Sponsored Information: 2006 Demolition Supplement

Equipment knowledge tops list of demolition capabilities

Each year, 2 million American first responders put their lives at risk at the scenes of both natural and man-made disasters including fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods or terrorist attacks on our homeland. And every day, first responders turn to demolition contractors to provide skilled support to assist in recovery efforts, saving lives and making disaster sites safer for communities.

In recent years, demolition contractors played key support roles after the attacks of 9/11, the U.S. Senate anthrax contamination, the demolition of the federal building in Oklahoma City, the California earthquakes and, within the past year, after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The reason a growing number of first responders are integrating demolition contractors into their response teams is the realization that demolition contractors possess the specialized equipment, skilled labor and years
of experience needed to work more efficiently.

Today, many municipal fire departments engage demolition contractors to assist during overhaul, the stage in which firefighters search for and extinguish possible sources of reignition; at buildings collapsed by fire; and during fire cause-and-origin investigation. Currently, the National Demolition Association is working with the International Association of Fire Chiefs to communicate to its members the role skilled support personnel like demolition contractors can play at disaster sites.

Victim and forensic recovery
Perhaps the primary, and possibly most valuable, resource the demolition contractor brings to the disaster site is his fleet of heavy equipment. Qualified demolition contractors possess equipment like hydraulic excavators with special attachments that can dismantle a structure piece by piece, brick by brick if necessary, to first and foremost help in the recovery of survivors. This equipment can keep damage from spreading, help in forensic recovery and make the site safe again.

Most demolition contractors have an army of skid-steer loaders and hydraulic excavators, both of which can be adapted on the spot with a variety of attachments. Skid steers, as small, lightweight versions of full sized wheeled or tracked machines, allow for fast mobilization. Their size also makes them perfect for situations where a large amount of work needs to be accomplished in an area that would not accommodate a larger machine. In a residential area where a disaster has struck, this can be essential. Here is a look at skid-steer attachments and their value to the first response team:

  • Grapple buckets – A skid steer with a grapple bucket is good for moving small, hard-to-handle loads such as wood, block, brick or lightweight steel. The operator can use the hydraulic “teeth” of the bucket to grab and hold materials that would be too difficult to move by hand.
  • Straight buckets – The skid steer uses a straight bucket attachment to move dirt, brick, block or other small debris. A skid steer and bucket can do the work of many laborers in a fraction of the time.
  • Pallet forks – A pallet fork is capable of moving bulky or palletized material easily.
  • Poles – A pole is used for precision demolition on wood, block or brick walls and is capable of quickly and accurately separating materials while keeping the operator at a safe distance from the work.
  • Breakers – A breaker or hydraulic hammer can be used to break walls, sidewalks, bunkers and other solid materials in a fraction of the time it would take a man with a jackhammer.

Away from danger
Backhoes and loaders are two other types of heavy equipment that can assist in recovery efforts at a disaster scene. A backhoe loader, with its articulated boom attached to the heavy-duty tracked frame, uses attachments similar to those for skid steers, but with much larger capacitites. Some first responders direct demolition contractors to use backhoes with extended boom arms to reach more than four stories in the air. The specialized attachments allow work to be done from a great distance in potentially dangerous situations. Backhoe attachments for this application include:

  • Grapples – Backhoes with grapples can be used to reach over and around walls to remove debris quickly, without compromising the integrity of the structure. A grapple is capable of an amazingly delicate touch when the safety of victims or first responders is at stake.
  • Buckets – Made of heavy high-carbon steel, buckets come in many sizes and can dig dirt and debris and be used to pull down or push over walls and load trucks.
  • Hammers – Hydraulic hammers can breach exterior walls, large bunkers or any heavy-duty
    concrete structural components, allowing rescuers to quickly and safely access all areas of a structure.
  • Shears – Hydraulic shears are perfect for cutting through 12-inch structural steel beams in a few seconds. They can also cut concrete walls and floors. Most shears and processors have the capability to rotate 360 degrees, giving them a level of dexterity similar to the human hand.
  • Processors – Like giant nutcrackers, these are designed to pulverize concrete. Called “universal processors,” they can crunch not only concrete but just about any type of material.

Demolition contractors also use loaders to move large amounts of debris swiftly. They can be wheeled or tracked and equipped with different attachments. Tire loaders ensure fast bucket loading and the ability to change direction without slowing. Track loaders, which exert extremely low ground pressure, are ideal for a variety of surface conditions. And when extra reach is needed or debris needs to be cleared from hard-to-access areas, contractors can provide cranes with skilled operators. Cranes can hoist material over walls and other obstructions without the need to dismantle the structure first.

Demolition contractors bring a number of other capabilities and resources to the table for first responders. One is their ability to identify, remove and dispose of hazardous materials which may be present at a disaster site. Another is their inventory of personal protective equipment, which includes masks, protective suits and breathing apparatus. Demolition contracting firms belonging to the National Demolition Association are also versed in safety techniques, thanks to the library of safe work practices the association provides to its members.

In addition, many demolition contractors can provide realistic first responder training at select demolition sites throughout the United States. These sites can be configured to mirror any man-made or natural disaster for practical training and evaluation.

