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Grain silo

Discussion in 'Demolition' started by D&GExcavating, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. D&GExcavating

    D&GExcavating Senior Member

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    So is the art of taking down old stave silos with some sledge hammers, a couple wrenches, a bunch of steel cable and a dozer or excavator a lost art or what? You look on the internet and all you see are long reach demolition excavators and explosives. Just wondering what you guys think.
     
  2. clansing1

    clansing1 Well-Known Member

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    Silo Demolition

    As silos get older, and the concrete gets more deteriorated, the structure gets more unstable. An unstable structure can be very difficult to predict how it will react during demolition.

    We have demolished the silos with the method you describe in the past, but have stopped the practice.

    We demolish about a dozen silos a year, either steel or concrete, and have gotten very good at it. More often than not, the buildings are built very close to the silo, which makes the demolition more of a challange.
     
  3. EGS

    EGS Senior Member

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    What practice do you use?
     
  4. grandpa

    grandpa Senior Member

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    Be very careful around silo's when doing a demo.... they can kill you!!
     
  5. Greg

    Greg Senior Member

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    many times Amish farmers will take down concrete stave silos, move them and re-erect them around here. Otherwise we have done the sledge hammer, wrenches, cable and dozer thing if it does not endanger surrounding buildings. Or, hire the explosives guy to shoot it down if we don't like the looks of things. In the case of poured concrete silos we always shoot them down. Very quick, not real expensive and no chance of it coming down on somebody running a machine taking it down.
     
  6. Monte1255

    Monte1255 Senior Member

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    You got that right gramps! of course I almost found out the hard way.......... back in my younger and dumber days I knocked over a few silos with the hammer and sledge and was getting pretty good at it too! till the last one twisted as it came down and fell at 90 degrees to where it was supposed to. Happened that as I was in my run to get away from it I looked over my shoulder and thud! three feet behind me fell the last stave! What I didn't know then but do very deffinatly remember now was the fact that the bottom staves many times have hidden cracks that will cause blowouts or twisting as the silo topples. Another thing to remember is that even if you have a cable on the top, unless you have a cable that is substantial the weight of the silo falling crooked will snap that cable and still kill the person below it...... I could go on and on about this subject, but I will say there are only about two ways of taking a silo down relatively safely. one is to fill the silo for the last time and keep taking the top rings of staves off as the unloader works it's way down......... this way is very time consuming sure but a lot safer. The second is the long boom ex..... and........... a Professional operator . don't half way your safety sirs.........unless you want to be seeing the man down below in a hell of a hurry.
     
  7. mitch504

    mitch504 Senior Member

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    I hope I'm gonna see the man above, Monte....being stupid ain't a sin.:D
     
  8. Monte1255

    Monte1255 Senior Member

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    I hear what your saying Mitch, and your right being stupid ain't a sin........... I was just referring to the way a silo could pound a person right into their afterlife.....

    If being stupid was a sin well heck the devil himself is got a special place for me then.........LOL
     
  9. grandpa

    grandpa Senior Member

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    Well if the devil is so mad at you Monte that he makes you live in Minnesota,, what do you suppose Tiny must have done to be sentenced to Kansas City? bwah ha ha
     
  10. Monte1255

    Monte1255 Senior Member

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    :
    He tried to fix his brake lines.........what else?:D
     
  11. D&GExcavating

    D&GExcavating Senior Member

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    Thats the only way we have ever taken down silos. I don't know anybody around the area that has ever hauled in a long reach or hired a blasting crew
     
  12. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    We've taken down quit a few but always cable the top and have something hooked to them just in case, still it takes a lot of time and money to get them down, so if anyone wants to run around and use just a sledge hammer to knock them down, good luck, I'll watch from a safe distance and see how it all works out. There are some we won't take down though, they are way too dangerous for me to work on.

    I'm also curious Montee, with the taking them down as you go as they are unloaded how does that work if you don't have a tripod to hold the unloader in place, all the silo's I've ever seen either had ring drive unloaders or surface ground wheel drive unloaders and you still needed the cable to hold them off the silage as you unloaded them, only a jamesway unloader that sat on the silage and had the bullet pulled up the center would work like you described, all others need the cable to support the unloader?

