Demolition magazine - Issue #32

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DEMOLITION The industry magazine like no other

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INSITE Calling the Thought Leaders

Many moons ago, back when I still believed that wordsmithery might hold the key to my fame and fortune, I met with a business consultant. Much of what he said was nonsense. But he did suggest that – at the time – I spent “too much time working in my business, and not enough time working ON my business”. More than 30 years later, that is a low-level crime that I continue to commit on a regular basis. And I fear I am not alone. If you work within the demolition industry, much of your time is spent getting paid for what you did in the recent past or multiple ball juggling to ensure that you remain on top of the present. The likelihood is that you will have precious little time for any kind of meaningful crystal ball gazing into the medium to long term future. All too often, demolition is a hand-to-mouth existence in which the needs of the present outweigh any aspirational planning for the future. How then will the industry make its next big leap? What the industry needs are “thought leaders”; individuals that can take a step back from all we currently know, to look ahead to what might be, and to set a course to take us there. I am ill-equipped to take up that mantle. For one thing, I don’t work IN demolition; I work in a separate but parallel universe that is slightly less dusty and where coffee and biscuits are readily available. However, what I lack in real demolition experience, I make up for in two key areas. Firstly, and if I say so myself, I occasionally deliver a deft turn of phrase; my spelling is pretty good, my grammar is just the right side of average; and I am not afraid to stand up even if it means being shot at or shot down. Secondly, I have a GLOBAL audience. More than 60,000 people log onto each month. Factor in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, and we have a reach of well over a quarter of a million people around the world. So I am calling upon the thought leaders to make yourselves heard. I am throwing open our doors and welcoming in those that want to make a difference; those that wish to shape the industry in the future. Our audience is your audience. Let’s hear what you have to say.

EDITORIAL Mark Anthony 24 West Gardens, Ewell, Epsom, Surrey KT17 1NE 07973 465 166 SALES Ben Chambers 01903 899942 Charlotte Lane 01903 899941 GENERAL ENQUIRIES 01903 899823 PRODUCED & PUBLISHED BY Chambers Media Ltd Suite 5 & 6, Chapel House, 1-6 Chapel Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN11 1EX 01903 952640 Demolition is published 6 times a year by Chambers Media Ltd. The subscription rate is £60 per year. Subscription records are maintained at Chambers Media Ltd, Unit 1, Chatsworth House, 39 Chatsworth Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN11 1LY Articles and information contained in this publication are the copyright of Demolition Publications and may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publishers. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to, uncommissioned photographs or manuscripts.


Leading the AI Race While other sectors boast of advances in artificial intelligence (AI), construction is now taking the lead, believes a panel of experts from Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE).

Construction has a reputation for lagging behind other industries in terms of new technologies and embracing change. But, according to Johanna Huggare, Manager Intelligent Machine Platforms at Volvo Construction Equipment, that Luddite reputation is changing rapidly. “When it comes to equipment manufacturers – and particularly here at Volvo – we have a lot of applications that are well suited to autonomous solutions,” Huggare insists. “Maybe construction is waking up late, but we’re waking


up to a technology that is now ripe for use in real world applications.” This is a view that is shared by research engineer Torbjörn Martinsson. “I would argue construction is about to take the lead in the autonomous race. Here at Volvo CE, we already have automation up and running with workable concept machines, something that the automotive industry hasn’t caught up to yet. We have the perfect playground for these technologies: fenced areas, restrictive rules and simple repetitive applications. And with construction being an industry

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stuff with inherent risks, if we can remove humans from the ground into more remote operation, then we will see huge benefits for site safety.”

Big Data

Such developments are not without obstacles, however. “AI needs large chunks of data in order to work, which is partly why industries like finance, banking and entertainment have been some of the most successful early adopters,” explains Christian Grante, Director Emerging Technologies. “Nowadays, these technologies are developing extremely fast for construction – particularly when it comes to mobile machines and the area of ‘perception’, or obstacle detection. It’s only lately that we’ve got the computational capacity that makes it feasible.” So does Volvo CE have access to the large amounts of data required? “We are starting to get more and more data out of our machines and that is allowing us to build the infrastructure we need to develop really advanced algorithms. Already we’ve made huge advances in the after-market sector, customer support and mobile applications,” Grante continues. “And now, with even more data at our fingertips, we will soon be able to use AI for more things, such as automation and driver support systems. It’s an evolution.” Of course, the harnessing of AI and advanced technology is nothing new to Volvo. “It started almost 20 years ago with intelligent subfunctions such as the Volvo ‘Fully Automatic Power Shift’ and then followed by our patented ‘Reverse By Braking’ function. While they are not specifically using AI, they are very intelligent functions and have since opened the door to more sophisticated machine learning,” Martinsson says. “Since then we have built a system of networks, Volvo Assist, all of which use intuitive location technology to save time and energy on those everyday site tasks.”


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stuff Fundamental Change

But this is not technology for the sake of technology. In fact, it has allowed Volvo engineers to look at the very fundamentals of organising a site for maximum safety and efficiency. “We asked ourselves: ‘How could AI be used to help with navigation, deciding the most appropriate paths and routes and detecting obstacles?’ When we presented the HX1 autonomous concept hauler – a real physical machine that was tested and proven to work on real construction sites – it was a major breakthrough. The HX1 concept is a genuine point of pride for us here at Volvo CE. There isn’t anything like it, even when compared to the automotive industry.” The HX1 is unquestionably a technological breakthrough. But Volvo is not done yet. “Eventually we want to be in the position where one operator can handle more than one machine. From a purely technical perspective, our research has already taken us close to achieving this,” Grante suggests. “Another possibility for the future

is for us to really customise the behaviour of our machines, so that they fit a very specific application.”

One Small Step

It is clear that the development of the HX1 concept has broadened the horizons of thinking at Volvo. In fact, the company’s designers and researchers are looking way beyond what is currently possible. “The HX1 concept was the first step and we have proved it can work. Now we will do the same with our wheel loaders and excavator concepts. As we progress, this will change the way we design our machines. We talk about the opportunity to work 24-7 and 365 days a year. AI and autonomous technology will help make this a reality,” says Torbjörn Martinsson. “Enabled by this technology it’s not so far-fetched to think that one day autonomous construction machines could be used in off-earth space mining applications.” Closer to home, this technology has the potential to change the very nature of construction and demolition sites. “One tangible difference will be the ability to


remove humans from the active areas of the site and allow them to work more safely and efficiently remotely. But we’ll also start seeing the layout of a site change – such as where we store piles of material. AI gives us these endless possibilities to make efficiencies,” Johanna Huggare concludes. “Construction has a reputation of being conservative and traditional. But I would argue the opposite. The AI shift may have started elsewhere but we are now ahead of the game. The industry is waking up to the possibilities of AI – that it will make things safer and more efficient. You only have to be in one of these autonomous machines for a minute before you start to feel comfortable and trust every decision it makes. And when we meet our customers, they tell us they want to buy our prototype machines today.” Artificial Intelligence (AI), autonomous machines and humanfree demolition sites are the subject of a book – Demolition 2051 – by Demolition magazine editor Mark Anthony. You can buy a copy exclusively from Amazon: https://


AR Reinvigorates Remediation AR Demolition has continued investing in its business with a revitalised earthworks and soil remediation team.

in 2007 and, following a period of restructuring and stabilisation in 2017, the company reported a record start to 2018 and is shortly to announce this year’s turnover figures and profits. The latest investment follows significant investment in new plant and machinery, including £1.5 million spent on three new cutting-edge high reach Kiesel machines in 2018 after previous investment of £1 million in 2016. AR Demolition is also unique among small demolition contractors in having its own aggregates recycling facility, at its AR Aggregates urban quarry in nearby Leicester.

The East Midlands-based firm has taken on a new team of earthworks and remediation specialists, to rejuvenate its offering in providing the full suite of demolition-related enabling functions. The team will be led by AR Demolition’s operations director Matt Barrow, who formerly headed up the operational delivery of the remediation arm at Keltbray following a decade in civil engineering and soil stabilisation roles. He is joined by compliance manager Felicity Barnard, an industry-proven remediation professional who brings an MSc in Environmental Science alongside a certificate of technical competence to her new role. AR Demolition is also actively recruiting to support growth in this discipline. “Earthworks and remediation have always been part of AR Demolition’s armoury. Now we have a dedicated team with a specialist skillset so

we can relaunch our offering, communicating to current and future clients that we can provide a turnkey solution for fully enabled construction-ready sites,” Barrow says. “We will bring AR Demolition’s customer-focused, innovative approach across the board, from inception to planning, asbestos removal, demolition, right through to remediation and earthworks. What this specialist knowledge will provide is bespoke, collaborative, design-led solutions for our clients. We have a comprehensive understanding of the relevant regulations and we can manage the process – through planning and delivery to sign-off. As AR Demolition rejuvenates its business and its offering, it’s really exciting to be part of a genuinely innovative company, which wants to place clients first and has designs on revolutionising the image and the work of the demolition industry.” AR Demolition was founded by managing director Richard Dolman


Dolman says that he and the leadership team at AR Demolition is keen to develop the company into a new type of demolition contractor, one where quality, safety and innovation – particularly in terms of sustainability and recruitment – were placed at the forefront. “Our revamped remediation service is another example of how we are looking to offer our clients a spectrum of services where quality and innovation stand alongside sustainability and efficiency. Matt and his team will provide a valuable service that we hope can play an important role, not just in providing our customers with the best possible service but also to help with urban regeneration,” Richard Dolman concludes. “AR Demolition is gradually turning into the company we have all visualised – it’s an exciting time for all of us here and great to see our continued development, setting an example for what a small demolition contractor of the 21st Century can be.”

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Code reD Reducing emissions from NRMM with alternative fuels by Rebecca Swann, Product Manager for Fuels and Services at Certas Energy It is an uncomfortable truth that there is no single fuel solution to the air quality problem for the construction sector. Despite advocating the use of alternative fuels where it is convenient, safe and commercially acceptable to do so, an investigation by HM Treasury and DEFRA into the high volumes of red diesel being used for non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) goes no further in setting out confident recommendations to lower emissions.

