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A.R. Demolition goes West

Digger Blogger | 13:37, Sun October 21 2012

While travelling back and forth from my current jobsite in Cornwall, I noticed that A.R. Demolition Ltd, had moved onto the site of an old car sales building. Once their machine had arrived, I called in one evening to take a look and catch up with the site team.

The building in question was the old Vospers Ford dealership in Liskeard, which was still in use only a few weeks ago. The land has been sold and the proposed Aldi store will start to take shape over the coming months. The demolition works, being conducted by Warwickshire based A.R. Demolition Ltd, consists of internal strip out, demolition, site clearance, and crushing.

I was met on site by A.R. Demolition’s site supervisor Pete Franklin, who has been with the company for over 2 years and clearly has a big passion for the demolition game. Mr. Franklin explained that during the first week the team had been involved in the interior strip out, which considering the inclement West Country weather we have experienced recently, was a blessing in disguise. Now with the machine on site things have progressed very rapidly.

A.R. Demolition Ltd’s fleet is dominated by Volvo excavators, with an additonal two Hitachi zero tailswing models. But also included in the fleet are two Liebherr R916 Litronic Classic models. The 24.1 ton machines are powered by Liebherr’s own 157hp (115kw) D934S engine, which I have to say was incredibly quiet and enviromentally friendly during my visit. Amongst this machines arsenal of work tools was this Kinshoffer selector grab.

Using the machines OilQuick coupling system, changing of work tools is fast and efficient, operator Neil Atkins selected the grab and was straight back into action in no time at all.

Mr. Atkins went to work stripping the cladding sheets from the roof with speed and precision. Once on the ground he was then able to pull off the insulation material which was attached to the inside of the sheet. Not having been involved in demolition very much during my 34 year career on machines, I was very interested by the whole process, and skill required by the operators on these machines.

Neil Atkins has been a demolition operator for some considerable time, and has been with A.R. Demolition Ltd for a couple of years. He is said to be very pleased with the performance of his Liebherr R916 excavator.

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The rotating selector grab and the shears are obviously invaluable tools for this kind of work, and it was a delight to witness the separation of the various materials, throughout the demolition period. The job was initially scheduled to take 4 weeks to complete, but following a meeting with the clients last week, this has now been cut back to 3 weeks; but with the team working away from home and putting in some long hours, it is expected to be completed by the end of play this Friday.

Site Supervisor Pete Franklin, was keen to heap praise on the OilQuick hydraulic coupling system, saying that it has been a revolution having their machine’s fitted with the Swedish manufactured couplers. “It just saves us so much time, and eliminates the downtime of having to plumb up pipework in the old fashioned way. It’s definitely the way forward” said Mr. Franklin. In this shot you can clearly see the connectors on top of the shears.

With the building now down, this week attention will turn to clearing the site of all materials, and the removal of the slab, and all hard standings including kerbs, edgings and tarmac. The concrete product is scheduled to be crushed into a re-usable 6F2 product by the team and stockpiled on site for use by the contractors during the construction of the new Aldi store.

Here’s a short video clip from our site visit.

The Digger Blog would like to thank Mr Richard Dolman and the team at A.R. Demolition for inviting us to see them at work and with a number of other jobs coming up in the South West, I look forward to covering more in the future.    


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