    Upright silos of any make are sure a thing of the past, at one time we had 6 we used every day, and now they are either gone or abandoned for good, bunkers have taken the market over completely and for plenty of good reasons. I too have seen the excavator demo's on the net, looks way too dangerous to me, I'd think blowing them with explosives would be a safer way to do it to me.

    Last year a guy near me almost got killed trying to knock over a cement stave silo with an excavator, it landed on his cab and crushed the cab, he got out but was in critical condition the last I heard, by the looks of the machine, its a miracle he even survived.
     
  13. Monte1255

    Monte1255 Senior Member

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    Randy:

    If a farmer wants to take a silo down by unloading as they go they simply have to reset the tripod once a week or so. Tripods are not all that hard to move once the roof is removed. I've seen a few taken down where the farmer simply filled them up for the last time, and once the silo was filled and the silage settled they went in the silo with tools and removed the roof, Once the roof was removed when the time came to lower the tripod one simply has to slack the cable, letting the weight of the unloader rest on the silage, go over to the wall and knock one layer of staves free, once the one layer is free the tripod leg will settle down the next 30" or so. total weight of most tripods is usually not much more than a few hundred lbs. However if settling the leg is not an option then temporary setup such as highlift jack and a chain may be needed to set each leg down slowly. Please keep in mind that the silage level on each descent should not be any lower than four or five feet from the top most rim. this will enable the person performing the descent a comfortable working height and a "reasonable" safety ledge so that they will not fall. In that respect as well I recommend a safety rope while working near that edge as well. My main point here is that tripods are only bulky to work with but they are relatively light and can be "persuaded" to settle the distance of one ring of staves at a time. In fairness to your method Randy I would like to say that this is a very time consuming method but sometimes it is the only method that can be used when working near other buildings where the risk of falling onto other structures is great. Also, every time I have seen this method used it has been the farmer doing it himself as he/she feeds the silage out over the course of another winter etc. What I am most afraid of is what happened to me one time when that silo I was taking down twisted and almost killed me in the process using the sledge hammer routine. (I was a lot younger and dumber then). One guy I know removed the unloader entirely and shoveled the feed by hand until the silo was down and empty. Of course this worked only because he was only milking 30 cows and did not need all that much feed very day so he opted to do it that way.
     
  14. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    Man the redefines patience to a whole new level there, we've taken the tripods out of a lot of silo's over the years and all you do is flip one leg up and in and let it fall to the bottom, but to mess around with doing it one layer at a time and then rewinch it every time and line the cable up again, holy cow that's a lot of fooling around, but as you described its totally doable. Around here when they are in confined spaces they hire someone to take them down just opposite as how they went up, dump out a dump truck of sand by the silo and then set up the scaffolding inside and start removing the bands and dropping the staves into the sand pile, if the staves are saved someone is down below removing them one at a time, it takes less than a day to tear one down by using this method, but those guys are getting fewer and further between.
     
  15. Monte1255

    Monte1255 Senior Member

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    I usually call Neisen silo nowadays, I guess one brush with a lump on the head is enough for me. If anyone wants their number just PM me I'll pass the number along.
     
  16. willie59

    willie59 Super Moderator

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    That doesn't sound like it was a pleasant experience monte. :eek:
     
  17. Monte1255

    Monte1255 Senior Member

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    In that particular case the last stave landed three feet behind me.......... like I said back when I was young and dumb. I could tell ya a few other horror stories as well about pto shafts and getting dragged up an elevator too ...... but I'll save that for another thread some time.
     
  18. carlsharp

    carlsharp Well-Known Member

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  19. D&GExcavating

    D&GExcavating Senior Member

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    I don't know what you guys think, but I thought this looked pretty dumb.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nksEVPQ6cvs

    I mean, he's using an old slow 225 to poke and prod the silo. It seems like that is asking for trouble.
     
  20. Monte1255

    Monte1255 Senior Member

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    Look closely at the way the silo was falling, it wasn't real apparent, but that silo started to fall slightly towards the operator and the Ex. If that silo had twisted and crumbled just a bit more it would have been right on top of him.