Forget wrecking balls, excavators are one of the most effective pieces of equipment on a demolition site today. Here we consider the benefits of opting for a specialised demolition excavator over a standard machine with aftermarket fittings.
Safety is paramount on any job but none more so than on a demolition site and there are several differences between a factory-fitted demolition excavator and an aftermarket machine that can greatly impact safety.
When Volvo designs a factory-fitted demolition excavator, the engineers have knowledge of the complete machine, including structural integrity, weight data, component strengths and durability. With this full data, Volvo can make a structural FEM analysis based on demolition load cases, securing quality and machine longevity in demanding demolition operations.
When making the machine from bottom up for demolition, it is easy and cost effective for Volvo to put the highest safety standards in the cabin and the complete guarding of the machine. The Volvo HR (high-reach) excavator comes as standard with frame mounted FOG (frame object guard) guarding instead of cabin-mounted guarding. All the side doors are heavy-duty built with over the twice the thickness and strength compared to standard doors, where aftermarket fittings would be used. On top of it all, customers will have full support for the spare parts.
Dedicated demolition excavators have much larger boom cylinders, heavy frames and extra counterweight. They also have hydraulically extendable tracks, which give operators a 360º working range. Given the cost and effort to add these features to a standard excavator, it’s always best to go for the factory fit.
Dedicated demolition excavators come with a high visibility tilting cab and dust suppression systems. In a factory-fit machine, the cab will tilt up to 30º, giving operators the best view of the tool and jobsite. The tilt function of the cabin is also integrated into the joystick switches to allow the operator to keep their eyes up at all time. Aftermarket tilting cabs are very expensive and troublesome to install. Aftermarket dust suppression systems are also expensive and may not include the various misting options available from a factory-fit demolition excavator.
When a demolition machine comes straight from the factory it comes with multiple boom configurations. Volvo CE offers HR booms, extension booms and digging booms on the complete range. The different boom configurations can be purchased direct with the machine or at a later stage of investment as kits. All booms come with the best support cradles on the market for highest safety of operators and mechanics when changing the boom configuration.
If there is an issue with a converted machine, it’s not uncommon for third parties to pass the blame onto each other. Moreover, if a machine is modified in the aftermarket by parties that aren’t certified partners of the manufacturer, it is likely that factory warranties will be void. To avoid these scenarios, it’s best to purchase a single factory solution covered under one warranty.