Wanless Waste Management’s Journey with Volvo Construction

As published in Waste Management Review

Wanless Waste Management’s remarkable trajectory began with the acquisition of Hunter Brothers Waste more than 30 years ago. From humble beginnings, the business flourished into a multi-faceted company with operation units spanning Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. Its services encompass diverse waste management solutions, from local council landfill management to e-waste recycling initiatives at its Kemps Creek site in Western Sydney.

“Wanless Waste Management has seen considerable growth in recent years, with our clients recognising the importance of waste management and recycling in their business operations,” says Peter Toole, Wanless Waste Management Project Manager – offering insight into the company’s journey, and Volvo machinery’s pivotal role in their operations.

Reflecting on his nearly 30-year tenure in waste management, Peter reminisces, “My first exposure to waste management was through the Benedict Group in 1995. There has been so much change in waste management and recycling since then, and the sum of what I have learned has enabled me to play a part in the Wanless story.

“My role sees me engaging in the procurement of new capital items, assisting with the design of new processing systems, overseeing development applications and construction projects for the company.”

The Decision to Invest in Volvo Construction Machinery

Peter elaborates on Wanless’s decision to employ Volvo Construction machinery, stating, “Wanless relies on Volvo excavators, wheel loaders and dump trucks across our facilities in New South Wales and Queensland. These machines are used for processing soils and mixed wastes at these sites, enabling us to meet the diverse needs of our customers.

“Our Volvo excavators also work across practically every job we undertake, including loading e-waste into our recycling line, processing mattresses, sorting mixed wastes and screening soils.”

Wanless Waste Management’s decision to purchase Volvo Construction Equipment was driven by the collective recognition of the automotive group’s superior quality and operator comfort. Peter explains, “We had several staff inspect a variety of brands of equipment, and Volvo stood out for its operator-friendly features, which is incredibly important given the time spent in the machines each day. We have always appreciated the quality of Volvo equipment, making it easy to support the wishes of our staff.

“The first Volvo machines we delivered replaced older excavators and wheel loaders. The improved availability and productivity were immediately apparent, and our staff were able to work more effectively due to the improved comfort and reduced fatigue during each shift.”

Volvo Excavators Leading the Way at Wanless Facilities

In addition to enhancing operational efficiency, Volvo excavators have significantly contributed to safety improvements at Wanless facilities. Peter emphasises, “Safety is paramount in our operations, and Volvo’s advancements in quick hitches, safety rails and stairs have enhanced the safety of our employees while optimising machine usability.”

Peter also highlighted other notable features of Wanless’s equipment that have led to safer operations, “At times, the materials we handle can be dusty”, he explains, “We decided to put optional reversing fans into our equipment, which has proved to be really useful. We also have wheel loaders delivered with L5 tyres, which helps prevent punctures, and all machines have guards on the windscreens.”

Peter emphasised the significance of aligning equipment choices with environmental goals. He highlighted Volvo excavators as a cornerstone of Wanless’s sustainability strategy, noting their longevity and eco-conscious design. “When we purchase Volvo equipment, we understand that when we have finished with it, it will have another life elsewhere,” Peter remarks. “The quality of the equipment, as well as the parts and technical support, means these machines have a long and productive lifespan, making Volvo a sustainable choice for us.”

Partnering for Success

Beyond the equipment itself, Peter also emphasised the importance of after-sales support and parts availability, echoing a sentiment shared by many waste management professionals, “An excavator parked up for weeks waiting on parts from overseas is a source of immense frustration,” he notes, “It’s essential to avoid investing in machinery that lacks support for parts and technical assistance.

“We have dealt with the same CJD Equipment Rep for every Volvo excavator and wheel loader purchase,” Peter points out. “Having a partner who understands our business needs makes a significant difference in such important decisions.”

Wanless’s experience with Volvo machinery extends beyond mere functionality; it’s a testament to the brand’s reliability and durability in demanding waste management environments. Peter shared that Volvo machines continue to perform exceptionally well despite years of rigorous operations.

“In fact, we recently sent a couple of used Volvo machines to one of our Queensland branches. The manager of the business unit reported back that even though the machines were a few years old, they still presented well, and operated as they would have from new,” Peter says. “And these machines had worked full time for several years in a tough waste environment. It’s impressive, to say the least.”