Liebherr R 950 Reshapes TORONTO Skyline
Based in Toronto, GFL has several Liebherr high reach demolition machines and “they 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.”
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.
R 950 demolition excavators are fast, efficient, safe, and 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 15 ft (4.5 m). The machine can work in a 360-degree radius, which important on tight job sites and makes installing demolition attachments easier. “The industry has changed in Toronto a lot,” Willison says. “Everything is getting tighter. There’s no space, no room to get at things.”
With a reach of 83 ft (25.3 m) and the capacity to handle a 7,720-b (3,502-kg) 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. The company also works with clients to implement job-specific, environmentally sustainable waste management, disposal and erosion control methods. 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. 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.”
Modern demolition machines, Willison adds, “are much safer, much neater, much quicker. You can organize your material properly. The operator is a safe distance away from the building when he’s working. It’s the way of the future.”