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The long lost art of the wrecking ball. Options · View
Cat345bl
Posted: Friday, February 25, 2011 7:10:24 PM
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The wrecking ball method of demolition is becoming a dying thing, less and less companies are using wrecking balls, and are turning to high tech equipment for demolition, which is alright, but wrecking ball demolition is the best method to knock down structures entirely made out of concrete. I posted this topic to show a wrecking ball in action I found on You-tube. The American convention crane, featured in this video is owned and operated by Geppert bros, one of the best pioneers of the wrecking ball method demolition probably in America. It looks a lot more compicated then it is. The operator has to only lift the ball up to a certain height, so he does not miss the target when the operator drops the ball. The operator also has to be aware, and not to get his ball caught on falling derbies because it can bring down the boom. The crane it's self also has to be suited for the task. This method of demolition beats up the cranes. Conventional truck, and crawler cranes seem to be the best for the wrecking ball.

Wrecking ball demolition is starting to fad. Only 2 companies still use this method in the area. There is also a red and black Manitowoc 4000 floating around in this area available to be used by any demolition company that only needs a crane for 1 project. It has been used by almost every demolition contractor in the area.

Here is the video I was talking about. I think the crane is powered by a Cummins, but it sounds like a Detroit at idle
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc7xmQBNSl0

What do you guys think about wrecking ball demolition as a dying thing?

-Mike, Collecting 1/50th Construction Diecast Since 2003.
View My Collection Here, As of 05/08/20



Excavator Guy
Posted: Friday, February 25, 2011 7:27:31 PM
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last year i seen a company still using one in indy. they are still around, but scarce like you say. This building was about 4 stories high next to a major intersection. The ball was attatched to an old linkbelt crane. They were very selective on what they did with it because they left part of the building standing for use.

dain555
Posted: Friday, February 25, 2011 7:49:05 PM

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Some of the reasons wrecking ball demolition is fading is due to the time constraints that contractors are placed in for the demo/clean up of the site and also abatement proceedures for asbestos or other dusts and contaminates.

In most cases the use of wrecking balls creates excessive dust and air contaminates that need to be addressed where surgical demo using excavators with attachments cuts the dusts and air contamination down drastically!!

Thank the Government and their agencies like the EPA for doing away with wrecking ball demos so we all won't get a cancer 40 to 50 years from now.

developers also put demo companies into time constraints for the demo. it takes way longer to set up a cranes of some kind to demo a building then it does an excavator (in some cases by hours). Some cases by the time a crane is set up, rigged and ready the excavator could have the building down or at least 1/3 to 1/2 down.

Dain

I'm a kid at heart, so I will play with any model construction vehicle from 1:87 scale to 1:1 scale!!!!

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turbo21835
Posted: Friday, February 25, 2011 8:48:05 PM
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Dain, you are a fool. Wrecking balls are dying out because the old friction rig operators are getting less and less. Balling is an art form. You cant put any stick monkey in the machine. You cant do this with HRD machines either, but more guys in the trade know their way around an excavator. The cranes themselves are wearing out and fading away as well.

Use of a ball creates no more dust than an hrd. Either machine being backed up by a dust boss or water truck takes care of the dust issue. As far as your asbestos abatement statement, all friable asbestos is removed before any demolition begins.

Developers usually use a schedule to accommodate contractors, not fight them. Safety is more important to a developer than anything. Less legal issues when no one is getting hurt on your site. It is no quicker to set up a HRD machine than it is to set up a crane. When I worked for MCM Management, if the HRD could not be moved in one piece, it required at least a day of setup and trials before it went to work. Setting up a crane with a good crew is no different. If you cant get a normal demo size crane in a day, you have no trucks, or no business in doing the work.

I just heard a story this week of a crane outfit in the Chicago area. They would offer a daily rental on a Manitowoc 2500 truck crane. They would show up, slap the rig together, do the job, and break it down in a day. So dont say it takes to long to put a crane together. Your crew needs to know its tasks, and know the tricks to setting up the rigs. There are still a few groups out there that know those tricks.

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Cat345bl
Posted: Friday, February 25, 2011 9:06:18 PM
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Another long lost art of demolition is using a clam shell. Most demo cranes have a tagline their cranes, so they both use a combo of a wrecking ball, or a clam-shell.

You can set up a conventional crane in about 2 days. another reason wrecking balls are a dying thing is because most buildings today are mostly made out of steel, and lightweight material. those types of buildings are good for a UHD to use with a shear. Wrecking balls are good for hardened structures that have reinforced concrete walls and floors, and also have brick in it too.

I don't know why friction cranes are not made anymore. There is a major market for them. Manitowoc or Terex/american should offer a 100 and a 200 ton friction crane. It can have a modern design, technology, new engine, new boom, but still with the basic concept of a friction crane.

-Mike, Collecting 1/50th Construction Diecast Since 2003.
View My Collection Here, As of 05/08/20



PileDriving
Posted: Friday, February 25, 2011 9:34:18 PM

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Cat345bl wrote:
Another long lost art of demolition is using a clam shell. Most demo cranes have a tagline their cranes, so they both use a combo of a wrecking ball, or a clam-shell.

You can set up a conventional crane in about 2 days. another reason wrecking balls are a dying thing is because most buildings today are mostly made out of steel, and lightweight material. those types of buildings are good for a UHD to use with a shear. Wrecking balls are good for hardened structures that have reinforced concrete walls and floors, and also have brick in it too.