With so many solutions available in the new liquid energy mix yet no clear directive, where can construction businesses start to make quick wins that can propel them on the path towards a netzero emission future?

What’s holding back uptake of cleaner alternatives?

The UK has set ambitious targets to reduce emissions of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOX) and particulate matter (PM). As a result,

businesses are under pressure to transition to cleaner technologies that can improve local air quality and minimise health impacts of emissions from construction sites. But in the case of NRMM, this is easier said than done. NRMM requires the sudden and powerful burst of energy that is delivered by the combustion of diesel. So it can be difficult to switch to other energy sources that can pack the same punch. While NRMM is subject to emission standards, many construction businesses seek to prolong the operating life of their existing equipment due to the significant cost of upgrading to new machinery. This older ‘legacy’ equipment can produce higher levels of air pollutants due to less stringent standards when the product was manufactured. Yet to move all legacy NRMM to machinery that meets Stage V standards would be prohibitively expensive. A lack of infrastructure also means that construction businesses must



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stuff be realistic when evaluating how they can most effectively power the transition to lower emissions on construction sites - especially when it comes to electrification. In fact, many respondents to the recent consultation on NRMM believe that - at this time - no viable cleaner alternatives are available. This is simply not the case. The technologies do exist to tackle emissions from NRMM and improve local air quality immediately - without causing disruption or requiring investment in new machinery. At the same time, it must be acknowledged that low levels of uptake are first and foremost a commercial (not necessarily a technical) challenge. Without incentive, and while the tax rebate on red diesel remains so attractive, the case for investing in the majority of alternative technologies is a difficult one to build. As much as this is a challenge, it also represents a huge opportunity for wider uptake to have an immediate and tangible impact on air quality. It’s here that readily-available alternative liquid fuels are kickstarting construction on the path towards the ultimate zero-emissions end point.

gasification chemistry and can achieve similar performance levels to diesel while reducing emissions of NOX, PM and carbon monoxide. With noted benefits including high energy density, ease of use and safe handling - supported by security of supply and approvals from many OEMs - GTL delivers an exceptionally strong value proposition.

Making the case for change

The liquid fuels industry already has a strong track record in technological development, with many alternative fuels offering an immediate solution to the air quality problem without the need for additional investment. There are many liquid fuel technologies that are already being tested and trialled. These include gas to liquid (GTL), power to liquid, biomass to liquid, hydrothermal liquefaction and hydro-treated biofuel products. However, some of these technologies and developments remain unproven. In the case of GTL, part of the paraffinic family of fuels, the benefits have been proven for NRMM. This particular formulation is based on


Paraffinic fuels could also prove to be more effective than other alternatives, with drop-in technologies such as GTL requiring no modifications to existing or legacy NRMM.

Alternative fuels in action GTL is one of the few available paraffinic fuels in the UK, helping its early adopters transition to

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stuff a cleaner fuel future. To date, its uptake has been largely by commercial users and construction businesses seeking to lower emissions and minimise air quality impact for the communities in which they operate. GTL is being used for a number of high profile applications. J Murphy & Sons Ltd, for example, has deployed Shell GTL Fuel on a project to facilitate the construction of the High Speed 2 (HS2) Railway. Morgan Sindall has adopted the fuel to power one of its sites at Heathrow, as well as its refurbishment of the Oldbury viaduct on the M5 - part of the company’s joint venture with Bam Nuttall and VolkerFitzpatrick. Shell GTL Fuel is also helping Jackson Civil Engineering to minimise the impact of its operations on the Environment Agency’s Perry Barr

and Witton Flood Management Scheme. As well as reducing the company’s environmental impacts as a result of its biodegradability and lower emissions, GTL is creating a healthier working environment and lessening disruption to the local community by producing less odour, smoke and engine noise than conventional diesel.

Looking to the future

No one can predict the future as technologies develop and evolve - but it’s clear that there is no utopian solution that completely satisfies all the criteria. A broad mix of energy sources will surely enable the most cost-effective and robust transformation path to a low-emission future - while driving towards all the strategies and government policy initiatives. The fact that the infrastructure and supply chain is strongly in place for liquid


fuels means they can immediately fuel the transition for NRMM. It’s possible that the immediate option offered by alternative liquid fuels is being overlooked because of an over-emphasis on the zeroemission end goal. Naturally, that is where we all want to be. But without embracing evolving enhancements in fuel technology, the truth is it will take us much longer to get there. Certas Energy has developed a three-part Energy Reality series to help construction businesses understand today’s new alternative energy mix. To discover the readily-available ‘fuels for now’ that can kickstart the transition to a lowemission future, download the first report - The Future of Liquid Fuels - for free from https://www. future-of-liquid-fuels

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stuff The Need for Gender Equality In the midst of an industry-wide skills shortage, demolition and construction companies are still failing to look to the gender that makes up more than half the population. And the industry’s failure to engage with women is to its cost and detriment according to training provider 3B Training.

Gender inequality is a long-standing issue that has crept into every industry, and construction is no different. Though many industries have a fairly even ratio of male to female employees at entry level, there are almost always fewer women at the top. A report from the Directory for Social Change takes a comprehensive look at how imbalanced the gender ratio is in the UK. Using company CSR policies and annual reports, the study was able to determine the gender statistics for 399 corporate boards. An analysis of the data shows that the overall percentage of women on boards was around 22 percent. Although small, this number is actually higher than, it was in 2013, where similar reports found that only 13 percent of board members were women. However, of the remaining 78 percent of companies, 16 percent still confess to having purely male board members - excluding women entirely. Addressing gender inequality and calling for more women in the workplace is more than just trying to fill a quota, it could be the key to a company’s success.

Gender Inequality

Much like the tech, science and other STEM industries, the construction industry is still lacking in gender equality and remains dominated by men. In 2007, 12.1 percent of workers in construction was represented by female workers, whereas reports in 2016 showed that statistic only increased slightly to 12.8 percent.



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stuff In fact, a more recent study in 2018 by Wise found that the number of female employees in construction numbered just 11 percent, meaning the industry could actually be taking a step backwards. Even in 2019 as a training provider, 3B Training hasn’t seen a huge percentage of women walk through the door for training courses when compared to men. Of nearly 10,000 delegates we have booked on courses so far, only 15 percent of those are women. When looking more closely at the causes of gender imbalance in construction and demolition, a common issue seems to be that female employees aren’t given the same opportunities as their male coworkers. Randstad interviewed 1,200 people who experienced gender discrimination in the construction industry, 60 percent of whom were women. Of the women surveyed, three-quarters say they feel overlooked for promotions because of their gender, not their skills. It’s not just progression where women feel like they’re missing out, either. 8 in 10 women surveyed have felt left out of social events and conversations by their co-workers. This feeling of exclusion risks creating a toxic culture of bias throughout the industry.

Women Leaders

Due to the lower number of female workers in construction in general, it’s unsurprising to find that the industry is lacking in women at an executive level or higher. Nearly half of workers went so far as to say that they had never worked with a female manager. However, that doesn’t mean that the industry would react badly to more female leaders. In fact, Randstad’s study found that 93 percent of construction workers felt that being managed by a woman would have

the same effect as a male manager, or even improve things. And, according to the data, they’d be right. All 169 companies in the FTSE 350 with at least one woman on their executive board saw a higher return on capital than companies with none. Hiring from the top down is also a way to create a more inclusive work environment for women at all levels. By having a senior female leader, it sends a message to other female workers that progression is achievable. Companies that opt for a woman as their chief executive are, on average, likely to have more than twice as many women on their executive board than companies run by a man. As an industry currently suffering from a severe skills shortage, opening the door to talented women in senior roles could be the answer construction is looking for.


Raising Awareness

When it comes to women in construction and demolition being overlooked, unconscious bias and ignorance play a huge part in the issue. There are only six construction companies in the UK that have an equal number of male to female directors or are femaleled. One of those companies, Renishaw plc, has a board of 70 percent women and regularly runs engagement programmes with schools, universities and the government to help raise awareness of gender imbalance and overcome stereotypes. If more companies in construction follow suit, the industry can knock down barriers that would otherwise deter potential female candidates. Multinational human resource consulting firm Randstad has reached

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stuff construction companies can work towards total equality of pay for their workers.

Changing Perceptions

One of the biggest problems with creating a diverse workforce in construction is that it has developed such a strong perception of what the industry is like, making it hard for people to see past the stereotypes.

out to organisations to find out how they are currently supporting their female staff to help remove gender bias in the workplace: Due to the overwhelming male to female ratio until now, the construction industry has also been guilty of perpetuating a wide gender pay gap. A recent survey conducted by RICS, however, has found that the industry has acted and is making strides to address the issue. Whereas the construction industry had a gender pay gap of 36 percent in 2018 (one of

the worst industries for pay disparity), it has since narrowed to 20.43 percent. Although this is a positive result for the industry, more steps are needed before the pay gap is a thing of the past. Nearly half of construction companies not monitoring their gender pay gaps, so it’s difficult to accurately determine how well the industry is dealing with the issue. By properly analysing and understanding exactly how men and women are paid, as well as being transparent about their pay policies,


Keepmoat conducted a survey on 1,000 adults between the ages of 16-25, looking at the differences in perception of the construction industry. The survey showed that 21 percent of men interviewed would consider a career in construction, but only 13 percent of women would do the same. The prevailing narrative about construction is that it is physically demanding, creating a stigma for employment in construction. Roles in health and safety, construction management, procurement, surveying, estimating and site inspection are all potential routes that are available, yet people may not be aware of them. Only 22 percent of construction companies work in schools to help to answer questions about the industry and encourage people to consider it as a potential career path.

Strategy for Change

To really tackle the issue, a clear strategy needs to be put in place for all construction companies to follow. There are two major steps that companies should take to ensure gender equality in construction:


Create more opportunities for women – 74 percent of women

in Randstad’s survey were not part of any ‘women in construction’ initiatives that will help them progress to senior positions. This highlights the need for more programmes to help encourage women to get involved, as well as greater advertising that current programmes are available. Balfour Beatty has taken gender equality into its own hands and has recently introduced an initiative that supports women through career breaks for childcare, urging other companies to work together as an industry to do a similar thing.


