Sheffield based Norwood Metals has recently changed its allegiance from one material handler manufacturer by taking delivery of their first new Atlas machine for their yard on the outskirts of Killamarsh.

The company process in excess of 12,000 tonnes of metals per year at their base and for almost two decades of trading have used material handling equipment from the likes of Hymac and Poclain before settling on Liebherr machines. With the requirement for a replacement front-line material handler beckoning, Managing Director Jamie Hull looked at a variety of leading manufacturers before agreeing to purchase a new 350MH from nearby Atlas dealer for the UK, TDL. “We keep our cranes on front-line duties for up to 10 years and wanted a reliable, productive and economical loader.” Jamie explains “The specification of the Atlas along with testimonials from other users and a very comprehensive package put forward by TDL Equipment gave us the confidence in changing brands.”


The 36-tonne machine has replaced a similar sized Liebherr handler and has impressed the operations team at Norwood significantly since its arrival earlier in 2019. Regular operator Pete Jacques has been operating a variety of plant and machinery for over four decades and reckons the Atlas is by far the smoothest machine he has operated for a number of years. Powered by a tried and trusted Deutz 6-cylinder, 245hp diesel engine the Atlas machine is a dedicated material handler from the ground up. The 5m long heavy-duty chassis is fitted with heavy-duty axles fitted, each rated at 56 tonnes and is fitted with a pair of hydraulic stabilisers at each end to ensure the machine remains stable even under full load cross-carriage. The large diameter slew ring supports the upper structure complete with its hydraulically elevating cabin which lifts the driver’s eye-line from almost 3m up to 5.5m. The well-appointed cabin is laid out with easy to read instrumentation and clear and simple switchgear, all within easy reach of the operator. A fully adjustable suspension seat allows the operator to set up the position precisely to their own requirements. The operator is well protected from potential harm thanks to bullet proof glazing and a substantial ROPS and FOPS guard. Operator acceptance of the Atlas is high across the industry thanks to the well laid out cab and its large glazed areas providing an excellent view from the seat. Pressurised to stop the ingress of dust and with a heating and cooling system designed to give the operator a pleasant working environment at any time of year.

Front end equipment on the 350MH comprises of a 10.6m straight boom with a 7.75m stick and is completed with a sturdy and industry respected Atlas five-tine grab with a 1.5m3 capacity. The day-to-day operations carried out at the yard require the Atlas to undertake the majority of stacking and sorting operations. A number of smaller material handlers undertake the sorting of incoming material whilst the bulk of the work falls under the remit of the Atlas including the loading of bulk tippers when time comes to remove the material to an end processor.


Availability is a key factor in Norwood’s purchasing decisions and testimonials from existing Atlas customers vouched for the longevity and reliability that comes from the Deutz engined material handler. The 6.1 litre engine sits low inside the upper structure allowing the operator a relatively unimpeded view across the rear of the machine. Large gullwing canopies open up on either side of the body to allow unrestricted access to the cooling pack on one side and the hydraulic system on the other. A key feature on the loader is a reversing fan on the cooling pack. Automatically engaged, the fan clears the radiator cores at regular intervals resulting in lower dust and debris build up which would eventually decrease the machine’s performance.


The machine’s performance from day one has impressed the team at Norwood. “It’s proving to be a reliable and productive machine.” Jamie comments “We believe we have made the best purchase for our company with the Atlas.”