Every day, Leopold Kranl uses the excavator to move tons of recycling material around MGG Metrec’s premises in Amstetten. Now, however, the 46-year-old from Mauer is climbing out of his driver’s cab and gives information about his 186 hp workplace in the MGG relay interview, which has already become a tradition.
There are probably many boys who dream of becoming excavator drivers. Was that also one of your childhood dreams?
Leopold Kranl: Yes, you could say that. With me it was already like that as a little boy: The bigger the machines, the better. However, I first completed a tiling apprenticeship before I really switched to the big machines.
How was your journey from tiler to excavator driver here at MGG Metrec?
Kranl: After my apprenticeship, I worked as a truck driver in civil engineering. I was there for a group that connected gas pipes to the houses. Then 21 years ago I drove my first – still relatively light – excavator with 1.5 tons. That was so much fun for me that I became a full-time excavator driver. In spring 2011 I was looking for a new professional challenge and found it here at MGG Metrec in Amstetten. It’s simply fun here, with the big machines.
What is the fun in?
Kranl: You’d think that after so many years a lot would already be routine. But here every day is a new challenge, every situation, every material is different. At the moment I’m also a jumper, which is why I don’t just ride an excavator. I have the pleasure to drive all excavators. At the moment I am sitting on the scrap shear, where the working radius is limited by the fixed installation.
What does your daily routine look like on the scrap shear’s grab?
Kranl: At 7 o’clock in the morning we start. First you have to carry out all maintenance work and check the hydraulic oil. Then I clarify with my colleagues which material is needed before I sit down in my cabin and the work really begins. Then I have to fill the scissors and pay attention to the correct settings. If everything fits correctly, the scissors do their work automatically. All I have to do is make sure that it is full and runs smoothly – until 5 p.m. in the evening. Before I can enjoy the evening after work, I have to top up the oil and lubricate everything properly.
Kranl: So we excavator drivers at MGG Metrec can really count ourselves lucky. The machines are all equipped with air conditioning. Whether tropical temperatures in summer or sub-zero temperatures in winter, the excavator always has a pleasant temperature.
You have said that you work with many vehicles. Do you also have your “own” excavator?
Kranl: Yes, I only sit on other machines when my colleagues are on holiday. With my 29-ton Liebherr LH 30 I can be found in normal operation at the large shredder. The trucks then unload, the shredder is loaded and the shredded material is, of course, reloaded again in railroad carriages or trucks.
With the excavator on the large shredder, there are certainly other challenges compared to when you are working on the scrap shear – aren’t there?
Kranl: Yes, that’s where the car wrecks are finally dismantled. It can happen that cars with gas tanks or hybrid vehicles that are not suitable for such scrapping are delivered. Then you have to think carefully about how it can be lifted from A to B with the grabber. Safety always comes first, despite all the hustle and bustle, because big and heavy things are moved after all.
That’s why cooperation with colleagues is so important?
Kranl: Indeed, and fortunately the communication works optimally thanks to company radio. If necessary, we excavator drivers always have a mobile phone with us. But the most important thing is a personal conversation in the morning. After all, materials have also changed in recent years. The new shredder for electrical and electronic equipment has also increased the quantity considerably. This of course brings with it new challenges, which can often only be mastered through good cooperation.
What do you want for the future at MGG Metrec?
Kranl: As already mentioned, the bigger a machine is, the more exciting it is for me. That’s why I’d naturally like to see a 90-ton excavator. But seriously: There are no big wishes except to stay healthy – that is still the most important thing.
The balance between work and health also plays an important role. Hence the final question: How do you enjoy your free time?
Kranl: My two big hobbies are fishing and asphalt stick shooting. For me, a fulfilled life also includes good food – even if it may not be so healthy. So I just can’t resist a cup of coffee and a piece of cake.
Then we wish you continued good working hours on the big machines and the one or other sweet temptation to have a cup of coffee!
MGG is always looking for new environmental improvements and decided to use an electric material handler for the hydraulic shear. The advantage of course is that there is no diesel required to run the machine and thus there are no exhaust gases. Furthermore, the vibration-free drives and extremely low operating noise increases the comfort for the operator. Furthermore the Müller-Guttenbrunn Group team expects lower operating costs, not only as the machine operates electrically but also as it is expected that there will be significantly longer maintenance intervals and reduced maintenance costs (no need for fuel and oil filters/oil changes) compared with diesel engines.