Provide education early - As we can see from Keepmoat’s survey, education is a real issue in the industry. 29 percent of female respondents feel like they’d be limited to on-site work and 56 percent were surprised to find out that a significant number of women in construction are hired at an executive level or higher. With so many stereotypes around the construction industry, it’s important to educate people early about the potential career opportunities that are available. 64 percent of respondents claimed they would like construction companies to work closely with schools, colleges and universities. Without the right knowledge, many women will continue to believe that the construction is limited to working on a building site.

Addressing the problems with gender balance in construction may appear like a huge undertaking, but by companies adopting some of the methods we’ve discussed, they are chipping away slowly at the bigger picture - helping to create a pathway to gender equality.

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stuff JFH Rebrands in Regeneration Further broadening the sphere of its operations and to strengthen its industrial sector client base, John F Hunt Remediation is merging its activities with the John F Hunt Industrial business as it rebrands as John F Hunt Regeneration Ltd. The company’s expertise in complex industrial dismantling and working in safety critical environments, lends itself to a service Group offering clients the benefit of industry leading proficiency across Remediation, Water Technologies and now Industrial Dismantling. In recognition of this, John F Hunt Remediation Ltd has been renamed John F Hunt Regeneration Ltd, whilst maintaining the trading styles of John F Hunt Remediation, Industrial and Water Tech. As part of the wider John F Hunt Group, John F Hunt Regeneration Ltd have a multi-disciplinary team of engineers, scientists and construction professionals, who have enabled it to develop into a business that helps clients transform liabilities into assets. Since its inception in 2011 John F Hunt Remediation successfully completed a variety of challenging brownfield and contaminated land projects, ensuring the successful treatment of highly polluted soil and groundwater using a variety of specialist techniques. To date John F Hunt has helped transform over 500 acres of brownfield land for redevelopment, returned 50 acres of former industrial land in Devon back to nature by ‘re-wilding’ and enabled its clients to provide in excess of 2,500 new homes throughout the UK.


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Tiredness Kills this year, I was at Caterpillar’s training and demonstration area in Malaga, Spain for a major international press launch of a number of new products including the new Cat 340 SB straight boom demolition excavator.

Regular readers of the Demolition magazine will know that, earlier

Although it is best known – rightly – for its vast range of demolition and construction hardware, equipment giant Caterpillar is also working quietly but intensively behind the scenes to help overcome the potentially deadly issue of operator fatigue, alertness and distraction. Mark Anthony reports.

As ever, Caterpillar was the consummate host. The equipment was impressive, the weather was warm and the hospitality was even warmer still. But for all that, my lasting memory of that trip was not of machines or of sardines in the sunshine but of the work Caterpillar is doing behind the scenes to combat the perennial but potentially deadly issue of operator fatigue, alertness, vigilance and distraction. This was an issue that was addressed by Mitch Cowart of the Caterpillar Safety Technology team.


During your presentation, you highlighted a specific and tragic story that really


highlighted the potential danger of operator fatigue. Could you recount that story for us?


There was a young haul truck driver who came to work at a phosphate mine in North Carolina. He fell asleep during the pre-shift safety meeting, and none of his coworkers and supervisors said anything. They just let him sleep there in the chair during the meeting. When the meeting was over he woke up and got in his truck and went to work, like we’re trained to do. But later that morning he had a lapse in attention and vigilance and he actually had a minor incident where he brushed side mirrors with an oncoming haul truck, and neither one of them told anybody. Later that morning, the same operator had a major lapse in alertness and vigilance. He was literally asleep at the wheel and he drove over a light vehicle, a pickup truck that had a man inside. And it took more than three hours to get the man out of the pickup truck. They fired



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stuff that haul truck driver for not being fit for duty. But all was not as it first seemed. This young man had been in the emergency room with his wife who had just miscarried their first baby. But he had been raised to grit his teeth, to get tough and play through the pain. And so that’s what he did. He adhered to those cultural norms that he had been taught, and it nearly cost him running over and nearly killing a man. So in 24 hours he nearly killed a man, he lost his baby and he lost his job. And that was tragic for everyone involved. That company called Caterpillar Safety Services and we wound up working with them. And after learning that fatigue is natural, that company hired back that haul truck driver. And it sent a huge message to all the employees that the changes that were taking place at that company were really about their safety and not about any punitive actions.


That’s a fascinating story. But Caterpillar’s focus on operator fatigue stretches back way further than that. When did the company start to focus on this area? I’m really proud to be part of this team that really started with a gentleman here at Caterpillar, his name is Dr David Edwards. He has his PhD in Human Factors, and he’s been working at improving the safety of our equipment and the safety of our customers’ employees for decades. Way back in 2005, he had a mobile electroencephalogram mounted on a motor grader, trying to understand their alertness, attention and vigilance by measuring their brainwaves. That work has continued to evolve and gain momentum here at Caterpillar to the point that now we have an entire group and a whole suite of technology-enabled safety solutions.



Why is Caterpillar so focused upon this area of research and development?


Research has proven that around 90 percent of workplace injuries and incidents aren’t caused by conditions or environment or equipment failures. What that means is that somebody made a decision to engage in a behaviour that was risky. And most often that occurs because the person believes, or has the attitude or the value or the ideal that something else has a higher priority than workplace safety. So either productivity or costs or just some kind of time saving is really the higher priority. And so they take a chance and that’s really what drives workplace injuries. When everybody else on the team believes that same thing, that something else is more important than safety, then that creates this reinforcing feedback loop that we call culture; a dynamic social structure that self-organises around different attitudes and values including status - I’m the fastest or I’m the strongest or the most competent. The other attractor of this self-organising system is belonging and wanting to be part of the team, be part of the crew. When the rest of the crew shares these values of shortcuts


and risk-taking, then that’s what we all wind up doing. And so the real challenge in any safety programme is to create a discipline around language, around culture and those sort of organic drivers that are informing people’s behaviours as a result of their beliefs and attitudes and values, which are most often conveyed by language and the way we talk about these things.


So what technology has Caterpillar developed and harnessed to address these issues? In 2008, Dr Edwards was a co-author on an industry-wide white paper that was sponsored by Caterpillar and BHP Billiton. And it was all about the different technologies that were emerging to help address fatigue risk in mining. Eventually, that evolved into to a suite of technologies called the Cat®MineStar™ Detect Suite. One component of that suite of technologies is the Driver Safety System. The Driver-Safety System is really an operator alertness, attention and vigilance optimisation system. It uses an optical sensor, what the layperson might call a camera, that’s mounted on the dash.


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stuff That camera is pointed at the operator’s head and it uses some very sophisticated software to build a digital framework of the operator’s head and face, allowing it to measure head orientation, whether their head is drooping down or falling back or moving side to side, their facial expressions and different micro-expressions. We have many, many muscles in our face that can make very subtle facial expressions. And this software reads those facial expressions to determine when an operator is fatigued, is suffering from some type of micro-sleep or whether they’re distracted. Another component in The Detect Suite is a technology we call Proximity Awareness. It uses a Global Navigation Satellite System to create a peer-to-peer network and some on-board information systems that, again, push notifications and information to the operator so that he or she can make informed decisions in real time.

as 24-hour shift schedules, were continuously challenging the basic biological capacity of workers. And they actually calculated that insomnia, or some form of sleep loss, was costing the average worker about 11 days per year in lost productivity. This study estimated that this lost time is costing companies about $2,300 per person per year, and that collectively we’re losing about $63 billion a year due to chronic sleep deprivation. Because this issue has been historically underestimated, it has posed an invisible threat. And so, Caterpillar has really committed resources to addressing this problem on behalf of our customers.

And we are not finished yet. We are already beginning to test collision avoidance systems that will actually intervene when operators suffer a lapse in attention, vigilance or situational awareness while in close proximity to other machines. It will actually put on the brakes or stop the machine to avoid a collision.


The fact that Caterpillar is having to develop these systems speaks to a wider issue though, doesn’t it. Isn’t it true to say that many workers in demolition, construction and a variety of other industry sectors are chronically sleep-deprived? I found a study recently by Harvard University, one of the leading universities here in the US, and McKinsey & Company, which is a global business consulting firm. They collaborated on a study which discovered that sleep deprivation and prolonged work cycles, such



The human brain has a very unique filtration system. All the other organs in our body are filtered by the lymphatic system which functions throughout the day for most healthy people. But our brain has a special filtration system called the glymphatic system. It’s really a hydraulic system, meaning that it uses fluid to flush out toxins. It’s very hard to push water uphill, so it really works best when we’re laying horizontal as we do typically when we sleep. And, not only does the glymphatic system work best when we’re lying down, but also when we’re in our specific phases of sleep. So if you don’t get enough sleep, and especially not enough time in that 3rd phase of sleep, then you have toxins building up in

STUFF your brain. And another way to say that is you’re effectively intoxicated. And coincidentally, if you don’t sleep within every 20 hours, by the 20th hour your mental function is equivalent to someone who has a 0.08 blood alcohol concentration or is legally drunk here in the US. When you learn that around 30 percent of a Cat machine’s productivity is related directly to operator performance, you can see how important the operator’s cognitive performance becomes. This article is taken from an exclusive, full-length Demolition News Radio audio podcast that you can listen to here: https://

Asbestos Early Warning Alert Technology Ltd is launching the ‘Asbestos ALERT PRO 1000’, a lifesaving new technology that is claimed to be the world’s first and only real-time warning device for airborne asbestos fibres. The technology will be unveiled at this year’s Contamination Expo on 11th-12th September 2019 at NEC Birmingham. Aimed at professionals within the fields of asbestos abatement, demolition, construction, maintenance, occupational hygiene, waste management and more, the ALERT is relevant to more than 30 industry sectors globally. It offers those most likely to disturb asbestoscontaining materials at work a first line of defence by providing an early warning to prevent prolonged exposure to the world’s biggest


occupational killer. With asbestos-related diseases claiming the lives of over 100,000 people globally every year, and with asbestos commonly used in the construction of domestic, public and commercial buildings prior to 2000, the company’s aspiration is that no one should have to put their health at risk by unknowingly being exposed to airborne asbestos fibres at work. Key features of the ALERT are that is distinguishes between asbestos and non-asbestos fibres in the air; offers real-time visible and audible alarms; is both portable and lightweight; offers downloadable date and time stamped reports; and is easy to use with no special training required.


