Heil Environmental has been awarded a U.S. patent for the design of the Python automated arm, which creates elliptical motion when lifting and dumping, rather than the circular motion of most automated arms. Heil says the result is smooth operation, cleaner dumping, fast cycle times, and none of the banging and shaking commonly associated with other lifts.
Heil says the patented design has some clear benefits to haulers’ bottom lines. The Python’s lift cycle time is just six to eight seconds, which makes it up to four seconds faster per stop than other systems. This can save at least an hour a day, for a potential cost savings of some $15,000 per year, per vehicle.
Python inventor Henry Hund also eliminated many maintenance concerns while increasing reliability with this design. Grabber gears and linkages on other automated arms have been big-ticket maintenance items in the past, lasting for an average of 500,000 cycles or about a year of use before requiring replacement at a cost of $1,200 to $1,500. Hund designed an enclosed oil bath gearbox for the Python to virtually eliminate grabber gear wear. Python grabber gears are expected to last at least eight years without replacement.
The Python can handle carts ranging in size from 30 gallons to 300 gallons, depending on the grabber options selected. It doesn’t rely on complicated electronics for its smoothness — just good design, geometry and three-inch cushioned John Deere cylinders. Operators use simple, easy-to-maintain air controls.
The Python can be mounted on popular Heil automated models such as the DuraPack Python, CP Python, MultiPack and others. The Heil Operate-at-Idle System, standard on every Heil automated refuse collection vehicle, allows the Python to be used at engine idle speed, saving up to a gallon of fuel an hour and enabling drivers to finish their routes up to 20 percent faster. The system also reduces wear and tear on the lift mechanism, engine and transmission, for fewer maintenance concerns.