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Alex Fraser reaches new heights

Tall structures have traditionally been complex to demolish or deconstruct because of either the risk of using explosives or the uncontrollable nature of a wrecking ball. Melbourne-based Alex Fraser Group recently added a new ultra-high-reach demolition excavator to their collection of equipment to demolish structures of up to 32 metres tall in a controlled fashion.

Established in 1879, Alex Fraser is respected as Australia’s most innovative construction and demolition waste recycler, and has provided best-practice demolition, dismantling, and decommissioning services for more than fifty years. Their new purchase is based on a standard Komatsu PC650 excavator, which was customised by American demolition equipment experts Jewell Attachments. They added a demolition boom, a tilting cab, and a hydraulically expanding undercarriage.

An expert team, comprising demolition veteran of over forty years, operator Ray Maiden, Project Manager Brent Alford, and General Manager Demolition Services Sam McKellar, was responsible for purchasing the 100-tonne machine, with a maximum reach of thirty metres, and a 5.5-tonne lift capacity at maximum height.

The customised Komatsu was recently put through its paces in Bendigo. The major regional centre in Victoria has grown significantly in recent years, and this will most likely increase with the development of a new AU$650 million hospital. In order to make room for the new building, a familiar landmark needed to be dismantled: a fifty-year-old five-story boiler house complete with a fifty-metre tall chimney. The top twenty metres of the structure were taken down by hand and, in less than three hours, the bottom thirty metres were demolished using the new machine. Fifty years ago it took a team of men twelve months to construct the chimney, last month it took Ray Maiden, the machine operator, two days to demolish.

According to Sam McKellar the new excavator makes for a welcome addition to their collection of state-of-the-art equipment: “We brought this machine into our fleet to safely and efficiently enhance our capabilities. It was an investment in the future of Alex Fraser Demolition. The versatility, power, and control of this machine is fantastic”.

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