As in every field, demolition has its own high-tech solutions pushing forward progress. Some companies are riding the wave of cutting-edge demolition methods, while others lag behind, using outdated techniques. One forward-thinking demolition innovation, the high-reach excavator, improves accuracy and safety on the job.
High-reach excavators have a longer boom and arm to allow demolition operators to remain farther away from falling debris on medium-height buildings. The grapple and crusher attachments can be used at a greater distance with high-reach excavators. Without this tool, companies must rely more frequently on one of the world’s oldest demolition methods, the chain and wrecking ball.
Turkish manufacturing firm HIDROMEK is producing exceptional long-reach excavators, such as the HMK220NLC. This powerful machine has a narrow chassis for improved navigation and a two-piece boom that can reach nearly 50 feet, or about five stories. This long span allows demolition operators to achieve improved accuracy over the wrecking ball.
But the 220NLC is by no means the longest-reaching excavator out there. At Elder Demolition, we use Jewell triple-boom excavators that can take down buildings and structures nearing 100 feet. These technologically advanced, high-reach excavators have booms capable of reaching 160 feet. With such advanced features as a computer controlled hydraulic system, an attachment camera monitoring system, 10-foot main boom extension and more, these excavators can accommodate the most challenging commercial or industrial demolition jobs.
Here are a few of the additional benefits we see by using long-reach excavators:
Improved accuracy. A wrecking ball is the epitome of a blunt instrument. Think of a long-reach excavator as a demolition scalpel, compared to the mallet of a wrecking ball. At the end of their reach, these excavators typically boast an interchangeable fastening system. Cylinder buckets, linkage and pins may be switched out quickly so the machine’s operator can select the best tool tip for the job at hand.
Increased efficiency. With more options for demolition methods (scooping, pinching, picking and so forth, according to the attachment used), operators can get more done in less time. We use long-reach excavators that can switch to shorter arms in a manner of hours. Without a flexible long-reach excavator, switching to alternative demolition methods could consume an entire day of work.
Improved worker safety. Long-arm excavators allow us to work at a greater distance from falling debris. This makes for fewer on-the-job accidents.
More flexibility in tight spots. High-density building is common in urban areas. Long-reach excavators allow us to operate in cramped spots, while still achieving excellent precision.