours on them – some of our machines can have up to 7,000 hours on them,” says McKinstry. “We now want to replace our machines after 2500 hours, which is the secret to running efficient machines.”