Porter Press Extra: Global Metal Solutions

By: Cameron Officer, Photography by: Cameron Officer


Global Metal Solutions recently introduced two Hyundai R210W-9MHs to their fleet

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Two Hyundai R210W-9 MHs have recently been introduced to the fleet

Writing about machinery and those who own and operate it brings with it plenty of satisfaction for a variety of reasons. One of the top ones, however, is certainly the privilege of tracking a company that does what it does exceptionally well through equally exceptional growth over the course of many years.

This report counts as my third visit to Kiwi-owned Global Metal Solutions’ (GMS) operations but only my first to this particular location. When I initially met GMS owner/director Craig Tuhoro in 2014, his Hamilton materials recycling yard had only been open a couple of years.

Taking plenty of experience in the industry into account, he had branched out on his own. The machine I was there to check-out back then—a Porter Equipment-supplied Hyundai R210W-9 MH applications excavator (materials hander)—was the first machine wearing the Korean manufacturer’s nameplate that Craig had invested in.

Fast-forward three years and several other Hyundai machines had joined the GMS fleet, including another two Hyundai R210W-9 MHs as well as a Hyundai R180LC-9 excavator, each fulfilling different roles at the busy Hamilton yard and utilising a variety of different attachments, such as rotating grabs, grapples, and magnets for separating out materials.

That was back in 2017. Now, here in 2020 (we’re averaging a story on GMS every three years at this point, so we’ll be sure to update you again in 2023), the company has expanded even further.

Craig and his team have opened up another branch of GMS in New Plymouth in the intervening years, while a third site—in South Auckland—opened its gates in November last year.

New location

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Like the other GMS sites, the first thing that strikes you about the Papakura yard (aside from its 15,000m² size) is just how orderly everything seems. The company has always appeared to take the ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’ approach to yard organisation.

And things are certainly no different here, with long neat avenues of (predominantly) car bodies demarcating traffic flow and ferrous and non-ferrous material processing areas, all on acres of solid concrete.

GMS’ Auckland trading manager and site supervisor, Jonathon Te Whare, says that the new location finally gives the company a foothold in the busy Auckland market; it’s the bricks-and-mortar realisation of a long process, which Jonathon has been involved with right from the start.

"It took us awhile to find the right commercial yard, but now that we’ve established ourselves here, there’s plenty of activity," he says.

"When you establish a new yard, you have to ensure you’ve got enough of a stockpile to feed the machinery, so we’ve spent the last few months working towards amassing a 5000-tonne stockpile. The last thing you want to do is start processing and then, 300 tonnes in, have to slow everything down again; it’s just not an efficient way to work."

New machinery

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The new Hyundai HL730-9 wheel loader is tasked with moving bulk material around the yard

To help ensure that efficiency into the future, GMS has, once again, invested in machinery for the new yard that’s supplied by Porter Equipment. These heavy-duty machines include another 25.7-tonne Hyundai R210W-9 MH—the model of materials handler that has certainly now taken on the ‘worker ant’ role at all of GMS’ sites these days.

Additionally, a new Hyundai HL730-9 wheel loader (the entry-point to Hyundai’s 15-model strong wheel loader line-up) is tasked with moving bulk material around the yard, while inside the processing warehouse, an ASV RS-75 compact track loader has proven itself a nimble tool, its pocket knife-like abilities fulfilling a variety of roles.

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The ASV RS-75 compact track loader has proven itself a nimble tool

Hyundai manufactures a variety of applications excavators for the metal recycling and demolition industries. With their rising and tilting cabs and wheeled undercarriages, the ‘dash 9’ materials handlers are the stars of the show in this environment, however.

"They’re good machines, easy to operate, and very reliable too," continues Jonathon.

"We invest in new machinery because there’s just too much of a risk to the operation if you’re relying on older gear.

One breakdown could bring your whole operation to a standstill and we can’t afford for that to happen, so if the guys are using new machines, then there’s much less chance of an issue.

"It also helps to have a distributor like Porter Equipment behind the machines. It’s the Porter people that make the difference. They’re great to deal with, and we’ve been using their gear for long enough now that they know what we expect of anything we’re purchasing to put into our operation.

They know how we operate and what will work on our sites. I’d say whenever it comes to extending our fleet, they’d be the first people we call." Jonathon also says having staff who look after the machinery is key to maintaining a reliable fleet.

"We pride ourselves on operating tidy sites and that extends to our machinery. We want it to be in good condition and our guys all understand that. It helps everybody out.

"Nine years ago, we started out with a couple of utes and no customers. Now, GMS is the
second-biggest operator in the country," he says.

"We’ve always been ambitious, but we’ve never wanted to rush things. We’re a close-knit team despite now being spread across three locations. We all know each other well, and we look to get the right people working for us. That includes our suppliers as well, and we know that Porters will look after us and our machines so we can continue to get the job done."

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