A New Kind of President The National Federation of Demolition Contractors has a new President at its helm. This one is different and, dare I say, a bit special. Mark Anthony reports.

The new president of the National Federation of Demolition Contractors is a woman. I say that not because her gender has any baring whatsoever upon her ability to do her job with the NFDC or with her employer, Keltbray (it doesn’t); nor because a woman in a high-raking position should be considered in any way unusual

or quirky in this day and age (it shouldn’t). The truth is that Holly Price has well and truly earned her position in the NFDC hot seat. She has served her time at a regional level; she paid her dues at national level. She has worked hard to attain the presidency; quite possibly harder than some of her predecessors. Remember that


old Hollywood maxim: “Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, backwards and in high heels.” So the new NFDC president is a woman. OK? Right, let us never speak of it again.

Cometh the hour…

It is a matter of public record that the NFDC and I do not always see eye-to-eye. But if there is one area in which I feel obliged to tip my hard hat in the Federation’s direction, it is the organisation’s unerring ability to have the right president at the right time. It had hardliners like David Clarke and David Darsey when tough decisions needed to be made over the Accredited Site Audit Scheme. It had self-confessed Europhile and Scot William Sinclair at the helm when the joint spectres of Brexit and Scottish independence first raised their ugly, unwelcome heads. And with the election of Holly Price, the Federation has done it again. Few would argue that two of the greatest challenges facing the UK demolition industry today are a lack of skilled workers and a worrying rise in mental health issues within the sector. Holly Price brings with her a solid and enviable background in demolition training, a subject she has pursued with her employer Keltbray over many years. Furthermore, her husband is helping to deliver the NFDC’s new mental health awareness training course, addressing an issue that Holly Price herself is clearly and demonstrably passionate about. Price remains focused upon these two key challenges whilst attempting the trade association

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stuff widely used that, in many instances, its meaning has been lost, diluted or bastardised entirely. Not so with Holly Price. In terms of collaboration, she walks the walk every bit as much as she talks the talk.

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equivalent of herding cats: collaborating with other organisations. “It is clear to me that there is a disconnect between what other industry regulatory bodies are dong and how that information is being shared with the NFDC membership,” she says. “That is why I accepted the position as a trustee of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). You’ve got to be in it to win it, and you have to be at the party in order to make some change. And of course, it would be ridiculous – given where we are in time – for me not to be tackling the issue of diversity within the demolition industry.”

Kindred Spirit

Collaboration is one of the buzz-words of the early part of the 21st century. In fact, the term has become so


When the industry was struggling to get its much-needed apprenticeship Trailblazer across the line, it was Holly Price’s Keltbray and David Darsey’s Erith Contractors (along with others) that provided the impetus the scheme required. While the support of some of those “others” has seemingly waned now that the Trailblazer is a living and breathing entity, both Keltbray and Erith have stood firm, even helping deliver the initial course. The fact that Holly Price has the top job at the NFDC at the same time that David Darsey is the “grand fromage” at the National Demolition Training Group is surely to the benefit of the wider industry.

Big Ticket Items

When I met with Holly Price for this interview, she was just a few short weeks into her two year presidency. But it was already clear that she was unwilling to shy away from “big ticket” issues that have previously been seen as sensitive or too challenging. This includes a severe lack of both gender and racial diversity across the sector.




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stuff “Our industry does not reflect the demographic of the UK at all. We need to be better at being open,” she insists. “There is so much work being done to attract workers into the construction industry but demolition is not really tapping into that as well as we should be. Our industry has traditionally attracted people that were from a demolition family, and that is fine. But we also need to show a more open and more welcoming face to those that are not from the industry.” Another major challenge that seems set to land in Price’s lap during her presidency is that of Brexit. While politicians have largely split themselves into two camps - those that have buried their heads in the sand in the hope the whole sorry business will go away; and those that have seized upon the opportunity to make a name for

themselves – Holly Price seems willing to confront the potentially landscape-changing matter head-on. “One of our key roles is positioning NFDC members to survive and thrive in a post-Brexit environment,” she explains. “I think it would be wrong to view Brexit as a wholly negative thing. There are always work opportunities out there. They might come from a different place of be procured differently, but we need to help support our members as these changes take place.”

Contractors. But it has precisely zero influence upon her ability to hold this lofty position and to carry the burden that position brings with it. David Darsey is a West Ham United fan, a fact that marks him as a prince among men but which had precisely nothing to do with his presidential capabilities. William Sinclair is known to occasionally sport the kilt of his Scottish ancestors. Drafty? Perhaps. But ultimately unimportant in his presidency.

XX Chromosome

After a period of protracted internal tumult and conflict, the NFDC now has the president it needs and that the wider industry deserves; and her XX chromosome genetic make-up should be viewed as neither a hindrance nor a curse but as nothing more than a barely noteworthy aside.

Of course, the fact that Holly Price is a woman in what remains – stubbornly - a predominantly male industry has unsurprisingly seized the trade media headlines. Her gender marks her as unique in the near 80-year history of the National Federation of Demolition

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Taking Safety to New Heights While everyone understands the dangers of working at height, not everybody is familiar with the challenges or solutions on offer. Understanding how protection works, and what’s best for each situation can improve the safety of workers. James Gooder of SFS explains how.

Most architects and construction contractors commit people to working at height – either during the building phase, or in maintenance and repair. An essential part of any building project, it’s also fraught with risk – from exposed edges and damaged tiles, through to open lift-shafts and fragile skylights to potentially fall through. Then there’s worker fatigue and the weather, with high winds, rain and ice presenting particular challenges. Add in slippery algae and moss, plus the sheer range of roof coverings, types and designs and it’s clear that there’s an issue. Roofing specifiers and contractors are sending out people to work at height with


countless variables, where any slip, trip or fall could have disastrous consequences.

Governed by Legislation

Clearly, with human life at stake, there is a large amount of legislation in place to protect workers. In addition to the Working at Height Regulations 2005, the 2015 CDM (Construction Design and Management) regulations stipulate that any new building which has guttering that needs servicing must have a protective lifeline system installed. CDM has also established RAMS – Risk Assessment Method Statements. RAMS are designed to




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stuff ensure that health and safety risks are fully considered and identified in order to ‘reduce the risk of those who build, maintain or use structures’. Generally, best practice advice says avoid working at height if all possible. If not, measures must be installed to minimise risk. Already quite stringent – in the UK at least – regulations will only become tighter. Right now, a new standard, BS EN 17235, is being drafted to co-ordinate the efforts of companies that manufacture systems for roofing and safety systems, so there’s a concerted industry-wide effort to improve safety standards. Anyone involved with working at height therefore has a responsibility – moral and legal – to stop people from coming to harm. Despite this, specifying the optimum fall protection systems isn’t always front of mind. Many architects, for example, are primarily focussed on aesthetics and using new materials to push the boundaries of design. While they’re aware of the need for protective systems, the detail often isn’t specified out and is left to the contractor’s discretion. However, faced with multiple pressures – including an increasing skills shortage and the complexity of project management – these contractors are often unable to keep abreast of the many specialist solutions on offer. As a result, there’s a potential for provision to fall short of optimal.

Fall Protection

potentially damage the roof or structure. Temporary solutions are often the only option for older buildings. On the other hand, new builds tend to incorporate a permanent system which can be used to support future works. These fall into two categories: collective restraint, and personal lifeline. Collective restraints include handrails, walls and even glass parapets around the perimeter of the building. Best practice suggests using restraints that are at least 1.2 metres high to ‘fence off’ the highrisk areas. They have merits, but they often break the aesthetic lines of the building. Nor do they offer protection for hard to reach areas. With personal lifeline systems, workers wear a harness connected by wire rope to a fixed anchor point, allowing them to

Essentially, fall protection systems divide into temporary or permanent. Installed for repairs and removed when the work is completed, temporary protection includes scaffolding, cranes and mobile platforms. Often costly and unsightly - as the scaffolding currently covering Big Ben demonstrates – they can also

move safely around the roof. Systems offer either work restraint or fall arrest. Work restraint systems guide workers within pre-defined limits to prevent them from getting into high risk areas where a fall is possible. However, whenever a fall becomes even a remote possibility, fall arrest systems (FAS) become mandatory.

Arresting the Fall

FAS allows workers more freedom to work on gutters, windows and walls. Should they slip, the systems’ mechanics kick-in to break their fall. There are many personal lifeline systems available. Here at SFS, for example, the market leading Soter™ II offers an integrated fall and restraint solution, with a discreet low-profile suitable for a wide range of applications. Soter™ II uses a patented energy absorbing coil to break falls and dissipate the energy, helping minimise damage to both worker and roof. It also features a CE-marked Slyder device which allows up to four workers to move freely without the risk of entanglement. There’s more to specifying a fall arrest system than just the technology. For example, within the RAMS, there should be a clear instruction of how to rescue a worker who has fallen


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stuff This should be done within a time limit of three minutes, otherwise the PPE harness can start to cut off blood circulation. With so much to evaluate, it is understandably difficult to pick the right system. However, there’s really only one factor that matters: ensuring maximum protection for workers. This is the single most important consideration and should be the one at the centre of decisionmaking. After that, it’s a question of evaluating the factors – roof type, access requirements, even wind load calculations – and customising a solution to each requirement. On retrofit projects, which were built without the benefit of foresight or legislation, the building itself will largely dictate the approach. Fall protection systems should also look at the potential obstacles on the roof. Skylights are particularly

hazardous, due to the fragility of the glass. On new builds, there’s more scope to shape the decision. The key here, perhaps, is to ensure full and proper freedom of movement for workers in a way that supports the future maintenance needs of the building, as well as the integrity of the design. In addition to these physical factors, specifiers and contractors should look for added value features, including the expertise behind the protection systems. For example, it’s always good practice to use manufacturers who can provide advice and support at every stage, from design through to implementation. This helps streamline processes and can even deliver cost-savings over the lifecycle of the project. Also important is their investment in research, development

and testing. Roofing is ever evolving and fall protection systems must also continuously evolve to accommodate these advances. Manufacturers have an unwritten responsibility to vet the installers that use their systems. This includes auditing and training them properly. This not only ensures the system is installed safely and correctly, but also efficiently. A sign of a quality manufacturer is their ability to reach out not just to installers but to every influencer in the construction process. This can even start with CPDs or similar approved courses aimed at contractors and architects. In summary then, safety at height isn’t just a question of handing a lifeline to the workers on the roof; it’s also about the line of support that extends from the supplier. In other words, it’s about the complete support package.

