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Sun December 16 2018

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McGee's compact special

Digger Blogger | 07:00, Wed December 05 2018

A bespoke compact high-reach demolition machine is being used by McGee Group in London.

McGee Group is working on the Park Royal project for the HS2 Skanska Costain Strabag (SCS) joint venture team undertaking large-scale demolition.

McGee needed a smaller high-reach machine than usual due to the space-restricted inner-city location. Liebherr came up with a bespoke solution based on its R 926 Compact base machine.

A range of industrial and office buildings is being pulled down on a section of the Bethune Road industrial estate that will be excavated to become the Victoria Road Crossover Box. The site is just a stone’s throw from McGee’s offices in north London.

As there was no suitably compact demolition machine on the market, McGee approached Liebherr. After a technical meeting at Liebherr’s manufacturing facility in Colmar, France, a bespoke 12-metre high-reach was made.

Liebherr removed the standard excavator front end of an R 926 Compact and replaced it with a two-piece boom and dipper capable of giving a pin height of 12 metres and of running a work tool with a weight of up to 2.5 tonnes. The boom configuration comprises a 7.8-metre main boom with a 5-metre dipper stick. An underslung dipper ram allows the machine to be reduced in height for transport and for accessing tight locations if and when required. A range of additional hydraulic services has also been included to allow for attachments. A full ROPS and FOPS demolition cage has been specifically fabricated and tested for the R 926, which has a slightly shorter cab than the standard counterweight machines.

The R 926 Compact base machine weighs up to 28 tonnes depending on the specification. McGee Group’s adapted version weighs more than 29 tonnes thanks to the heavy-duty construction. The cab interior is as standard apart from the addition of a James Fisher Prolec system that has been designed to manage the Liebherr’s working envelope with both a visual and audible signal alerting the operator if they reach the safe working limit.

The first building to be cleared on the site wais a steel-framed brick-clad industrial warehouse of one and a half storeys. Operated by Tom McGee and equipped with a Demarec shear, the R 926 was used for a multitude of jobs including dismantling the steel framed structure and the secondary processing of steel once it was on the floor.

“It seems to be a very good machine,” he said. “It’s typically Liebherr: very well built and will be great for jobs like this.”