New demolition excavators: Where size does matters

Published 17/5, 2017 at 12:50

After a surge in activity last year with Bauma as the primary catalyst, 2017 was proving to be understandably quieter. Perhaps the biggest news is that Japan-based Kobelco Construction Machinery is strengthening its presence in Europe by preparing to launch two new models later in the year. There is also a trend among users towards larger and more powerful machines to cover a wider range of demolition tasks. Andrei Bushmarin reports.

Demolition Specified Models

Hyundai addresses the elephant in the room  

The city zoo in Blackpool, UK, is currently undergoing renovation. Part of the zoo, including the main entrance building, is made up of hangars dating back to the site’s former use as an airfield. Following a safety inspection, the hangar adjacent to the main entrance building and play barn was deemed unsafe and earmarked for demolition. Manchester-based specialist contractor MCW Plant owned and run by Mark Watson won the contract. 

The first phase of the project involved primary demolition of the hangar. It was performed using the company’s new 30t Hyundai HX300 L excavator fitted with a Daemo DMS250 sheer. To clear the debris from the demolished hanger, the contractor used a new 12.5t Hyundai R125LCR-9A equipped with a Daemo DMC140 pulveriser. Both machines were supplied by the local Hyundai dealer HES Enterprises. “The Hyundai machines are very robust, reliable and powerful even when operating in the fuel-saving eco mode,” said Watson. “The cab in the HX300 is also very comfortable, it is a pleasure to operate even 10h/day. Visibility is also spot on in this machine, the AAVM all-round vision camera is superb, especially whilst working in a tight spot.” 


Kobelco focuses on Europe  

Kobelco Construction Machinery is arguably the number one demolition excavator brand in Japan. Considering the cutthroat competition from Komatsu, Hitachi and Caterpillar, this is no mean feat. In Europe, however, its success has been modest so far. 

Unhappy with this situation, the company has made a point of turning the tables on its rivals there. Towards this goal, Kobelco Europe, based in Almere, Netherlands, is launching this year two new models tailored to the European market. Weighing 47t and 60t respectively, the SK400DLC-10 and SK550DLC-10 come equipped with the booms featuring Kobelco’s patented NEXT joint system. This system ensures quick and safe assembling/dismantling of the boom and easy transportation of the machine. Assembly time is reduced to less than 30min compared to 2h for previous generation models. 

Two boom options are available for the new demolishers: a high-reach boom and so-called "separate" one for ground level applications such as foundation demolition. The SK400DLC-10 is due for launch in August, while the larger SK550DLC-10 will premiere a month later. Earlier this year at Conexpo, Las Vegas Kobelco debuted the SK350DLC-10 model specified for North American market.


Kocurek – a worldwide 

supplier of bespoke demolition solutions    

Kocurek is a mid-size family-owned company based in Suffolk, UK. Despite its modest size Kocurek is known and respected throughout the global demolition industry for its bespoke solutions. Unlike OEMs that build standard machines on a serial basis, Kocurek designs and manufactures excavators attuned to a specific task. Many of the company’s designs are therefore based on its customers’ needs. 

Kocurek has been modifying excavators since the mid-90s, and over 600 units are now operating around the world. Currently Kocurek offers two basic lines of demolition equipment. The high reach line with non-telescoping booms varies from 22t base machine with 15.5m working pin height to 90t base machine with 30m plus working pin height. 

The ultra high reach line, incorporating telescoping booms, ranges from 50t base carrier with 34m working pin height, up to 150t base machine with 70m working pin height. According to the manufacturer, over 70 ultra high reach excavators are now working worldwide. The most recent innovations from Kocurek are two 150t excavators featuring the company’s highest to date 70m boom and a 90t machine equipped with a 50m boom. The machines will be delivered to Kocurek’s customers in Switzerland and the UK. 

Two new high reachers from Volvo CE  

Volvo's latest E-Series high reach models EC380EHR and EC480EHR weigh 50.3t and 63t respectively and have the maximum pin heights of 23.06m and 28.14m. Maximum tool weights are 3t for the EC380EHR and 3.5t for its larger brother. Both machines come with a heavy duty, extendable undercarriage. 

Unlike other manufacturers, Volvo uses cylindrical sliding tubes for the extension that prevents pressure points not unusual in a sliding bar type design. The machines can be fitted with either high-reach equipment or a standard boom and arm configuration, with switching between the two types made easy thanks to Volvo’s patented hydraulic joint. 

The bigger EC480Ehr is also available with the patented multi-demolition boom to considerably expand its range of application. When fitted in the straight position with digging equipment, the multi-demolition boom allows the use of tools of 5t at a pin height of 15.8m. When fitted in the bent position with digging equipment, the boom is capable of operating with a 5t tool and a pin depth of 17m, which transforms the machine into an underground demolition master. 

A built-in dust suppression system, featuring a 30litre/m hydraulic lifting pump, eliminates the need for a separate solution. Four nozzles, two on each side of the arm, provide a fine mist that traps dust. It can also be used for cleaning the machine with a high-pressure water gun mounted behind the cabinets. Other options include boom and bucket cylinder protection, a side impact protection system and a reversible fan drive.


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