I don't know why friction cranes are not made anymore. There is a major market for them. Manitowoc or Terex/american should offer a 100 and a 200 ton friction crane. It can have a modern design, technology, new engine, new boom, but still with the basic concept of a friction crane.


The reason crane man. got away from friction is anyone can run a hydro. There safer, and add computers into the hydro rig and there practially stupid proof w/the exception of bad rigging and structural/ground failure. Now you can get "duty cycle" hydro cranes with free fall. Newer cranes are not as well built for the abuse of Marine Construction, Piledriving, Clamshell, Dragline, ect. Thats why you see the old friction rigs being rebuilt for this purpose.

Justin
rollinlowford
Posted: Friday, February 25, 2011 9:55:40 PM

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Cat345bl wrote:
Another long lost art of demolition is using a clam shell. Most demo cranes have a tagline their cranes, so they both use a combo of a wrecking ball, or a clam-shell.

You can set up a conventional crane in about 2 days. another reason wrecking balls are a dying thing is because most buildings today are mostly made out of steel, and lightweight material. those types of buildings are good for a UHD to use with a shear. Wrecking balls are good for hardened structures that have reinforced concrete walls and floors, and also have brick in it too.

I don't know why friction cranes are not made anymore. There is a major market for them. Manitowoc or Terex/american should offer a 100 and a 200 ton friction crane. It can have a modern design, technology, new engine, new boom, but still with the basic concept of a friction crane.




I sure hope it takes less then a few days to set a conventional up...... a few hrs at most for a truckmount and a day or less for a crawler

If it takes more then an 8hr day then no wonder its a lost art form


Also you can use a hydrolic for demowork a company I worked for as an apprentice used a 165t krupp to knock down an old grain storage place it was hard on the machine theres no doubt about that but its possible also you dont just drop the ball you swing it into the side of the structure aswell
cat594
Posted: Friday, February 25, 2011 10:09:53 PM
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I have seen them do this several times in Detroit and the out in Tacoma at the port of Tacoma it was a art form and great to watch a operator work the crane....At least they are using the ball and not a big pink bunny......

William....
LatticeCraneMan
Posted: Friday, February 25, 2011 11:35:44 PM

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I miss seeing the swinging ball really something to see.

chet

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JesseP
Posted: Friday, February 25, 2011 11:47:50 PM
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Some of you guys know what you're talking about..Others have alot to learn....Whistle Whistle
kcmtoys
Posted: Saturday, February 26, 2011 12:26:34 AM

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In Chicago, there are only a couple of long reach excavators. Most tall demos are done with a ball and clam bucket. American Demo has their LB 418 out all the time. Ken

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Eric Pioszak
Posted: Saturday, February 26, 2011 4:03:16 AM

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turbo21835 wrote:
Wrecking balls are dying out because the old friction rig operators are getting less and less. Balling is an art form. You cant put any stick monkey in the machine. You cant do this with HRD machines either, but more guys in the trade know their way around an excavator. The cranes themselves are wearing out and fading away as well.


As Turbo said, balling is an art, and more common than the casual observer knows. Even today, Ball manufacturers are constantly improving the metallurgy, geometry and attachment designs of this "historical" tool. that much tells me that there is enough demand for wrecking balls to warrant the R&D required.

While balling is very hard on the machines, Duty cycle cranes are designed to take a certain amount of abuse. a salesman at my local Liebherr dealer was telling me last fall that they make a variation of their duty cycle line specifically designed for balling.

Balling is not limited to cranes though, I've rigged up and swung a "ball" (fire hydrant) from a Bobcat mini excavator, as well as 4000lb ball from a Cat 977 track loader.



Eric W. Pioszak, Operating Engineers Local 701, Portland, Oregon

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kcmtoys
Posted: Saturday, February 26, 2011 2:52:00 PM

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The Ginnow Equipment Co. from Oshkosh, WI manufactures wrecking balls. Here is a picture of a Ginnow wrecking ball that I casted. Ken




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tomcat1191
Posted: Saturday, February 26, 2011 3:47:03 PM

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dain555 wrote:


developers also put demo companies into time constraints for the demo. it takes way longer to set up a cranes of some kind to demo a building then it does an excavator (in some cases by hours). Some cases by the time a crane is set up, rigged and ready the excavator could have the building down or at least 1/3 to 1/2 down.


So if they bring in a hrd machine and a crane I think set up would be the same. At least that is what I have seen around here. We can set up a 999 crane here in one full day.

Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.

turbo21835
Posted: Saturday, February 26, 2011 4:11:58 PM
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tomcat1191 wrote:
dain555 wrote:


developers also put demo companies into time constraints for the demo. it takes way longer to set up a cranes of some kind to demo a building then it does an excavator (in some cases by hours). Some cases by the time a crane is set up, rigged and ready the excavator could have the building down or at least 1/3 to 1/2 down.


So if they bring in a hrd machine and a crane I think set up would be the same. At least that is what I have seen around here. We can set up a 999 crane here in one full day.


Exactly! Now I gotta ask, which way to you put the first boom pins in?

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Eric Pioszak
Posted: Saturday, February 26, 2011 4:17:18 PM

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turbo21835 wrote:
tomcat1191 wrote:


So if they bring in a hrd machine and a crane I think set up would be the same. At least that is what I have seen around here. We can set up a 999 crane here in one full day.


Exactly! Now I gotta ask, which way to you put the first boom pins in?


Not to mention, when swinging a ball, there's no complicated reeving involved, just a single line,

Eric W. Pioszak, Operating Engineers Local 701, Portland, Oregon

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