Typically, demolition is tearing down of building and other man-made structures but it is different from deconstruction. The task of demolition usually involves falling down a lot of dust, metal and concrete, however, every demolition project is unique in its own way. Therefore, the demolition task requires careful consideration about the way the task has to be carried out and the machinery that should be used. Depending on the size, location and surrounding environment of a demolition project, the construction machinery is chosen.

Generally, demolition projects can be broadly classified into two categories i.e., low level demolitions which involve demolition of houses and other small buildings and high level demolitions which involves pushing down of multi-storey buildings, big dams and other bigger tasks. Different types of construction machines are used to carry out the two types of projects.

Let’s take a look at the list of construction machines that are put to use in the demolition tasks...

1. Excavators: These are the most commonly used construction equipment for demolition tasks. Typically, excavators are steady, powerful and extremely work-efficient machines. Excavators consist of a boom, dipper or stick, bucket and cab on a rotating platform known as the house. This house sits on the top of an undercarriage with tracks or wheels. Excavators are usually employed together with loaders and bulldozers.

From demolition of small buildings to multi-storey towers, excavators can be employed easily. They can be used on various building structures such as steel, concrete and mixed material. Essentially, Hydraulic Excavators are employed for demolition of small buildings and Long Reach Excavators are used to demolish bigger buildings. The best part is both the Hydraulic and Long Reach Excavators have the ability to perform a number of different tasks with the use of different attachments such as grapples, pulverisers, claws, hammers, shears, buckets, thumbs etc. If we talk about long reach excavators particularly, then having a long arm attachment and boom section, this strong equipment is usually used for the tough demolition tasks where breaking of tough walls and solid structures is required. This excavator’s long arms permits the machine’s operator to stay at a safe distance from the demolition site, yet perform the job successfully in minimum possible time.

2. Backhoe Loaders: They are generally used for small demolition purposes. They have a front bucket that allows them to work as a wheel loader and an excavator-style digging mechanism at the back. Consisting of three segments i.e., boom, stick and bucket, backhoe loaders come with extensive range of attachments like Hydraulic Breaker which can be used for breaking tough materials such as rock or concrete while demolition tasks.

While there are manufacturers which offer backhoe loaders, however, it is Mahindra Construction Equipment’s EarthMaster VX backhoe loader model that deserves a special mention. It exceeds expectation and boosts the overall performance to a very large extent. It features Banana Boom which offers 7 per cent more reach and 15 per cent higher dig depth at 4.22 meters as compared to other machines in the same segment. It offers various other advantages too like joystick controls which makes it easy for the operators to comfortably operate for longer hours. Also, it has the one-of-its-kind REMOTECARE feature.

3. Skid Steer Loaders: Considered to be one of the most versatile, compact, rigid and powerful equipment and best choice for smaller sites, they are used to perform demolition tasks easily. The front bucket of the machine can be replaced with various types of attachments like hydraulic breaker, pallet booms, auger, mower, snow blower etc., to execute different jobs. Unlike other machines, these do not have steering mechanism for wheels which are mechanically aligned with the side body of the equipment.

4. Wheel Loaders: They are like tractors and are used to move a pile of material from the ground and load it onto a dump truck or into an open pit. They are also known as front loaders or bucket loaders. They consist of a front-mounted square wide bucket joined to the end of two arms used to scoop up materials from the ground without spreading it out. They are great for loading scrap and debris. Wheel loaders come in various sizes and are designed for fast movement and demolition.

5. Crawler loaders: Not only these equipment can move heavy dirt piles and materials but they can be very helpful in the demolition field of the construction industry too. They can be extensively used to push down the heavy structures. Further, with the metal tracks, a crawler loader can track up onto the piles and clear out narrower areas easily.

6. Bulldozers: Referred to as only dozers sometimes, bulldozers are one of the most heavy-duty and powerful equipment and largely employed for shifting huge amount of dirt piles, cut roads and other demolition tasks. They are incredibly strong equipment and easily identified by the huge blade at the front which is controlled with the use of hydraulic pistons and ripper at the back. The machine comes in variants with tyres and tracks. They are also commonly employed for demolition tasks.

7. Cranes: Generally, for high level demolition projects, cranes are used. A heavy-weight wrecking ball is attached on a cable that is swung by a crane onto the side of the big buildings to push it down. In fact, it is the only single machine which as a single piece is capable of providing three-dimensional movement of a weight. It is generally equipped with a hoist, wire ropes or chains and sheaves that can be used both to lift and lower materials and to move them horizontally. Cranes can be broadly classified as stationary or derrick cranes, mobile cranes, overhead or gantry cranes, traveller cranes and tower cranes.

In a nutshell

So, depending on the need of the demolition project, above mentioned are few machines that can be successfully employed for demolition tasks. Other than the above, there are few other machines as well which are used for demolition tasks like articulated trucks, multi-terrain loaders etc. So, decide upon your requirement and choose the equipment wisely.