Demolition sites are dangerous for construction machinery due to debris, such as broken concrete chunks, abrasive asphalt surfaces, exposed rebar, scrap metal, and splintered wood. Although a wide range of equipment is available for demolition work, skid-steer loaders are frequently used due to their small size and nimble handling in confined areas. In addition, since most contractors use medium- to small-sized machines, they can easily be lifted and moved from one floor to the next as they dismantle the building, level by level.
When choosing, outfitting, and operating a skid-steer loader in a building demolition setting, it is crucial to keep in mind a few specifics due to the extreme conditions in which the machine will be used.
1. Choose the proper attachment
It’s essential to begin by picking the right tool for the job. Gregg Zupancic from John Deere Construction suggests using a robust vertical-lift machine if the machine is expected to lift heavy loads. “A smaller radial lift-style boom could be preferable for working in extremely confined spaces.”
The longevity of a machine is also influenced by how its attachments are used. For example, task-specific attachments allow a single skilled operator to do the work of multiple workers, and high-flow hydraulics and hydraulic mounting plates make it possible to switch attachments without leaving the cab.
According to Right Way Hauling‘s Marvin Greenfield, “whether using a grapple bucket, shears, or hammers, having the right combination of a machine to attachment will make the difference between making a profit and losing money.”
Mike Fitzgerald from Bobcat Co. notes that skid-steer loaders are frequently used to demolish concrete slabs, foundations, and block walls. However, he warns that improper use of attachments like a hydraulic breaker can damage a skid steer loader. “Operators should keep an eye on the breaker’s pressure and grease it regularly to extend its useful life.”
2. Protect your investment after building demolition
To safeguard your investment, you should give special attention to the areas of your machine that are the most likely to be damaged when you set out to equip it. Naturally, the tires on your vehicle are at the top of the list.
According to Zupancic, the average tread life for skid steer tires is between 400 and 600 hours. This varies widely based on application, operator experience, and tire upkeep frequency. Tires will wear down more rapidly on “abrasive surfaces” like concrete and asphalt, as well as in “work areas with severe hazards” like waste transfer, demolition, and metal recycling, he says. To paraphrase, “That’s why you need to ensure you get the right tire for your skid steer.”
Although traditional bias-ply tires are the least expensive option up front, their life is shortened the most by harsh service conditions. If you want your pneumatic tires to last as long as possible, Zupancic recommends sticking to the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance schedule and operating at the recommended air pressure.
To increase their bias tires’ durability, many companies opt to have them lined with protective gel during production or filled with foam/polyurethane afterward. Others use semi-pneumatic (also known as aperture) tires. And it would be best to consider getting solid tires for the worst possible terrain, usually found in building demolition areas. Fitzgerald claims that these tires are better suited for the rough conditions found on building demolition sites.
Some producers, like New Holland, additionally protect by selling valve stem guards. In addition, the machine can have special tire guards installed to protect the tires from punctures.
Additional shields can be installed to safeguard the machine’s engine, door, etc. The bumper/counterweight option is available on Gehl machines. In addition to increasing the machine’s lift capacity, it also serves as a shield to prevent damage to the machine’s tail.
To safeguard the operator from flying debris, most manufacturers provide an option for demolition-style doors and reinforced top and rear windows. A three-point seat belt additionally protects the driver. Talk to your local dealer about any specialized protection features you might need for your equipment and the specifics of your application.
3. Clean and inspect your machines often
Maintenance of machines used frequently in building demolition settings will be more involved. “A building demolition environment is hard on the machine because of the nature of the work being done, the machine’s cycle time, and the application conditions on the machine,” says Kelly Moore, Gehl Co.
Routine maintenance, like checking fluids and filters, is a breeze to complete before starting any construction equipment. Hydraulic cylinders, lines, etc., should also be inspected for wear and tear. Due to the harsh operating conditions around building demolition sites, inspecting the machine for any signs of wear or structural damage is essential.
The tires require special care and should be inspected regularly. The tires are “turning hard and running over debris,” as Moore puts it. “Ensure the lug nuts are tight and the tires are wearing evenly. Replace a damaged tire immediately if you notice a gouge or other serious damage. When you run a tire that isn’t in the same condition as the others, you put extra strain on the machine, the steering, and the drivetrains. So it’s in your best interest to replace broken items as soon as possible.”
4. Schedule service more frequently
Service tasks like oil and filter changes will likely need to be completed more frequently than for skid-steer loaders used in conventional dirt-moving applications. Building demolition is a particularly rough construction site.
Daniels says, “Small particles can get into the bushing and pin contact areas, accelerating wear and damage and leading to pricey service bills.” “Therefore, it is advised to grease at regular intervals. In addition, the unit may frequently overheat due to the accelerated accumulation of debris in the radiator area.”
