Belgium: Van Lathem Galmart uses the Arocs as an all-rounder

Economics & Logistics

Waste with added value.

Van Lathem Galmart specialises in transportation and recycling and has been a Mercedes‑Benz customer for many years. The Arocs is used intensively throughout the company.

There is a busy coming and going at the Van Lathem Galmart (VLG) premises in Belgian Halle. The company’s red and yellow vehicles dominate the scene, but a lot of other trucks come to unload their waste where it is processed by the transportation and recycling specialist from Flemish Brabant. The VLG plant has more than three shredders, a stone crusher and all kinds of screening machines with which the company produces different types of so-called residual fraction.

“Today our company comprises four divisions: transport, logistics, recycling and container hire,” says Chantal Galmart. Together with her husband, Gorik Van Lathem, she manages the family-run company with roots going back to 1965. That was when her parents founded a transportation company and many of the then customers from the construction sector are still customers today. Gorik’s parents had specialised in excavation work. “The combination of these two specialities formed the basis of Van Lathem Galmart,” says Chantal Galmart. A basis, which by degrees, was perfectly complemented by the recycling of construction and demolition waste.

“It is our goal to transform all types of waste into high-quality, certified products which can be recycled as raw materials on construction sites and in roadworks,” Gorik Van Lathem explains. Thus wood, for example, is granted a second or third life as chipboard, plywood or medium-density fibreboard and finally even a fourth life as fuel.

Obviously the company’s strong growth has had an effect on the fleet. It comprises around 60 vehicles; half of which are operated by VLG Trans and the other half by VLG Logistics. More than 85 percent of all the trucks are Mercedes‑Benz vehicles. Most of the trucks at VLG Trans are equipped with a hydraulic crane and a grabber for deliveries to road construction sites, demolition work and excavation operations. VLG uses trucks with container lifting systems to pick up and remove waste at construction sites. “Our new Arocs 3343 with a container system has a very short wheelbase so that we can manoeuvre optimally on private land or at horticulturists,” Gorik Van Lathem explains.

VLG Logistics deals mainly with the supply of material and equipment to construction sites for civil engineering projects. “Our trucks with a crane are excellent for this – just like our towing vehicles with a crane which are used in conjunction with a suitable trailer,” says Chantal Galmart.

VLG Logistics also specialises in the transportation of abnormal loads for which an escort is unnecessary. The cranes on the VLG Logistics vehicles are there to optimise the service for customers. This also applies to both Arocs 2842 6x2 which were put into operation just recently. A trailing axle for areas that are difficult to access, a 19-metre/tonne Palfinger crane and a seven-metre long load area built in accordance with the new load-securing standards also increase the operational capability and possibilities of these vehicles.

Strong fleet: most of the trucks at VLG are equipped with a hydraulic crane and a grabber for deliveries to road construction sites.

VLG’s clear preference for Mercedes‑Benz vehicles is based on many factors. “We have our own workshop and are responsible for the maintenance of our trucks, trailers and machines. The Arocs is very easy to maintain so that Mercedes‑Benz scores well in this area. In addition, the availability of spare parts is also an advantage. Just recently we sold our last 25-year old Mercedes‑Benz SK,” says Gorik Van Lathem. A first-generation Actros is still part of the fleet. Thanks to the availability of spare parts and the quality of Mercedes‑Benz, the trucks bearing the three-pointed star in the VLG fleet have a long life cycle. “Further more, the Actros and Arocs also score points in terms of comfort and reliability,” Gorik Van Lathem confirms.

Photos: Dirk Willemen