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Evolution turns to Revolution The global demolition industry finds itself on the cusp of the most monumental and fundamental period of change in its illustrious history; an age when evolution will give way to revolution. Mark Anthony reports. Has there ever been a period in which the global demolition industry was confronted with the level of monumental and fundamental change as that which faces it today? Certainly not in my lifetime, and I am so old that I had graduated by the time Methuselah started school. I will accept that WWII, a period that spawned the creation of the National Federation of Demolition Contractors, was intense. But, in truth, even that was just making safe or removing bomb-damaged buildings using proven methods only with a workforce cruelly

decimated by a prolonged, global conflict. Even the gradual move from crawler crane and wrecking ball to hydraulic and subsequently high reach excavators today seems about as swift and as straightforward as the switch from regular coffee to decaf. The changes facing the industry today, however, have the potential to redraw the very landscape of the industry; to render obsolete much of what we today consider the industry norm within just a few short years.

Unrest & Upheaval

We find ourselves in an age in which there is political unrest and upheaval on both sides of the Atlantic and pretty much everywhere else besides. Even setting aside political allegiances and beliefs, it now seems clear that there is a widespread dissatisfaction with the way in which nations are governed and how those nations interact with one another. If, as the song suggests “the children are our future”, then we must surely be approaching a period in which division and conflict will finally be set aside once and for all. What that will mean for global demolition practitioners, frankly, is impossible to tell. But if future generations can break with traditional politics and end racial, national and gender division, then surely it is not beyond them to finally end the peaks and troughs cycle of demolition and construction demand. Perhaps if we ever reach a time in which infrastructure decision making is driven by the needs of the people rather than by political expediency and the need to win the next election, demolition firms might be able to plan more than a week or two in advance and to invest accordingly. And, make no bones about it, they will need to invest, because the future will not come cheap. In fact, in many ways, it will require starting over, almost from scratch. Those site sign-in “books” (and when I say books, I mean dog-eared bits of A4 paper covered in coffee stains and regularly sodden from having been left out in the rain) are already


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stuff being replaced by fingerprint and retina scanners and by iPads. You can’t pick those up at your local stationary shop. At a time when legislation and environmental pressure from clients is driving the demolition agenda, it will be impossible to justify the use of a rainforest-worth of paper when contract information belongs on a computer hard-drive and is far more readily shared in the cloud.

Getting Social

And speaking of “sharing in the cloud”, let us not forget that we now have the good fortune to be witnessing a communications revolution - the likes of which the world has never seen – through the use of social media. Not so long ago, a demolition company might have a printed brochure to help sell its wares. But the

addition or discontinuation of a service, the change of a telephone number or the arrival or departure of a member of staff could render that brochure instantly obsolete

and require a costly redesign and reprint. Such issues were banished by the arrival of the Internet. And the improvements haven’t stopped there.

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STUFF It was once said that a half of all advertising is wasted; but we don’t know which half. Today, through the use of online promotion and social media tools, every aspect of that advertising can now be managed, measured and enhanced. Frankly, if you’re wasting half of your advertising budget today, you’re just not using the tools (most of which are free) that are at your disposal. Of course, the use of social media still faces some resistance; it is still widely dismissed as the sole preserve of the young; filled with selfies and photos of avocado-based breakfasts. But that too shall pass. I am old enough to remember a time when the magazines I worked upon received outside communications via Telex. Telex ultimately gave way to fax machines which in turn were

replaced by email. Social media is merely the latest communications tool in a long line of ever-improving systems and solutions. Demolition companies dismiss the reach and penetration of social media at their own peril and to their own detriment. I know of demolition contracts that have been won on the strength of a YouTube video. How do I know? Because I shot the video. I know of demolition companies that have purchased equipment based upon its exposure on social media. How do I know that? Because they saw it on DemolitionNews’ Instagram feed. It might sound like I am selling the notion of social media. But, in truth, there is nothing to sell. Most of the social media platforms are free to use. Sure, they do require some work to fully understand them. But you learned to drive a fax machine, right?

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Adieu to Diesel

The demolition sites of yesteryear and today carry with them a familiar whiff of diesel. But for how much longer? Certainly, some of the largest equipment manufacturers in the world are currently working towards a diesel-free future. Komatsu and Kobelco already offer hybrid machines. Bobcat, Caterpillar, JCB and Liebherr each have electric machines within their product offering. And when Case unveiled its ProjectTETRA concept wheel loader at Bauma earlier this year, it pinned its colours squarely to the natural gas mast. It is far too early in the process to tell which – if any – of these has selected the right path. But, as it stands today, none of them has chosen the wrong one. Each is striving to satisfy the need and the

stuff demand for alternative fuels but, ultimately, the success or failure of all these will hinge upon take up from customers. That decision process will likely be made considerably easier by the incredible advances that are being made in the field of equipment monitoring and management. Not so long ago, the relative “thirst” of a specific machine only became apparent when the fuel bill arrived. Today, through remote machine monitoring and telematics, a plant manager can ascertain just how “juicy” each machine is with nothing more taxing than a swipe of his mobile phone. That same technology will also reveal which operators are consuming the most fuel, offer recommendations on how that might be reduced, place limits upon an engine’s RPM, or even to shut it off while the machine is idle to minimise fuel consumption. Of course, if electricity ultimately wins the battle for alternative fuel supremacy, such issues will be purely academic. Any concerns over which machine or which driver consumes the most fuel will give way to discussions about how to squeeze more solar panels onto the roof of the plant workshop and how much energy can be sold back to the grid after machines have been charged ahead of another shift.

Man Surpassed

All of which leads us to perhaps the greatest change facing the global demolition industry. For generations, the industry has pushed men (and women) further and further from the work face in pursuit of safety. Manual demolition gave way to mechanical demolition. Mechanical demolition gave way to hydraulic excavators and a plethora of work tools. And the arrival of remotely controlled demolition robots afforded us the ability to take workers even further out of harm’s way. And now, we possess the technology required to take man out of the on-site equation entirely. Through a mix of remote and autonomous controls, we stand on the cusp of the greatest industrial revolution since, well, the last industrial revolution. The technology exists; all that is lacking currently is the will. I liken it to the buffet at a wedding reception. No-one wants to be seen to be the first; but once someone makes a move, everyone will pile in. All it takes is a single client to possess the desire to take site safety to its ultimate conclusion, and the levels of employment within the demolition sector will begin its inexorable slide. That will, unquestionably, be a bitter pill to


swallow when that day finally arrives. But if the only way to guarantee the safety of site workers is to remove those workers from the site, then that is a price that will one day be paid. Think about all that for a second. Think about the fact that there will come a time when site paperwork, diesel tanks, hard hats and site boots will be as relevant to the demolition professional of the future as flint arrowheads and cave paintings are to us today. And, most importantly, think about this. The obsolescence of flint arrowheads took thousands of years. The death of the crawler crane and wrecking ball – certainly in the UK – happened over the course of about 20 years. The advent of the demolition robot took a decade or so. At that rate of change, a paperfree, diesel-free and human-free demolition site might be just a year or two away. Are you ready for the revolution; or are you busily working on your latest cave painting? Many of the subjects discussed in this article are explored – in greater depth – in the book Demolition 2051 by DemolitionNews editor, Mark Anthony. That book is available exclusively on Amazon. You can buy your copy here: https://




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Erith on Track at HS2 While machinations continue about the necessity for and the cost of the proposed HS2 high speed rail link, one of the UK’s leading demolition contractors is forging ahead with its part of the project. Mark Anthony reports. I have long held the belief that landmark construction and civil engineering projects are used to surreptitiously push the operational and contractual envelope. Contracts such as the Channel Tunnel, the London 2012 Olympics, Crossrail and – most recently – Hinkley Point C and the HS2 high speed rail link have each established new benchmarks for safety, security, environmental controls and contractual transparency. Eager to be a part of such major projects, even the most elite contractors and subcontractors are willing to raise their game still further to satisfy ever more demanding clients in order to stake their claim within these historic developments. So it should come as no surprise that one of those contractors willing and able to go above and beyond on the controversial HS2 project is one of the UK’s biggest and most-respected demolition firms: Erith Contractors. And even as the project is used as a political football, its rising costs


ON SITE the company is answerable to a veritable cadre of stakeholders, each bringing with them their own specific demands.

are condemned, and even the likelihood of its completion is called into question, the company is forging ahead to ensure that – regardless of what politicians, economists, environmentalists and the mass media do – Erith will be holding up its end of this massive bargain.