In what increments of time should you plan to perform these steps? “Exceeding the guidelines can extend the machine’s life,” says Zupancic. Furthermore, even if maintenance needs to be sped up, it should still follow the manual’s instructions.
Moore chimes in, saying that “how often” is often a matter of judgment regarding building demolition. “It might be twice as long as the typical maintenance window. Because of its dependence on the program, keeping a close eye on the clock is of the utmost importance. And remember to keep track of when you checked the maintenance log or the hour meter to see if anything needed fixing. In building demolition, it is imperative to take care of the equipment according to the manufacturer’s instructions, regardless of the brand or size of the machine. Oils, filters, and the like get dirtier more quickly because of the demanding use. As a result, more demanding tasks are being asked of the machine.”
If you work in a highly dusty environment, it’s a good idea to increase the frequency with which you perform maintenance, and it’s also a good idea to consider investing in features like air cleaners, which can help extend the time between cleanings. Pre-cleaners remove the largest particles from the air before entering the air cleaner. By keeping the engine and other parts safe, we can increase their useful lifespan and, thus, the machine’s overall usefulness.
If you’re looking for a contractor to demolish the building that has become an eyesore, you’re in the right place.
Before closing, here’s a better understanding of work site conditions:
What are the 3 types of demolition?
- Demolition By Explosion or Implosion
The use of explosives, the most effective demolition method, will be our first target. This technique for commercial demolition is well-known for its efficiency and cost-effectiveness because of its ability to bring down multi-story buildings quickly and under control. However, there are a few other significant advantages to using explosives for demolition.
Implosions are sometimes the best way to protect the well-being of everyone and everything during the demolition of a structure that presents significant risks, such as hazardous conditions, confined spaces, or threats to the health of the surrounding communities.
Make sure you have the proper permits and paperwork in order before beginning this method of demolition and hire an experienced commercial demolition contractor. You certainly want to avoid another demolition project for smokestacks beginning this year only to repeat the difficulties of the previous one. This method can be modified to demolish almost any structure except for brick and timber.
Other demolition techniques would be more suitable if you wanted to save some materials or only take down a portion of your building. The most common forms of demolition are listed below.
- Demolition By Hand
While using hand tools for demolition is the slowest method available, it’s a great choice when caution is required. When demolishing a building manually, salvaging usable materials is a top priority. This method of demolition is the best option, for instance, if you need to salvage LAN cables, electrical wiring, or other crucial building parts.
Notably, this demolition method is most effective on a floor-by-floor basis, beginning at the top and working one’s way down. In most cases, we advise the tenants to relocate temporarily or shut down their operations. Although there are some advantages to using this method of demolition, it is also the slowest and most expensive option. So here are your options to finish your demolition job quickly and affordably.
- Demolition By Machine
In many cases, mechanical demolition of the building is the only option. Thanks to heavy machinery and cutting-edge technology, industrial demolition jobs are now quick, easy, and cheap to complete. However, because of the high level of expertise required, only trained experts should use this machinery. You can’t expect to master these tools throughout the weekend. Hydraulic excavators, cranes, and wrecking balls are all examples of standard demolition machinery that can quickly and safely demolish entire buildings. However, they also present several risks if misused.
While uncontrolled or unintentional building collapses are a worst-case scenario, other factors such as excessive dust, flying debris, and noise can all cause severe damage to surrounding structures or workers. Be sure to have all the proper documents and a professional debris removal service before beginning your demolition project, and many of these hazards will not be a problem.
Additional considerations for any commercial demolition project include:
- All building services must be disconnected before construction can begin.
- Implementing proper care and safety procedures when hazardous or radioactive materials are found
- Assuring your organization has the necessary tools, personnel, and time to complete the task.
Mechanical demolition is the best option if you have a limited budget and a strict deadline.
Handling Demolition with Right Way Hauling Demolition Services
If you need help completing a demolition project on time and within budget, look no further than Right Way Hauling. We’ll work with you and your team to find the most efficient way to accomplish your goal. When you hire Right Way Hauling Demolition, you’ll have the assurance that you’re working with a commercial demolition expert will give you peace of mind who will use all of their skill, expertise, and available resources to get the job done quickly, safely, and in an environmentally responsible manner. Feel free to call us at (502) 938-7619 or email us if you’re interested in discussing your upcoming project with our team. We’re excited to work with you to accomplish your goals, regardless of your chosen approach.
Most importantly, make sure the machine is always in peak working order. Moore explains that the goal is to have an as little downtime as possible. “Failures in the engine or the machine can occur if maintenance and servicing are not performed regularly. If the machine is broken, you’re losing money.”
The demolition cost of a building can be very reasonable and not as costly as you think. If you need the demolition of a building, contact Right Way Hauling today!