A custom-made quick-change boom system on its Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) EC380E HR is helping German demolition and earthworks specialist Austen GmbH make light work of demolition projects, whatever the reach requirements.
The toughest demolition jobs demand the ultimate in heavy-duty demolition machinery – and the Volvo EC380E HR, a high reach excavator is more than suited for the challenge
Now thanks to a custom-made quick-change boom system developed by Austen GmbH and Volvo CE’s dealer, Robert Aebi GmbH, it’s even quicker to switch between boom equipment
Helping customers work faster, smarter and more efficiently on key demolition projects
With an operating weight of around 51 tons, the Volvo EC380E HR is a vital piece of equipment for demolition and earthworks specialist, Austen GmbH. And now, thanks to a custom-made boom system, developed in partnership with Volvo CE’s dealer in Germany, Robert Aebi, this demolition excavator is now an even more versatile and efficient work machine.
The demolition tongs tear mercilessly through the chimney of the old nursery. The structure doesn’t stand a chance against operator Dominik Austen and his Volvo EC380E HR with its three-part demolition boom. Austen GmbH has been hard at work in Markt Cadolzburg in the Fürth district of Bavaria in Germany, dismantling an area of around 113,000 sq. meters since September 2022, where some 10,000 tons of concrete have already been reprocessed.
Austen GmbH is a family-run business now in its third generation that specializes in demolition and earthworks including rubble processing. In 2018, with demand for demolition jobs on taller buildings on the increase, the Austen family began their search for a new demolition excavator. “It was clear that sooner or later we would need more upward reach,” Dominik Austen remembers, “but before we bought one, we wanted to see a large machine for ourselves.
With no EC380E HR in the area, Sales Manager Stefan Kirsch from Robert Aebi GmbH drove the four managing directors from Austen GmbH some 700km north to Rotterdam. A trip that was well worth it as the model there proved convincing in almost every respect. The only downside, the time taken to switch between the long long-front boom and the short earth-moving equipment. Austen wanted a quicker solution, but this did not deter them.
A quick-change system didn’t yet exist for excavators of this size. Stefan Kirsch, Sales Manager at Robert Aebi, says: “You can’t get something like that off the shelf, you have to build it. We had to think about everything down to the smallest detail. Where should the quick-change couplings be placed? How should they be attached?”
It was a challenge that was embraced by all involved. Within a year, a team from Robert Aebi and Austen had developed the first Volvo EC380E HR with an oil-free quick-change boom system. At the customer’s request, the machine also received a protective coating. And a custom-made big rock spoon was also designed and developed by Dominik Austen in collaboration with the spoon builder to enable them to rip out foundations even more effectively.
Thanks to the modifications that were made to its EC380E HR, Austen can switch between booms in just 30 minutes. A huge benefit for day-to-day operations. With the long front equipment, the excavator can reach a maximum working height of around 24 meters. For work at lower elevations or on foundations, Austen switches to its earthmoving boom. With the shorter equipment and heavier attachments, the machine achieves optimal power transmission. This results in faster, more efficient demolition work, transport and reprocessing.
Dominik Austen is an owner who knows exactly what he wants from his machines. And he can find everything he needs with Volvo CE. Eight of its twelve construction machines are from Volvo CE– and this is a growing trend. “Volvo is value for money,” explains Dominik Austen. “The machines never break down. And if something does happen, they are designed to be maintenance and repair-friendly so that any work required can be carried out quickly and inexpensively.”
With its Volvo machines, Austen always has the right tools to hand, and with Stefan Kirsch and Patrick Schaube, Service Manager at the Robert Aebi branch in Nuremberg, Austen GmbH believes it has had the right partner for over ten years. “If I have a problem, I just tell them both,” says Austen. “I can rely on them to keep my machines working.”