Multi-Headed Beast

Erith Contractors was among the first specialist contractors to start work on an HS2-related project and was, in many ways, a guinea pig for the plethora of new procedures, regulations, standards and stipulation set in place to bring the project to fruition. Furthermore,

“From day one there was an aspiration from HS2 to rewrite all the rules to make this a truly exemplary site with even stricter guidelines and KPIs than we encountered on the London 2012 Olympic Games project. We have had to work to a whole new suite of documentation, a lot of which had never been put into practice as this was the first project let in the HS2 package of works. We have had to work to those new guidelines and adapt as those guidelines themselves have adapted,” Stuart Accleton explains. “Everything we do is first scrutinised by the Costain Skanska Joint Venture (CSJV) that is charged with delivering this mammoth project. Any required amendments are then made before it passes to HS2. With Crossrail to the North of us and Heathrow Express to the South, all documentation is also sent to them and to Network Rail for review and approval as well.” In addition to the administrative challenges of the contract, Erith has also had to accommodate a fair degree of physical challenges too. “It is a requirement of the project that all plant and equipment used on site is Tier IIIB ultra-low emission. Ay vehicles coming to site must meet Euro 6 emissions standards and they also have to be compliance-checked on a daily basis. Our fleet of tippers go to an off-site compliance check area each morning ad are only released for work after a half hour check has been carried out. On a site where it’s not unusual to process 60 tipper loads per day, those compliance checks are an additional logistical hurdle that we have to factor into our daily schedule.” In addition to this, there is the small matter of the 20,000 m3 of 6f5 that


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ON SITE will likely be imported onto the site to partially replace the 60,000 m3 that is being removed. “All imported materials must comply with strict WRAP protocols and this too has to be compliancechecked. This is some of the cleanest 6f5 you’re ever likely to see,” Accleton continues. “And even though it is checked at source, imported material is retested every 500 m3 for a suite of chemical, asbestos and geotechnical properties. That alone can result in material being quarantined for three to five days while the test results come back.” Industrial Past The site, formerly known as the Old Oak Common rail depot, covers a massive 5.5 hectares. Split into three distinct phases, the demolition process includes seven different railway buildings including the former Heathrow Express maintenance shed. Given its heavy industrial past, however, that demolition process hinged upon an ongoing survey process that operates on a 20 metre square grid across the entire site. A previous investigation programme on the adjacent Crossrail site revealed a significant amount of contamination, raising concerns that the same would be uncovered at Old Oak Common. “During the initial site investigation, we found a few hydrocarbon hot spots and traces of sulphurous slag that have had to be removed from site,” says Erith Contractors’ Haady Sherif. “While the site will require some remediation, however, the level of contamination proved to be surprisingly low.” After remediation, the client HS2 set the parameters for the works, establishing what is known colloquially as the “Blue Box” which will be the site of the new station when the HS2 project is completed.



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ON SITE That site investigation process also unearthed the Stamford Brook, a Victorian-era sewer that remains live and which runs through phases one and two of the proposed demolition works at a depth of around five metres. “There are strict parameters governing our works in close proximity to the Stamford Brook,” Accleton explains. “Where that has been built and backfilled with clay we have had to dig that out in accordance with Thames Water requirements.” The challenges presented by the site do not end there, however. “There is a lot of made ground beneath the track ballast. The issue with that is trying to produce a cohesive material that we can reuse as a substitute for 6f5 or 6f2. We are producing 6f2 on site using concrete arisings and foundation pads we’re uncovering. There is a lot of blending of materials. If we were

to dig down to the new required levels in the Blue Box area, we were facing a shortfall of around 60,000 m3 of 6f5 material. But we wrote a remediation strategy that allowed us to cap the London Clay with a 300 mm layer of 6f5 then make up the shortfall with a blended material then cap that again with another 300 mm deep capping layer that varies as the site runs East to West.”

Journey’s Start

At the time of writing, a question mark-shaped cloud still hangs over the entire HS2 project. Few would question the need for the additional capacity the project will eventually provide. And even those intent on using the project to score political points must surely see that the UK desperately needs this kind of infrastructure investment if the nation is to compete with its soonto-be former partners within the European Union.


Assuming the project is seen through to the bitter end, Erith’s work will be long finished before the ribbon cutting takes place. But the company is paving the way for the creation of a new station at Old Oak Common that will ultimately link with London’s Euston Station to serve as part of both the Crossrail and the HS2 network. High speed trains leaving Old Oak Common will travel via Euston and then onwards to Birmingham, providing not just a faster connection between the UK’s two biggest cities but also providing some much-needed and longoverdue additional capacity. For HS2 passengers on this side of London, their journey to the Midlands and beyond will start at Old Oak Common. For the HS2 project itself, the journey begins with the enabling and demolition works currently being carried out by Erith Contractors.



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Bunker Busters Erkat drum cutters deliver high performance during bunker demolition in Hamburg Around 50 overground high-rise bunkers from the Second World War still dominate the cityscape in Hamburg, Germany to this day. They are now gradually being demolished to create new living space in coveted parts of the city. This is also the case for the bunker in Eimsbüttelerstraße, which will soon be replaced with an apartment block. The demolition alone is an extremely expensive process

and is being carried out by specialists from Abbruch und Verwertungsgesellschaft Nord GmbH (AVG Nord). The company has developed a special process for gentle, selective demolition, where emissions levels are kept significantly lower than with conventional demolition methods, such as using breakers. The concept is particularly suited to the use of Erkat’s robust drum cutters, which are renowned for their efficient, yet extremely low-vibration, quiet operation. Two Erkat transverse drum cutters (ER1500 and ER2000 models) are mounted on Doosan DX340 crawler excavators that are being used to demolish the high-rise bunker. Because the work is being carried out in stages from top to bottom, the machines were initially lifted onto the bunker roof by a 220 tonne mobile crane. Working up above the clouds is no problem for the high-quality drum cutting units. Thanks to their robust design and high resistance, each drum cutter


can demolish around 3.0 m3 of reinforced concrete per hour. With a total volume of 4,500 m3, the work will still take several months. The picks on each drum cutter are checked for signs of wear every 20-minutes. The daily consumption is around 30 units. So it’s even more important that the efficient ErkatQuicksnap safety mechanism is extremely user-friendly and enables quick and easy pick changes. While the noise levels are kept in check during this project by the specially designed protective walls, potential vibrations are a major concern. Due to the close proximity of the neighbouring buildings that are less than a metre away, and the difficult ground conditions that comprises sand, clay, peat and a high proportion of water, vibration can be easily transferred. But the Erkat drum cutters once again proved their worth, working quietly and with low vibration levels despite their impressive demolition performance. This makes them ideal for use in sensitive areas like

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ON SITE this. The two highly experienced excavator operators are also extremely impressed by the numerous advantages. Based on their experience, no other attachment tool is better suited for tricky demolition work like this. The high-quality cutting units have already proven themselves as the most robust and reliable machines of their kind on many other construction sites. Minimal maintenance, quick pick changes and cutting heads with replaceable wear parts prolong the service life and help to keep operating costs low.


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Sloane’s Norman Conquest Sloane Demolition called upon the help of Messiah Corporation as it tackled the confined space demolition of a four/five storey former office block in Greenwich. Mark Anthony reports. More than 300 years after it was built, the Greenwich Observatory still sits at the very epicentre of global time. Built by Sir Christopher Wren, the Royal Observatory was used by British astronomers as a basis for measurement of both time and distance for many decades. Four separate meridians have passed through the buildings; and the basis of longitude, the meridian that passes through the Airy transit circle, was first used in 1851, was adopted as the world’s Prime Meridian at the International Meridian Conference on 22 October 1884. Subsequently, nations across the world used it as their standard for mapping and timekeeping. The Prime Meridian was marked by a brass (later replaced by stainless steel) strip in the Observatory’s courtyard once the buildings became a museum in 1960. Since 16 December 1999, has been marked by a powerful green laser shining north across the London night sky.


ON SITE That laser is visible from the Norman House site in nearby Greenwich where Sloane Demolition is wasting no time to take down the former office block.

Devil in the Detail

On the face of it, the removal of a four/five storey reinforced concrete office block is all in a day’s work for a company of Sloane Demolition’s pedigree and experience. But as with all demolition contracts, the devil in in the detail. Works began with an asbestos removal programme before demolition could commence. That’s when the real challenges began. The site is bordered by two roads, one of which is exceptionally narrow. The site itself was designed for a hundred or so office workers, and not for a pair of Caterpillar hydraulic excavators; one of which is a high reach machine on hire from Messiah Corporation. The confined space on the site also allows no space in which to install an on-site crusher so all arisings are being removed from the site. Furthermore, Sloane Demolition’s nearest neighbour on the project is the offices for the massive Thames Tideway project that is taking place close by. While the demolition of Norman House has no connection to the Thames Tideway initiative, things like dust and noise emissions and traffic movements at Norman House are seemingly watched and monitored closely.

Going with the Tidal Flow

“The traffic management process has been quite intense with Thames Tideway keeping a close watch on what we’re doing to ensure that we don’t get in their way. We share a site entrance so they have to be informed of times and dates of any key vehicle movements to ensure that we don’t cause them any undue delays,” says Sloane Demolition’s Derek Feely. “This is a very busy part of London so, understandably, the

Thames Tideway project is required to meet some very demanding traffic management standards. It is only right that we should abide by those same rules.” The works at the former Norman House have been spearheaded by a Caterpillar CAT 325C 18 metre high reach excavator on hire from Messiah Corporation and with veteran operator Paul McHale at the levers. “With the asbestos removal, scaffolding and with the high reach


operation, I prefer to leave it to the experts,” Derek Feely insists. “Spectra Asbestos took care of the asbestos removal, Mason Scaffolding handled the scaffolding, and we’re more than happy to entrust the physical demolition to Paul McHale. He’s a very experienced, steady and knowledgeable operator, a fact that he has demonstrated every day he has been on this site. All works were completed safely and our client PureLake Homes were happy with project.”

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A Fitting Tribute An historic countryside industrial park in Derbyshire has at last begun its modernisation after years of wrestling with planning applications. Demolition magazine reports. After fifteen years of pursuing this project in the popular tourist destination Bakewell, DSR Demolition got on site at last in February this year. The company had been on and off site over the years to tidy up collapsed huts and so on while the sensitive planning procedures were dealt with. In fact, the project was anticipated by DSR’s managing director Dominic Ogden before his untimely passing in 2015. Strict conditions had to be met to allow the scheme to go ahead, in line with Peak District countryside requirements. A new Premier Inn will be one of the first developments on site and will be in keeping with Bakewell’s countryside aesthetic. Much of the building materials salvaged on



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ON SITE much needed hotel, upgraded commercial premises and artisan workshops. Indeed, there is a waiting list for tenants. The scheme will also deliver improved parking and access facilities.

site by DSR will be used in its design, including facing stones and cast iron columns. 45 new jobs will be created when the hotel opens.

