They call themselves garbologists.
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They call themselves garbologists.

Situated ten kilometres west of Canwood, Saskatchewan, HWY 55 Waste Management Corporation operates a regional landfill serving three Rural Municipalities, several villages, resorts, and three First Nations. It’s a busy site, separating all categories of items to ship off to their respective recycling centres.

They move a lot of garbage every day and the volume is continuously growing, so they needed to expand their wheel loader fleet.

“We needed something mid-size,” says Ken Larson, Manager.

“We needed something mid-size,” says Ken Larson, Manager.

We already have a really big one and a really small one.” Exploring options, he talked to Dwight Diehl, foreman at the RM of Canwood. Diehl suggested contacting SMS Equipment as his RM had recently acquired a Komatsu grader and loader from them and were most pleased.

They soon picked a Komatsu WA250PZ from SMS Equipment—with the landfill bucket because it’s used mostly for moving light garbage. “So when we occasionally use it to move gravel or dirt we just take smaller loads,” explains Larson. “In the winter we use it for snowplowing and cleaning up the yard.”

The Komatsu’s medium size makes it the perfect fit for their operation.

The Komatsu’s medium size makes it the perfect fit for their operation.

“If the big one breaks down, we have a backup,” he says. “Yet it’s small enough to fit into the building where we do our recycling, to load the conveyor.”

“Dwight knew what we were looking for. He’s had the same piece of equipment from the same company, so you know you can trust it—not some unknown salesman. And Lorna [Canwood RM Administrator] has a lot of experience purchasing over the years too.”

The landfill’s operators really like it, including Larson. “It’s easy to operate. The controls are user-friendly. And you can change the controls to suit the driver. For example, I like the joystick control but some prefer the lever.”

New operators find it easy too.

New operators find it easy too.

“It’s my first time driving a loader,” says Sheri Nelson, who was hired last year. “It’s very comfortable. I don’t have to twist and turn around; I can just use my mirrors. I can see everywhere I need to see. I just love it, it’s awesome.”

Larson realizes how communities struggle with cost, and waste has become a big expense for them. “So when you’re looking at equipment, cost is very important. And you don’t want to be forced into buying used equipment. The Komatsu was our first piece of heavy equipment and the deal by Komatsu financing was just too good to pass up.”

Service is great he says.

Service is great he says.

“When we needed a small part, SMS Equipment showed up pretty quickly. If you had to send someone to Saskatoon to pick up a part, you’d lose him for nearly a whole day.” That’s almost a game-changer, he adds.

The word gets around. “After we got our Komatsu we had other communities asking how we like it.”

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