The National Demolition Association is encouraging first responders to evaluate and recruit technical and skilled support members now, before the next disaster occurs. The association maintains a directory of qualified candidates for every geographical region and is poised to provide the needed assistance to local, state and federal first response teams.

By Michael R. Taylor, executive director of the National Demolition Association. The National Demolition Association is a trade organization representing nearly 1,000 member firms in the United States and Canada. For more information, go to this site or call (800) 541-2412.

Crush concrete, rocks, asphalt and more
Giberson Enterprises has introduced the Eco-Crusher, an excavator mounted bucket
jaw crusher that can crush concrete, rocks, asphalt and more. Producing 15-inch-minus down to 1-inch-minus material, onsite crushing can eliminate hauling and tipping fees. Giberson offers four units: the BF 60, BF 70, BF 90 and BF 120. Each includes hoses and a universal hitch that can attach to any excavator weighing more than 20,000 pounds.

One attachment compatible with several machines
Felco attachments are custom manufactured to fit specific excavators, but now the attachments can be used with different machines. The Felco VMS is
adaptable for use on different machines of the same weight class. Instead of purchasing separate Felco attachments for different machines, you can now purchase one Felco VMS and adapt it to fit. Felco attachments are compatible with pin-grabber quick couplers as well.

Breaker with fewer parts for less maintenance
Construction Attachments’ CAL-750 hydraulic breaker can be used with a skid-steer loader for concrete and rock demolition, as well as asphalt removal, quarry and compaction work. The design of the breaker mounting bracket allows for adaptation to an array of direct-pin or quick-attach coupler systems. Each breaker includes one point, one tool kit and one nitrogen gauge. Construction Attachments’ says the breaker’s patented internal valve system is 10 to15 percent more efficient than other valve systems, translating into cooler running breakers that deliver more power.

Multifunction bucket for demolition and excavation jobs
PowerTech has introduced its 1000 series PicBucket percussion bucket for compact excavators. The multifunctional bucket performs demolition and excavation jobs in restricted spaces. The PicBucket 1000 series can be used to install pipes, demolish concrete structures, do foundation work, construct or maintain water and gas conduits and bury telecommunications cables and wires.

Fecon debuts front grapple for skid-steer loaders
Fecon’s FG58 front-mounted grapple for skid steers weighs 800 pounds and has a static load lifting capacity of 8,990 pounds and a dynamic load lifting capacity of 2,810 pounds. The grapple has a maximum opening of 58 inches. It can reach its full open apex in less than a second when used with 15-gallon-per-minute hydraulic systems.

Tackle severe grapple applications
Fleco’s HD Grapple tackles severe applications that require maximum clamping, prying and breakout forces. The grapple structure has a two-over-three-tine design with serrated teeth, and features a four-bolt flanged hinge that maintains the linkage of the grapple for easier and faster installation times. The grapples are available in three sizes – 36 inches, 42 inches and 48 inches – for excavators ranging from 25,000 to 100,000 pounds.

Bucket can finish grade, dig trenches, handle material
Helac designed its PowerGrip multipurpose bucket foremost as a general excavating tool, but it can also be used as a trenching, grading or clamshell bucket, and as a grapple or hydraulic thumb. You attach the bucket to your backhoe or excavator through standard pin-on installation and perform general excavating with a toothed lip, finish grading with a smooth lip, material handling with the clam and gripping with the jaw. The bucket’s enclosed rotary actuator hinge design eliminates exposed moving parts and obstructions in the bucket shell or clam.

Bucket with milling unit helps break through materials
Felco Industries’ newest demolition product, the UTS Milling Bucket, has a milling unit attached to it. The bucket allows you to break through pavement, concrete, building foundations and slate, as well as grind trees.

Solid cushion tires reduce total weight up to 30 percent
TY Cushion Tire’s skid steer tire line features the aperture structure solid tire, which allows the solid tire to ride like a regular pneumatic tire without puncturing. By reducing the amount of rubber used in the tire, TY reduced the total weight up to 30 percent, therefore increasing fuel efficiency. The rubber compound allows solid cushion tires to wear more evenly and last longer, according to the manufacturer.

Ground protection mats get six-year guarantee
AlturnaMats are made of 1/2-inch polyethylene and feature a maximum traction diamond plate tread. AlturnaMats protect turf from heavy vehicle damage in industries such as construction, landscaping, tree-care and other turf-sensitive markets. Another product, VersaMats, has a slip-resistant tread designed for both pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

Ground protection mats get six-year guarantee
AlturnaMats are made of 1/2-inch polyethylene and feature a maximum traction diamond plate tread. AlturnaMats protect turf from heavy vehicle damage in industries such as construction, landscaping, tree-care and other turf-sensitive markets. Another product, VersaMats, has a slip-resistant tread designed for both pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

Grapple bucket aids in tough clean up
Werk-Brau’s Trash Grapple Bucket for skid-steer loaders can be used for various applications involving clean up of scrap, trash or other debris that cannot be easily handled with a standard bucket. The cutting edge can be fitted with teeth or a bolt-on edge. This product can be designed to attach to loader arms or to OEM coupler

On-site oil change and maintenance systems
The patented Sage Oil Vac system uses a vacuum and pressurizing process completely contained within the system, eliminating spills or contamination. The system also helps safeguard the operator and simplifies used oil disposal. Sage says its Oil Vac is the only completely mobile, self-contained fluid evacuation and handling system of its kind. Heavy equipment companies can use Sage Oil Vac as a no-pump system for maintenance on all types of equipment such as loaders, excavators, cranes, trenchers and scrapers.