This is the first of a dual phase scheme to modernise the former Lumford Mill site which dates back to 1868. It will provide a

The four-month demolition project involved the manual removal of 44 tonnes of non-licensed asbestos roof sheets and cladding amid the live business parks. Throughout the works, the main access road needed to be kept open for the comings and goings of the busy industrial park. Careful timing was essential when removing asbestos sheets at the edge of the buildings. Remote and manual demolition of low-rise mill buildings was carried out to a very specific sequence because of the dilapidated condition and the interconnected structural components. The team exerted extra care when working next to the listed wall and dug out key areas of the floor slab to allow the necessary archaeological investigations. Discussions are currently being held to bring back to life the listed stone chimney, potentially to serve the new hotel. DSR salvaged large quantities of facing stones, roof slates, timber, and cast iron columns for use in the future developments. The demolition team worked with the consultant ecologist regarding bat roosts, and assisted in the design and installation of structural propping to preserved an original 1868 stone wall. Salvaged items included 40 cast iron columns, 350 m2 of facing stone, around 6,000 roof slates, and 100 m3 of timber. In addition, DSR Demolition recycled around 145 tonnes of scrap metal and 38 tonnes of wood. It is a job that was more than a decade in the making. The project’s safe and successful completion is a fitting tribute to managing director Dominic Ogden.



Not Slow in Oslo


KIT TALK Norwegian construction giant Veidekke has deployed a Volvo EC750E HR high reach excavator to demolish the 11 storey House of Oslo, one of the capital’s largest buildings.

When Norwegian contractor Veidekke was tasked with demolishing the House of Oslo, a towering shopping mall in the heart of the capital city, it knew it had a big challenge on its hands. Not only was the 55,000 m2 building surrounded by bustling streets packed with pedestrians, cars and trams, it was also 11-storeys high – a significant height even for the most experienced demolition contractor. A job that big required an even bigger machine – one that could complete it safely and on schedule. Having experienced success with seven other Volvo high reach demolition excavators in the past, Veidekke contacted Volvo CE for a piece of equipment to meet its demands. The contractor explained its needs and Volvo CE listened, launching the EC750E HR in 2018, based on feedback from Veidekke and other customers around the world. “We required a machine with a long reach and that is what we got,” says Jon Nässelquist, machine purchasing manager at Veidekke. “That a customer can present their own requirements and Volvo builds what the customer wants is unique.” The new EC750E HR has a maximum pin height of 36 metres with a 3.6 tonne tool – that’s a 4.0 metre reach advantage and 44 percent tool weight increase over its predecessor, the EC700C HR. Because the excavator was purpose built for demolition, stability and safety are at the heart of the design. The EC750E HR has an all-new undercarriage, specifically developed for the demolition segment. It is heavier and wider


KIT TALK than even that of the bigger Volvo EC950E excavator, and compared to the EC750E the undercarriage is 0.5 metres longer and 1.0 metres wider – and has an impressive track gauge of 4.3 metres. With an additional 4.0 tonnes of counterweight helping push the EC750E HR’s machine weight to 104 tonnes, the additional stability gives the machine a solid foundation for its best-in-class performance. “The width and the counterweight are what provide the machine with its stability,” Nässelquist explains. “It’s as solid as a rock. Even when using the high reach, the machine remains strong and does not sway which is absolutely crucial.”

While cab comfort is an important feature, the sensitive controls for the hydraulic system are equally important to Ufs. “The machine has smooth hydraulics that react in the way I want. They are responsive and react fast which is very important,” he adds. A responsive hydraulic system allows for greater control, safety and efficiency, meaning more productive and satisfied operators. Veidekke has been a valued Volvo customer for 14 years and owns a fleet of 66 Volvo machines in total. The contractor placed its order for the new EC750E HR with 36m

The EC750E HR also incorporates a number of important safety features that protect both the Veidekke operator and machine when removing the 70,000 tonnes of concrete waste on the House of Oslo site. These include a complete demolition guarding package with robust frame-mounted falling object guard (FOG), which protects the operator from falling debris while maintaining the operator’s visibility. To further enhance safety, the EC750E HR is introduced with a new total moment indicator (TMI) system, which through its own screen in the cabin, provides a real-time display of the boom and tool position and warns operator when working in a dangerous stance. The machine is also designed for comfort. Demolition of tall buildings requires machine operators to focus on points high above the ground and so the cab of the EC750E HR, which can tilt up to 30 degrees, helps reduce neck strain and fatigue among operators. Machine operator Kenneth Ufs says the tilting feature has improved his work life: “Being able to tilt the cab is brilliant. During a long working day, it helps me to stay comfortable and focused.”


boom even before the machine was officially launched and was the first company to receive one. Members of the Veidekke team even visited the Volvo CE excavator factory in Changwon, Korea to see where the machine was built and get a preview of it before it arrived. “Volvo is a great partner when it comes to demolition,” says Erik Nilsen, environment and construction manager for Veidekke Norway. “The EC750E HR works extremely well and has helped us to maintain a high level of productivity. It is the most effective tool for a job of this type.”


Powered by Innovation Under the theme of ‘Powered by Innovation’, Doosan Infracore Europe has announced a number of new developments that not only add to the company’s current Smart Solutions portfolio for the Doosan range of construction, quarry and mining equipment and but also give a preview of what will be coming from the company in the future. They include a new strategic partnership with Palantir Technologies, an American big data unicorn (a term for a start-up company with a current valuation of US$1 billion or more). This is the first of its type in Korea and forms part of the company’s efforts to provide new products and services by converging ICT technologies such as big data and the Internet of Things (IOT). The service programmes within Doosan Smart Solutions also aim to maximize operating efficiency by

creating a smart work environment and as part of this, Doosan has launched a new mobile app for Apple and Android devices for its successful DoosanCONNECTTM fleet and asset management system, now covering over 70,000 of Doosan’s machines worldwide. Further support is provided by a package programme of regular maintenance and extended warranty designed by Doosan and carried out by the service teams at Doosan dealers. To meet increasing demand for the increased efficiency offered by machine guidance systems on excavators, Doosan Smart solutions is now offering new Leica, Trimble and Xsite Ready Kits for the Doosan wheeled and crawler excavators from 14 to 30 tonne. Doosan Smart Solutions already provides factoryinstalled options for the increased flexibility offered by SVAB/Steelwrist tiltrotator systems for the Doosan wheeled excavator range.


Providing a glimpse of the future, Doosan provided an industry-first with a demonstration at Bauma 2019 of long distance remote control of machines using the new 5G telecommunications platform and previewed the company’s ConceptX, providing a complete suite of solutions for site automation including fuel cell drones and autonomous vehicles. “The construction, quarrying and mining industries are becoming increasingly digitalised. We want to stay ahead by investing heavily in new technology for our product development, which includes investing in our drone solutions and automated machine control. We are also partnered with many big solution providers such as Trimble, Leica, Moba (Novatron) and now Palantir,” concludes Charlie Park, CEO of Doosan Infracore Europe. “We want to be known as the most technologyfriendly brand in our markets.”

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Sharing is Caring New app start-up Shareplant has launched and is set to disrupt the construction equipment and tool hire industry by allowing users to rent a wide range of idle construction equipment and tools directly from owners.


The start-up allows equipment owners to earn extra money and offset equipment running costs during downtime and gaps between jobs, while offering renters a seamless way to browse a wide range of available self-drive or operated specialist equipment on a single app, with up-to-the-minute information about availability and without having to contact or search multiple providers.

The performance of the Liebherr R 946 has been second to none ‘We ha ve it a co made policy mpany that al l ne machi nes fro w 30 ton nes up m wards will we a r the Liebhe rr bad ge.’

The R 946 is designed for minimal downtime and greater profitability. “We bought our first Liebherr, an R 954 crawler excavator, back in 2007 and over the past 11 years have used it on a wide range of projects. The machine’s performance has been second to none: it has stood up to everything we could possibly throw at it. With minimal repairs it is still going strong, which is why we have purchased another Liebherr: the R 946 crawler excavator with straight boom. After running the R 946 for a trouble-free 12 months, we have made it a company policy that all new machines from 30 tonnes upwards will wear the Liebherr badge.” Howard Stott, Howard Stott Demolition Ltd.

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KIT TALK The first company in the UK to bring the sharing economy to construction plant and tool hire, Shareplant already hosts hundreds of pieces of equipment for hire on its online Rental Marketplace, covering locations including Birmingham, London, Newcastle, Manchester - and Shareplant’s home county of Cumbria. The service is available online as well as via an app, available for iPhone and Android devices. Plant owners can list their equipment for free on Shareplant, receive a free one-onone consultation to learn how to get the most out of the service, and use Shareplant’s Rental Calculator to estimate the rental fees their idle equipment could fetch. On average, construction equipment is used for only 50 to 80 percent of its potential working time, meaning it remains idle for 30-60 hours every week (assuming 24/7 availability.) With equipment expected to lose up to 60 percent of its value to


depreciation in just three years, this idle time is a wasted opportunity to offset depreciation and running costs and to add another revenue stream to construction businesses. Shareplant’s Software-as-a-Service offering grasps this opportunity and makes utilising idle equipment a seamless and easy experience. Alongside its rental marketplace, Shareplant has also launched Shareplant Toolbox, providing construction companies with a paperless suite of software tools to help easily manage multiple aspects of their construction business from desktop computer, tablet and smartphone. Shareplant Toolbox includes paperless tools to help manage timebooking, site safety, equipment inspections, maintenance and defects and workforce training and administration. Provided as a monthly subscription, Shareplant Toolbox allows easier management of plant hire as well as management


of construction sites and projects, customer feedback and work package management - and can save users time and cost by streamlining their day-to-day operation. “There are incredible gains to be made in bringing innovation and the sharing economy to the construction and plant hire industry. We’re proud to be launching an easy-to-use service allowing our users to make productive and profitable use of equipment that would otherwise be sitting idle while losing value through depreciation - and providing a single, easy to use place for everything users need when hiring equipment,” says Mark Watters, founder of Shareplant. “Between our Rental Marketplace and our Shareplant Toolbox, users will find renting out, hiring in and maintaining construction equipment and general construction administration a much easier experience.”










