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JCB develop new bespoke remote-controlled excavator

JCB excavator

Coleman & Company take delivery of 21-tonne JCB excavator for challenging demolition tasks

BIRMINGHAM-based Coleman & Company, one of the UK’s leading demolition specialists, have purchased a remote-operated, 21-tonne JCB excavator which combines a JS190 upper structure with a JS220LC undercarriage and rubber track pads.

The result, say JCB, is an excavator powerful enough to deploy a 4-tonne multi-processor attachment without exceeding a gross weight of 25 tonnes. The bespoke machine is currently working 20h a day on the prestigious redevelopment of Birmingham New Street train station. The current phase sees the removal of 6,000 tonnes of mass reinforced concrete, with some beams (2.5m wide and 1.5m deep) weighing as much as 80-90 tonnes.

Chris Holland, technical manager with Coleman & Company, said: ‘We asked JCB to design a bespoke machine that could carry out specific tasks in high risk and technically challenging environments. Nothing was ever an issue or problem and JCB were happy to meet the challenge. This was very encouraging as the stakes are very high at New Street given that we are operating above 12 live train lines carrying thousands of passengers per day.’

The new JCB excavator is expected to work on the project for the next nine months. Once complete, it will provide Coleman & Company with a sophisticated tool for dealing with highly complex demolition tasks  

Malcolm Hurst, contract support manager with Coleman & Company, commented: ‘The remote-controlled machine gives us the option to operate in restricted and confined areas while the operator remains in a safe location. It can be used on demolition projects that are deemed too dangerous to risk an operator in the cab or in contaminated structures where human access is unsafe.’

The JCB bespoke excavator has been specially designed with the health and safety of operators and site personnel as the primary focus. On the Birmingham New Street redevelopment, remote control allows the operators to work the machine while positioned on a mobile elevated work platform or cherry picker above the beam demolished. This has given Coleman the ability to closely inspect the task in hand.

In addition, the use of an integrated infrared laser fence restricts the machine’s operation to a designated safe zone, preventing it from operating too near the edge of the suspended floor.  

Among the key features of the JCB excavator are: LED lighting for night vision; a non-biodegradable safe fuel system; a triple articulated boom; range control; on-board auto fire suppression equipment; dust suppression kit; and emergency stop pull chord.

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