When Norwegian contractor Veidekke was tasked with demolishing the House of Oslo, a towering shopping mall in the heart of the capital city, it knew it had a big challenge on its hands.
Not only was the 55,000m2 building surrounded by bustling streets packed with pedestrians, cars and trams, it was also 11-storeys high – a significant height even for the most experienced demolition contractor.
A job that big required an even bigger machine – one that could complete it safely and on schedule.
Having experienced success with seven other Volvo high reach demolition excavators in the past, Veidekke contacted Volvo CE for a piece of equipment to meet its demands.
The contractor explained its needs and Volvo CE listened, launching the EC750E HR in 2018, based on feedback from Veidekke and other customers around the world.
“We required a machine with a long reach and that is what we got,” says Jon Nässelquist, machine purchasing manager at Veidekke. “That a customer can present their own requirements and Volvo builds what the customer wants is unique.”
The new EC750E HR has a maximum pin height of 36m with a 3.6t tool – that’s a 4m reach advantage and 44% tool weight increase over its predecessor, the EC700C HR.
Because the excavator was purpose built for demolition, stability and safety are at the heart of the design.
The EC750E HR has an all-new undercarriage, specifically developed for the demolition segment. It is heavier and wider than even that of the bigger Volvo EC950E excavator, and compared to the EC750E the undercarriage is 0.5m longer and 1m wider – and has an impressive track gauge of 4.3m.
With an additional 4 tonnes of counterweight helping push the EC750E HR’s machine weight to 104 tonnes, the additional stability gives the machine a solid foundation for its best-in-class performance.
“The width and the counterweight are what provide the machine with its stability,” Nässelquist explains. “It’s as solid as a rock. Even when using the high reach, the machine remains strong and does not sway which is absolutely crucial.”
Safety is paramount
The EC750E HR also incorporates a number of important safety features that protect both the Veidekke operator and machine when removing the 60-70,000t of concrete waste on the House of Oslo site.
These include a complete demolition guarding package with robust frame-mounted falling object guard (FOG), which protects the operator from falling debris while maintaining the operator’s visibility. To further enhance safety, the EC750E HR is introduced with a new total moment indicator (TMI) system, which through its own screen in the cabin, provides a real-time display of the boom and tool position and warns operator when working in a dangerous stance.
The machine is also designed for comfort. Demolition of tall buildings requires machine operators to focus on points high above the ground and so the cab of the EC750E HR, which can tilt up to 30 degrees, helps reduce neck strain and fatigue among operators.
Machine operator Kenneth Ufs says the tilting feature has improved his work life: “Being able to tilt the cab is brilliant. During a long working day, it helps me to stay comfortable and focused.”
While cab comfort is an important feature, the sensitive controls for the hydraulic system are equally important to Ufs. “The machine has smooth hydraulics that react in the way I want. They are responsive and react fast which is very important,” he adds.
A responsive hydraulic system allows for greater control, safety and efficiency, meaning more productive and satisfied operators.
A close relationship
Veidekke has been a valued Volvo customer for 14 years and owns a fleet of 66 Volvo machines in total. The contractor placed its order for the new EC750E HR with 36m boom even before the machine was officially launched and was the first company to receive one.
Members of the Veidekke team even visited the Volvo CE excavator factory in Changwon, Korea to see where the machine was built and get a preview of it before it arrived.
“Volvo is a great partner when it comes to demolition,” says Erik Nilsen, environment and construction manager for Veidekke Norway. “The EC750E HR works extremely well and has helped us to maintain a high level of productivity. It is the most effective tool for a job of this type.”