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Why don’t Americans GET high reach excavators…?

Discussion in 'Demolition' started by CEwriter, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. CEwriter

    CEwriter Senior Member

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  2. dirt digger

    dirt digger Senior Member

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    i would say equipment and transportation costs have a lot to do with it as well...too many guys willing to risk it so other, safer companies, can't justify the added costs of one of these machines
     
  3. special tool

    special tool Senior Member

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    Uhhhhhhhh:pointhead
    What's with picture of that guy in that article?
    He looks like he's straight off the corner of Haight and Ashbury...
    (I would love to go into more detail, but I would get yelled at:D)
     
  4. digger242j

    digger242j Administrator

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    While the topic was the old school wrecking ball, there are pictures in this thread of Testa using a high reach machine in Lowell MA, which goes to prove that they're not totally unheard of on this side of the pond.

    Are they as rare here as the article would insinuate?

    Uhh, yeah. It's best we stay on topic...
     
  5. Buckethead

    Buckethead Senior Member

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    I don't think high reach demo machines are as uncommon as that article makes them out to be. I have personally seen a few of them demoing high rise buildings. As Dirtdigger pointed out above, moving and setting up a machine like that that needs to be disassembled to move is more expensive. They're not necessary unless higher reach is needed.
     
  6. 95zIV

    95zIV Senior Member

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    Don't we tend to do a bunch more of explosive demolition here? If we tend to do more of that style then we really don't need a high reach cause it's all in a pile already.
     
  7. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    I have to agree with 95V on the explosive demo. We do have a few of them in my area but the buildings really are not that old on the West Coast. Anything really old is wood frame and not real tall.

    I have worked on a couple Hitachi 60 foot plus and I know Rhine has a fleet of Kobelcos.
     
  8. Turbo21835

    Turbo21835 Senior Member

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    I find, at least in Michigan, that HRD machines just dont cut it. Most of the demolition around here is heavy industrial. Most of these buildings are heavy steel structures. Most HRD machines are not able to carry a big enough tool to cut this heavy steel. Making them slow, and inefficent. Its quicker to cut everything loose that you can with a 3rd member shear, then pull the legs out from underneath the upper structure.
     
  9. Iron Horse

    Iron Horse Senior Member

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    Well , the abbreviated thread title drew my eye . l thought , Cheech and Chong were Americans . :D:D:D
     
  10. demolitionnews

    demolitionnews Member

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    Hi Guys,

    I am Mark Anthony, the author of the original article upon which this thread is based, and I would just like to thank you for all your thoughts and contributions.
    Let me start by apologising for the photo - I have no idea what the corner of Haight and Ashbury looks like but I now have a pretty good idea...and I won't be visiting any time soon!
    Getting to the more serious matter under discussion, I do have a couple of comments.
    Firstly, as several of you have rightly said, high reach machines are not unheard of in the US. However, there are two key differences between the current US population of HRD machines, and those in Europe: number per company; and size.
    I am based just outside London and I can tell you that even some of the smaller contractors who work purely in a section of the capital might have 5, 10 or even more high reach machines of varying sizes. In addition, while a few years ago a 30 metre (100 feet) machine was considered large, these are now commonplace with many UK and European contractors having exceeded 40 and 50 metres. Indeed, here in the UK, there are several machines that top the 60 metre (200 feet) mark, and there are more to come.
    Turning to the point made by Turbo21835, it's interesting that while there HAS been an increase inthe height of these machines, there is now a side growth in machines capable to handling a far bigger tool. The UK-based excavator modifier Kocurek (www.kocurek.com) is currently working on a series of machines that can carry tools of 5 tonnes plus. Meanwhile, the attachments manufacturers are developing ever bigger, more powerful tools to match these machines (like this one for example: http://************/lpjwv9).
    Another point that has been raised is that the US seems to prefer the use of explosives. Having spent the past 20+ years watching US implosions on the TV, I would certainly support that argument, and I believe that a major contributory factor is the sheer amount of space that you guys have to operate in, a luxury that we in the UK and Europe are rarely afforded.
    However, I also believe that suggesting that explosives do the same job as a high reach machine is missing a key point. One of the key reasons that UK and European contractors achieve such high recycling and reuse rates is because materials are sorted and segregated as part of the controlled deconstruction process. I am sure that even the most dedicated explosives man will agree that sorting and separating materials is easier with the structure standing up than it is with it reduced to a pile of rubble.
    What I find fascinating here is that the world of demolition speaks a universal language. Regardless of mother tongue, demolition contractors have a common bond that unites them. And yet, when it comes to the selection of methods, the US and Europe are (at least partly) separated by more than just language and an expanse of water.
    Just one quick, and final point. I was one of the co-authors on a set of guidance notes for the safe use of high reach machines. If anyone would like a copy, just to see what all the fuss is about, please let me know.
    And thanks once again for all your input and contributions.
     
