Hawaiian Recycler Chooses Rebuild vs. Replacement

When thinking of Hawaii, visions of beaches, palm trees, sunshine and white sand come to mind. What you might not readily associate it with are the hundreds of thousands of tons of green waste produced annually.

In other circumstances, the waste could have been destined for landfill. But Oahu-based company, Hawaiian Earth Products, is dedicated to recycling the household rubbish and garden trimmings using its Volvo CE fleet. Its has 40 experienced staff members and more than 30 pieces of heavy equipment to complete the job on the secluded island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Just like new

To get the job done the company’s heavy equipment must work 16-hour schedules on a daily basis in what could be described as severe working conditions -- from hot and dusty, to cold and icy.

“We sometimes feel a bit isolated and don’t have access to all the heavy equipment services that Volvo owners on the mainland enjoy,” says Mark Cummings, vice president of operations for Hawaiian Earth Products. “That often means that our equipment has to remain in top form for longer periods of time.”

“Our first Volvo CE machine was a L220E wheel loader, says Cummings. “We worked it hard, clocking over 14,000 hours with no major problems. We loved that machine and we still do, so we bought another one. But our first L220E was beginning to show its age and when we looked at the cost of replacing or rebuilding it, it was all in the numbers.”

Volvo Construction Equipment’s dealer group, Clyde West Equipment in Seattle, was given the task of refurbishing the wheel loader.

“We were very pleased with the refurbishment cost estimate, so we loaded our beloved L220E onto a barge for the journey to Seattle," says Cummings. "I knew how I wanted this loader to look and perform. I was not disappointed. Our ‘like new’ L220E has worked flawlessly since its return home.”

Hawaiian Earth Products has made a corporate decision to refurbish rather than replace as much of its heavy equipment fleet as is practical. The center looks to double the life cycle of its equipment, which so far has been successful.

“The refurbishment of our loader was the highest quality rebuild that we have ever experienced,” Cummings states. “The machine looked, sounded and performed ‘factory new’ just as it did when we bought it in 2004.”