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From Prototype to Production

Bobcat has announced that the first of the company’s new E10e zero tail swing (ZTS) 1 tonne electric mini-excavators has come off the production line at the Bobcat compact equipment manufacturing plant at Dobris in the Czech Republic.

Finished at 1:08 pm on 11th July 2019, the first E10e off the line has the Serial Number B4KL11001. It is headed to the Netherlands to the Authorised Bobcat Dealer, Apeldoorn-based Inter-Techno, where it will be used as a demo machine and is available for hire


from Inter-Techno’s partner company, 123Machineverhuur. The E10e is built on the same platform and produced on the same production line as the highly successful diesel-powered E08 and E10z mini-excavators. This


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KIT TALK line currently has a total capacity of 2000 machines a year and can produce the required mix of diesel and electric models as dictated by actual market demand. “We are very pleased that actual demand is higher than our original expectations and production capacities. We prioritized Bobcat dealers in the Netherlands, the nordic countries, Germany and Austria. These countries have very positive public acceptance of alternative power sources,” says Jarry Fiser, Mini-Excavator Product Line Director, Doosan Bobcat EMEA. “The E10e is just the start of our journey in further expanding our portfolio in alternative power sources. In essence, all the components in the power train are made to measure and we are still adjusting the processes with our

suppliers so that we can increase the production volumes when needed. The 2019 production capacity is already sold out and we are accepting orders for delivery in 2020.” The Bobcat E10e is the world’s first one tonne electric mini-excavator, combining zero emissions, low noise and a width of just 710 mm, allowing it to easily pass through standard doors and in and out of lifts. It is therefore ideal not only for indoor demolition and basement digging, but also many other sites where this type of machine is required such as urban/city centre developments, night-time work and contracts in quiet zones such as hospitals, cemeteries, schools and so on. The E10e has a state-of-the-art lithium-ion, maintenance-free


battery pack with an advanced management system, designed to fit within the standard machine envelope to maintain the machine’s ZTS profile, matching all the parameters and dimensions of the standard diesel-powered E10z mini-excavator. Based on customer studies, Bobcat has optimized the battery pack to provide capacity to match typical work patterns. The E10e can therefore be operated for up to four hours on one charge. By using an optional external 400V supercharger, it can be recharged to 80% of its capacity in less than two hours. As a result, the E10e can operate throughout a full working day when used with normal work breaks. The battery can also be fully recharged overnight by using the on-board charger from a standard 230 V grid.


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Rockwheel Acquires Hartl Crusher German rotary cutter manufacturer Rokla GmbH, which operates under the Rockwheel brand, has announced its acquisition of Austrian crusher and screening bucket specialist Hartl Engineering & Marketing GmbH. The deal includes the use of the Hartl brand, inventory and intellectual property. No redundancies are expected as a result of this announcement, and the sale price is not being disclosed. The Hartl family’s Modular Solutions Division is not included in the deal. Hartl Engineering & Marketing GmbH was established in 2011, building on a long history of the Hartl family name in the crushing sector. Under Rokla ownership, Hartl will remain an agile, entrepreneurial, brand. Rokla will make available its considerable competences and add resources to allow Hartl Crusher to expand its market coverage and customer base. Hartl Crusher was founded by brothers Dominik and Alexander Hartl, and quickly established itself worldwide as a leading manufacturer of crusher and screening

buckets. Supplying customers in nearly 70 countries, the product range is based on many years of experience and innovations, including the Quattro movement. In 2013, its crusher buckets were awarded the internationally renowned Red Dot Design Award. Based in Langenburg, Germany, Rokla has been manufacturing and marketing rotary cutters under the Rockwheel brand since 2013. Already regarded as a leader in its field, Rokla has also been ranked among the fastest growing construction equipment companies in Germany. “The market for Hartl’s product offering has developed well in recent years and this acquisition promises to further strengthen Rokla’s position as a leading supplier of excavator attachments,” says Robert Piasecki, Managing Partner of Rokla. “Rockwheel and Hartl products are particularly complimentary, making the rationale behind the deal even more compelling for customers.” Rokla co-owner, Klaus Volkert, agrees: “The focus on innovation, highquality standards and the uncompromising use of first-class components in Hartl products


correspond exactly to our own philosophy. We are particularly pleased to be able to build on this solid foundation.” Dominik Hartl is also pleased with the sale: “With Rokla we have found the ideal buyer. It is a dynamic and owner-driven company that is a market leader in its respective segment. We are confident that Rokla will help deliver Hartl further success, benefiting customers, distributors and suppliers alike.” Alexander Hartl explains the rationale behind the decision to exit the attachment segment as freeing up resources to concentrate on the family‘s expanding Xelectrix energy storage brand.


Willing and Able HCEE (Hyundai Construction Equipment Europe) distributor Taylor & Braithwaite has sold the very first HX900 L crawler excavator to leading demolition giants, ABLE UK. ABLE UK, headquartered in Middlesborough UK, operates across a number of challenging industrial and business sectors and is a specialist in complex demolition and decommissioning processes. The 90 tonne HX900 L is working at ABLE Seaton Port (ASP), located on the North East Coast close to the mouth of the River Tees, where the machine is shearing metal to size, which will then become suitable for recycling. The HX900 L is equipped with a 10 tonne Fortress Shear to tackle tough demolition tasks and was also supplied with a 4.85 m³ bucket for excavation use.

****, secured the deal with ABLE, he said, “The company were looking for a machine to speed up the process of metal recycling as their workload had significantly increased,” says HCEE (Hyundai Construction Equipment Europe) distributor, Taylor & Braithwaite, located in Cumbria UK, has sold the very first HX900 L crawler excavator to leading demolition giants, ABLE UK. ABLE UK, headquartered in Middlesborough UK, operates across a number of challenging industrial and business sectors and is a specialist in complex demolition and decommissioning processes. The 90 tonne HX900 L is working at ABLE Seaton Port (ASP), located on the North East Coast close to the mouth of the River Tees, where the machine is shearing metal to size, which will then become suitable for


recycling. The HX900 L is equipped with a 10 tonne Fortress Shear to tackle tough demolition tasks and was also supplied with a 4.85 m³ bucket for excavation use. “The company were looking for a machine to speed up the process of metal recycling as their workload had significantly increased,”says Taylor & Braithwaite Sales Manager, Chris Jordan. “ABLE UK needed an excavator that was capable of working in tough environments and could cope with heavy duty tasks.” The discussions began with Jordan talking with ABLE’s Plant Manager, Philip Mangan, regarding the company’s requirements, and explaining which models Hyundai could offer that would be suitable for this demanding role. “After identifying the Hyundai machine


Enormous cutting power and rapid cycle times guarantee incredible productivity • Most productive shear with low fuel consumption available on the market • Improved hydraulic infrastructure, no power lost • Built of high performance structural steel • Unique pivot group and jaw alignment, longer lasting Discover our products at

KIT TALK best suited for the company’s needs, I spoke with ABLE’s Procurement Manager, Matthew Davies, and discussed the specification of the HX900 L and its capabilities - including its lifting capacity and working range - which ABLE analysed in great detail,” Jordan continues. “After negotiations with Mathew Davies and Philip Mangan to agree the final specification and the cost, we shook hands on the deal. It was approximately five months from the initial enquiry to delivering the machine to site.” ABLE UK is already familiar with the Hyundai brand having purchased a 43 tonne R430LC-9A model back in 2016. “That first Hyundai has proven to be an extremely reliable and robust machine,” Chris Jordan explains. “The company’s decision to choose Hyundai was largely influenced by the reliability of their older model.

Securing the deal with ABLE for this machine was very important to Taylor & Braithwaite and Hyundai as a brand. ABLE purchased the very first HX900 L machine to land in the UK and the first sold in Europe. This is the largest Hyundai model working in the UK. As a result of this deal we have had several new enquiries for the new Hyundai model, and we are very proud to have been the first dealer to introduce this mighty machine to the UK. We are anticipating more orders in the near future.” ABLE UK is equally pleased with


the purchase. “We are more than satisfied with our 90 tonne machine and we definitely look forward to continuing the collaboration,” concludes ABLE UK’s Philip Mangan. “The HX900L is performing well. We could not ask for more.”


Tight For Space Solutions with Komplet from Red Knight 6 Ltd Large sites, big equipment that’s easy to feed, it’s the ideal combination for recycling demolition waste, but what happens when you are working on a site that’s tight for space where you need to process material and you can’t swing the proverbial cat. Sure, transporting the material for processing offsite is an option, but to keep costs down and drive real effectiveness you need a machine that is genuinely compact, but still powerful enough to process demolition waste and allow you to reuse it.

Italian manufacturer Komplet’s business has been built around unrivalled, truly compact machines that are easy and cost effective to transport to pack the necessary punch to deliver the financial benefit back to your business. The mobile compact jaw crusher JC 704 is a perfect example. New for 2019 has an opening of 680 x 400mm with an output of up to 80 tonnes per hour. With a CSS range of 20mm to 80mm and a total weight of 12 tonnes, the unit produces high quality recycled material that you can immediately reuse on site.


Need greater flexibility in your product? Then combine the K-JC 704 with the mobile screener, Kompatto 104 (see the image). Weighing just 7 tonnes, the 104 has an output potential of 250 tph ensuring it can meet the recycling needs you’d have on site. Komplet has a range of new products for 2019, all exclusively available from UK & Ireland partner Red Knight 6 Ltd. The machines are all designed to give the flexibility needed on site whilst producing the material you want to get the job done. For more information on the Komplet range machinery, visit the RK6 website or contact the team on sales@ or 01293 862 619.




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