  11. amunderdog

    amunderdog Senior Member

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    Time is money.
    The quickest safest way to get a building down and out of the way wins.
    Implode it then sort and load seems to be the winner.
    Another thing to put in the calculation is materials used to construct the building.
    Implosions seem to rule the concrete type buildings.
    But i saw awhile back an all steel explosive demolition http://gizmodo.com/387522/nasa-launch-complex-gets-demolished-bounces-back it was interesting to watch.
     
  12. demolitionnews

    demolitionnews Member

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    Fair comment - I am currently trying to get a UK or European contractor to enter the fray here as I am sure they would have far more insight than a mere journalist!
    I think, however, that one of the differences here is that UK and European/Scandinavian contractors are increasingly required to prove their environmental credentials BEFORE work commences. That means minimum noise, dust, vibration and, of course, maximum recycling and reuse of materials.
     
  13. digger242j

    digger242j Administrator

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    First, demolitionnews, welcome to Heavy Equipment Forums. :)

    My sense of the situation is that recycling practices are not driven so much by the savings realized from re-use of materials, as they are by the cost of disposal of waste materials. Here, we simply haven't reached the point where it's profitable to recycle 90+ % of demolition materials. Once it becomes so, either through market forces or legislation, we'll jump on the bandwagon too.

    In other words, in the UK and Europe, contractors can make a more money through high rates of recycling, than by the old fashioned way of squashing it up and taking it to the landfill. Here, it remains the other way around.
     
  14. thodob

    thodob Well-Known Member

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    the waste cost drives the sorting rate and thus the way of demolition. Using oilquick makes us change from eg grapple to shear quite rapid and therefore reduce the need for manual work. We always emphasize using machine force in stead of manual work due to HSE demands.

    [​IMG]

    implosions are much cooler tho :usa
     
  15. demolitionnews

    demolitionnews Member

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    Nice photo; where's that from?
     
  16. thodob

    thodob Well-Known Member

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    i think its from a demo project in oslo, large industry facility
     
  17. Jack Westwood

    Jack Westwood Member

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    From A UK Point of veiw I think its lazynes and Cost. There Are HRD Machines Out there in america, CAT Build them out of their factorys and I Know theres companys that are the US equivulent of Kocurek like Jewell but contractors would rather buy a bog standard 20 tonner with a thumb to knock a building down.
    But there are companys out there that are not using Specialised equipment or cab gaurds that are'nt Required by law like in the UK which i think is appualing, We have all seen pictures of how they have saved lives and some companys in america work with out glass in the cab let alone a gaurd, Only the other day on mega structures an old CAT With no cab Glass was pulverisng an old building with concrete flying everywhere. But tjose companys are getting the Job done with out millions of pounds worth of High reach excavator.

    my 50p's worth
     
  18. Hendrik

    Hendrik Senior Member

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    and getting workers killed in the process.
     
  19. Jack Westwood

    Jack Westwood Member

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    Oh, Believe me, I wasnt enouraging this, I was stating the facts.
     
  20. digger242j

    digger242j Administrator

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    I'm assuming you're saying that demolition work in the US is measurably more fatal than elsewhere. Do you have a source that says that?

    The reason I ask is that I just went googling around for any sort of statistical comparison, and statistics on demolition-specific fatalities are kind of hard to find. It at least doesn't seem to stand out from the rate of fatalities in the construction industry in general...