It’s a 21-tonne machine that combines a JCB JS190 upper structure with a JS220LC undercarriage and rubber track pads.
The new excavator is working 20 hours a day on the redevelopment of Birmingham New Street railway station and is likely to be there for the next nine months.
It has been purpose-designed for this project, where work involves removing reinforced concrete floors to create a void beneath a new atrium roof.
Coleman is the principal demolition contractor on the Birmingham New Street project and is now in its fifth year on site. The current phase sees the removal of 6000 tonnes of mass reinforced concrete during 2014/2015. Some beams weigh as much as 80 or 90 tonnes and are 2.5 metres wide by 1.5 metres deep.
This would be tricky enough outdoors but this is taking place inside, directly beneath a newly constructed, multi-million pound atrium steelwork structure that must be protected from all aspects of the demolition.
Development of the machine has required close co-operation between Coleman Engineering Services, dealer Gunn JCB and JCB Heavy Products in Uttoxeter.
Coleman had already identified the specific multi-processor attachment as the only existing attachment that complied with the project specification when it commissioned JCB to develop a 21-tonne machine capable of operating it.
“We asked JCB to design a bespoke machine that could carry out specific tasks in high risk and technically challenging environments,” says Coleman & Co technical manager Chris Holland. “Nothing was ever an issue or problem. It was more a challenge the company rose to. This was very encouraging as the stakes are very high at New Street given we’ll be operating above 12 live train lines carrying thousands of passengers per day.”
Remote control enables the operator to work the machine while positioned in an aerial work platform above the beam being demolished, getting a good view but clear from falling debris. The integrated infra-red laser fence restricts the unit’s operation to a designated safe zone preventing it from operating too near the edge of the suspended floor.
In addition, the JCB excavator also features: LED lighting for night vision, a non-biodegradable safe fuel system, TAB (triple articulated boom), range control, on board auto firefighting equipment, on board dust suppression and a jet-ski-style emergency-stop pull chord.