They are being used on a stretch of less than a mile of the motorway to remove existing metal crash barriers and install improved drainage prior to the erection of a new concrete central reservation.
Eleven of the 13 are New Holland E135BSR machines. The other two are the smaller E80 and E50 models.
K Rouse plant manager Jim McGibbon said that the E135BSR was Balfour Beatty’s preferred machine because of the space constraints of the site alongside live traffic. The alternative of an even greater number of smaller machines was ruled out by the nature of the work, which includes removing the existing road surface and sub-base. “The concrete is nearly two and a half feet thick,” said McGibbon. “We saw a line along either side, then use a pulveriser to break up the middle. Then we excavate a bit further before putting the drainage in and backfilling.”
So many machines were needed on such a short stretch to get the job done as quickly as possible. “We’ve only a short amount of time to get the work done hence the large number of excavators we’ve got on the go,” McGibbon added.
To add to the ability of the machines to work efficiently in such a confined and potentially dangerous environment, the company has also agreed with Balfour Beatty to test two Tiltrotators from Swedish manufacturer Engcon. These versatile hydraulic wrists, now almost universal in Scandinavia, have allowed operators to accomplish more tasks from one position, reducing the number of times the machine has had to relocate. “That means there’s less risk to people working nearby and to passing traffic,” explained Engcon marketing director Sten Stromgren.
Other modifications to speed up the work and reduce upheaval include the use of rubber blocks mounted over standard steel tracks on two machines. “This means they can work on both sides of the trench, including on the lane that isn’t scheduled to be resurfaced when the job is finished without damaging it,” explained McGibbon.
|New Holland E135BSR|
|Max dig depth:||5.29m|
|Bucket breakout force:||8750daN|