Air compressor features oil blow-by control system
Oasis’ 3000 Series 12vdc air compressor has an oil blow-by control, which, according to the manufacturer, extends oil-servicing intervals to 50 hours. The 3000 Series offers an impermeable sealed lubrication system, virtually eliminating outside contaminants and oil emissions. The anti blow-by design uses oil control piston rings, which minimize crankcase lubrication discharge into compressed air supply.

Two breaker series for varied work environments
Mid Atlantic Tools offers two breaker series for a variety of work environments. The PBV series features open housing and allows for easy maintenance. The PBS series with silent box housing is designed for reduced noise. Encased housing protects the inner parts of the breaker, while easy tool brush replacement gives the breaker longer life. Each line is available in eight models to fit a range of carrier units. Under water kits are also available.

Excavator attachments available in several sizes
Rotobec has released a new line of Power Attachments in three sizes to match excavators from 15 to 45 tons. All sizes are offered with different jaw configurations. The RPA 4570R has a three-by-four-tine configuration designed to handle logs, stumps and other types of wood debris. Rotobec says this product performs better than the traditional bucket and thumb or
non-rotating grapple when feeding a grinder.

Grapple fits multiple excavator lines
Pemberton’s new excavator grapple, the EGR-C, has a two-thirds tine configuration and is available in three sizes and six different models. The EGR-C has AR-500 weld-on, replaceable tine tips that are standard on both front and back sides of each tine. The product can be mounted on multiple lines of excavators in the same size range with simple spacer or bushing kits. The heat-treated pivot group retainer bearing assembly connects the grapple jaws.

Universal tool for soft demolition, sorting debris
The Brokk G-50 is a high-powered universal tool for all kinds of soft demolition and debris sorting. The G-50 has an integrated 360-degree rotator and opens up to 19.7 inches. It can carry weights up to 265 pounds.

Magnet extension aids in range of motion
The Allied-Gator MT Series Mag Extension gives new dimension to the tasking capabilities of an excavator by enabling it to perform all the functions of a material handler equipped with a magnet.

Allied-Gator says its MT Series Mag Extension allows the magnet to achieve a range of motion that is not found in any other machine arrangement capable of accepting a magnet. The MT Series Multi-Tool and Mag Extension allow one machine to perform demolition, processing, material handling and site cleanup.

Broom bucket fills completely before dumping
MB offers the LB and LLB loader-mount brooms, recommended for skid steers, compact wheel loaders, loaders and backhoe loaders. Both models feature dual casters and rear pivot, allowing the broom to follow the contours of the surface. The adjustable baffle keeps bristles clean while allowing the bucket to fill completely before dumping.

Thumb maximizes rotation
The Maximum Rotation Hydraulic Thumb from PSM allows maximum rotation when working with a pin-grabber quick coupler. T-1 used in the components and hardened pins and bushings add durability. Anti-torsion progressive links and a dual cushioned cylinder absorb shock and wear on your machine.

Powder coat paint offers durable finish
Landoll now offers powder coat paint on its large trailer frames as a standard feature. Powder coat paint produces a uniform, high quality finish. The process begins with surface preparation, which purges oils and other contaminants from the raw steel frame. Steel shot blasting then rids the metal of any rust, paint or mill, leaving the metal smooth and ready for paint. The powder coat is applied while the frame is rotated 360 degrees to provide even coverage and then the frames are baked in an oven. The finish is more resistant to salt and chemicals used on winter roads. Six standard colors are available with options for special color requests.

Breaker comes with patented technology for improved production
Kent’s KF-6 TLB is available with the patented Switch-Hitch side plate mounting system. An indexing disk in the side plate can be changed to accommodate quick-couplers for many backhoes. The CD designed side bolt threads provide even load distribution and greater surface contact between the nut and bolt, reducing the chances of thru-bolt failure.

Combine multiple trailers to increase payload
Clement Industries created JobStar Western Trains to maximize haulers’ profits in Western markets. The JobStar Western Train features a 40-foot, tri-axle lead trailer with a 20-cubic-yard capacity and a 24-foot, 14-cubic-yard pup trailer. JobStar’s framework structure was designed for maximum strength and minimum weight. In the West and Northwest markets, multiple JobStar Western Train trailers can be coupled to increase payload.

Surface helps grip debris, protect underside of stick
Welded to the underside of your excavator’s stick, the Amulet StickGrip provides a positive grip profile to allow the bucket to securely hold debris, rocks, logs and scrap. It’s offered as a low-cost alternative to a thumb attachment.