Liebherr R 950 demolition excavator helps reshape Toronto skyline

Published 28/6 at 15:45

R 950 demolition excavators are purpose built for selective deconstruction of large industrial buildings.

The entire machine is manufactured by Liebherr, meaning all systems are complimentary and integrated into the design. By working from the ground, a Liebherr ‘High Reach’ can eliminate the need of having another piece of equipment on site to take down structures below 4.5m, with the machine being able to work in a 360o radius, which is important on tight job sites and makes installing demolition attachments easier.

Based in Toronto, GFL Infrastructure has several Liebherr High Reach demolition machines which, “Never let you down,” says Travis Willison, vice president of the company’s demolition division. “The automatic lube systems on them are fantastic. The hydraulic systems are amazing. One of the major benefits of the machine is it’s a single float, so anytime you need to pick it up to go somewhere it’s quite easy.” Willison adds, “The industry has changed in Toronto a lot, everything is getting tighter. There’s no space, no room to get at things.” 

With a reach of 25.3m and the capacity to handle a 3,502kg tool, the R 950 is large enough for major jobs, but despite its size, the R 950 is easily transportable thanks to a hydraulically expandable undercarriage. This undercarriage makes the machine easier to move to and from job sites because it retracts the undercarriage width. It also can expand to create a wider footprint, which enhances stability. 

“High reach machines have eliminated the wrecking ball,” says Willison, who has nearly 20 years of experience in the industry. “The wrecking ball was a great invention for its time. It was used on conventional cranes. There wasn’t a whole lot of hydraulics involved with it. It was a great concept but engineers have come a long way with these designs.” Further aiding Willison’s operations Liebherr High Reach excavators also have a plug in boom section where the attachment is mounted, allowing the machine to be used for multiple tasks. A camera provides visibility to the operator when tools are placed inside structures, and gives the operator a better view at all times when the end of the tool is out of sight. To see how the high reach excavator could be of assistance on various projects, dozens of people had an opportunity to operate the R 950 and four other Liebherr machines at the National Demolition Association’s Live DEMOlition event at Demolition Rockies 2019 in Aurora, Colorado recently. 

Willison further adds, “Modern demolition machines are much safer, much neater and much quicker. You can organise your material properly. The operator is a safe distance away from the building when he’s working. It’s the way of the future.”  The new Liebherr excavator is helping Willison to work with clients to implement job specific, environmentally sustainable waste management, disposal and erosion control methods.

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