Giant transport

19 March 2008

The 120 tonne base carrier its astride one of Gary Formby's low loaders

The 120 tonne base carrier its astride one of Gary Formby's low loaders

Impressive on site, the growing umber of large high reach demolition avators working around the world an equally impressive challenge it comes to their transport from site to work site. Their shear cal size and heavy weight can limit oads and routes they have to use, bridges that they can cross, and ome extreme instances, the places are able to work.

UK demolition contractor 777 Demolition ltd recently took delivery believed to be the largest high reach machine currently operating in the UK from specialist contractor kocurek–a Hitachi EX1200 tracked excavator modified to carry a 60 m (197 ft) three stage telescopic boom.

To illustrate the challenges that the transport of such a machine can impose, D&Ri to 777's transport manager Malcolm Beatty and specialist transport sub contractor Garry Formby, who carried out the machine's first move–from kocurek's Ipswich factory to the its first job site in Liverpool, a distance of 245 miles.

In transport mode, with the 35 tonne boom, 10 tonne telescopic dipper arm and 20 tonnes of removable counterweighting taken off the machine, the base carrier comes in at a weight of 120 tonnes, In addition, the machine was transported with a 10 tonne attachment. Mr Beatty told D&Ri: “If you are moving the whole machine, with the 60 m boom, this requires a total offour low loaders to move all the components of the machine.”

In the UK, the relevant local authorities through whose area of responsibility the load is due to pass govern the movement of this size, “You have to prepare and then submit a movement order to each individual local authority that has responsibility for the areas you are passing through. They will then either approve or turn down this transport plan. If they say that you cannot use the route, you then obviously have to try to find an alternative. Weight is normally the major area of concern, not the physical size of the load. We have very rarely been beaten by width considerations,” said Mr Beatty.

Route reconnaissance

“You have to provide at least seven days notice of the movement, and obviously you have to check the route to ensure that no street furniture on the route will interfere with the transport. An escort is also required and we normally provide two–one at the head of the convoy and one at the rear. In the past, local police forces might provide this, but now we have to provide our own.”

In the past, Mr Beatty said that he used to carry out the route reconnaissance himself, but given the time–consuming nature of the tesk, he now sub–contracts this work.

Specialist transport contractor Gary Formby who, actually carried out the move of the machine, said of the job: “It probably took around five days to plan the route, but a physical reconnaissance was not required for most of it. I have moved equipment from Kocurek's yard in Ipswich many times and know the area well–it was the area in Liverpool that the machine was being moved to that required careful examination.” Transport of the machine and counterweight required two of Formby's four low loaders, with 777 providing its own transport for the boom.

When it comes to transporting loads of this size, Mr Formby said that gaining the necessary approvals for the relevant local authorities is the main area of concern, with frequent occasions when they are not granted, requiring the planning of alternative routes, although occasionally the local authority concerned will suggest an alternative route that it will approve.

777 does have the equipment and expertise to carry out the transport of this demolition giant itself, but given that it is also busy moving its other smaller equipment from site to site, sub–contracting the transport of arge machines makes sense both from an omic and time perspective.

Keeping busy

Currently the new machine is working on a site in Liverpool and is scheduled to be on site for at least another month. At the time of talking to Mr Beatty, planning for the next move had yet to start. Should the machine not have a new contract to move to, it would return to 777's yard. However, given the high capital cost involved in the purchase of such a machine, the company tries to keep idle time for its large high reach excavators to a minimum. By way of example, Mr Beatty estimated that 777's other Hitachi 1200 was idle for a maximum of six weeks out of the 52 in 2006–representing a utilisation rate of arond 90%–and demand for high reach work has been great during 2007, hence the delivery of the new machine.

The company currently operates three high reaches–the two Hitachi 1200s and a komatsu PC750SC with a 35 m (115 ft) boom.

Latest News
ITER announces new construction timetable
ITER says “technically robust operations” including deuterium-deuterium fusion production will take place 2035
Sinoboom 60m reaches Australia
Tallest Sinoboom lift to be available in Australia 
IRN100: survey reveals rise in revenues and CapEx
Revenues for the top 100 reach €73 billion for 2023