In conversation with Timur Abied, Volvo Construction Equipment

When it comes to the electrification of demolition equipment, Volvo Construction Equipment is thinking outside the box and inside the building.

In this exclusive interview with Timur Abied, we discuss the potential application of electric mini excavators as a replacement for the manual labour involved in the soft stripping of structures prior to demolition and a whole lot more besides.

The Break Fast Show #411

In today’s show: John Deere takes the wraps off its latest excavator series; change starts here with Volvo Construction Equipment; we’re taking a walk around the indoor part of Komatsu’s massive Bauma display; and Bobcat looks back on a remarkable showing at Bauma 2022.

PLUS we can finally reveal why we’re all meeting on November 30.

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show.

In conversation with Bill Law, Volvo Construction Equipment

Volvo Construction Equipment has nailed its colours firmly to the sustainability mast with its Change starts here initiative.

In this exclusive interview with Bill Law that was shot at the world-famous Nurburgring race circuit, we hear how the company is putting emissions reduction and sustainability at the very heart of all that it is doing.

Already a winning team…

Two important flights are scheduled to leave the UK bound for Hamad International Airport in Qatar this week.

The first will carry a team of highly-paid yet mostly unproven football players who are scheduled to take part in perhaps the most controversial World Cup in history. Whether they can win remains to be seen.

The other team heading for Qatar has already won. They have done so in far less controversial circumstances and without the aid of VAR, penalties or questionable refereeing decisions.

Mike Kehoe and Matthew Bardgett of C&D Demolition Consultants are about to start work as the lead demolition consultant on the Nikilat Superyacht Building in Doha, Qatar. The demolition follows a fire in 2019 that partially destroyed the Superyacht shed including, three super yachts that were in the building.

The shipyard fire damaged the 80 metre OCEANCO Constellation, the 52 metre CRN Maracunda, and the 36 metre Riva Al Adaid, all three of which were docked at the time of the accident. Preliminary estimates suggested that the cost of the damage was in the region of $60 million.

Award-winning C&D will be working alongside government authorities, forensic scientists and engineers ascertain the cause of the initial fire.

Although C&D Demolition Consultants has already won, Mike Kehoe says that there are certain similarities between the challenge facing his team and the challenge facing the England World Cup Squad.

“We have analysed the challenge lying ahead of us and we have assembled the best possible team to meet that challenge,” Kehoe says. “Like Gareth Southgate and his men, we know that we will be under intense scrutiny too.”

But that’s where the similarities end. While the England team already has a variety of potential excuses to use should they fall short in their attempt to win the Jules Rimet trophy, C&D Demolition Consultants have no such contingency.

“We can’t blame the heat, poor refereeing or injuries,” Kehoe concludes. “Come what may, we must perform to the very best of our abilities.”

While it remains to be seen if the England squad can truly compete on the world stage, C&D Demolition Consultants have already proven their global status.

The Break Fast Show #410

In today’s show: There’s a big bang in Kentucky; Volvo charges ahead in the field of electric equipment AND electric motorsport; we’re checking out the flexibility of Steelwrist; we’re back at Bauma once again for another look at the Kinshofer stand; and we take a closer look at the new high reach demolition excavator from XCMG.

PLUS how a team of construction professionals have put mental health issues on ice.

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show.

Volvo is reshaping motorsport

Volvo Construction Equipment is taking a truly active roll in the World Rallycross Championships.

Not content with forming a team to compete in the race series, the company is helping design and maintain circuits AND has made a major contribution to on-track safety.

Check out this EXCLUSIVE interview with Volvo Construction Equipment’s Arvid Rinaldo:

Opinion – Destination over journey

In 2001, the European Union ratified an item of legislation called the Large Combustion Plant Directive to limit flue gas emissions from a variety of fossil-fuelled power plant, specifying – in particular – emission limits for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and dust.

Under the terms of the directive, combustion plants built after 1987 had to comply with specific emissions limits. From 2007, plant built earlier than that could either opt to comply with the emissions limits, or “opt out”. Across Europe, 205 plants opted out.
Among the plants closed as a direct result of this directive were Grain, Kingsnorth, Tilbury, Cockenzie, Ironbridge and – of course – Didcot A; meaning that the UK had the largest proportion of opted-out plant in terms of total capacity.

Fast forward to today and the UK faces the very real prospect of winter blackouts this winter amidst an escalating energy crisis.

The Hinkley Point C nuclear power station is currently under construction. It is over budget and behind schedule. It is unlikely to begin rectifying the UK’s energy shortfall before the summer of 2027. A second nuclear power plant – Sizewell C – remains under governmental review. Even if it were green-lighted today, it would not generate power before 2034.

Although it is often described as the “Road to Zero”, the facts suggest that there is precious little thought to the road or the journey upon it; there is merely a single-minded and unwavering focus upon the final destination. Sadly, even though the replacement power plants have yet to come online, history is already repeating; and it is repeating within the field of demolition and construction equipment.

Nations and individual cities across the globe have set ambitious targets for carbon neutrality by 2030. Laudable though these aims are, they once again focus upon the destination and not upon the journey.

As the recent Bauma exhibition proved, every major equipment manufacturer worth its salt now has an electric alternative machine or two up its sleeve. And very good they are too. They are quieter, zero emissions at the point of use, and generally pack a bit more punch.

But if the UK really does face winter blackouts, how are these machines to be charged? Is zero emissions at the point of use really the answer when they are charged with electricity produced in less-than-sustainable ways? Electric machines are already more expensive than the traditional alternative and now electricity costs more than diesel. So where is the incentive for demolition and construction companies to invest?

We have generations of operators and fitters that know precisely how to get the best from a diesel engine. How to make it sing and to make it last longer. The equivalent skills do not yet exist in the field of electric-powered equipment. And we know from our collective mobile phone experience that lithium-ion batteries deteriorate over time. There is already a question mark over the ability of an electric machine to complete a full working shift before it requires recharging. What if the battery holds less and less charge as the machine ages? And what does that mean for machine resale values?

The problem is that decisions like the Large Combustion Plant Directive and the Paris Climate Agreement are made in isolation, far away from reality. They are then embraced by the types of people that will gladly Super Glue themselves to a motorway to secure their 15 minutes of fame. Meanwhile, here in the real world, working men and women are doing their best to go about their business; and making their own contributions to the safeguarding of the planet.

It would be nice to think that, having already fallen into the environmental “destination over journey” trap twice in recent times, we might have learned our lesson; that having had our fingers burned twice that we might approach any new departure with greater caution. Apparently not.

At Bauma 2022, a number of companies – most notably Liebherr and Hyundai – showcased their first forays into the field of fuel cell and hydrogen powered equipment. The fact that they have developed such revolutionary new machines in such a short space of time (and amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic) says much for the ingenuity and innovation that resides within the construction equipment business.
Those manufacturers have fulfilled their part of the bargain, producing equipment that can run on this new “super fuel”

But where is this new super fuel? Where do we get it? How do we store it? Is it toxic, flammable or even explosive? Does it require specialist knowledge and training to operate and maintain it? What impact will it have upon machine working times and resale values?

Unfortunately, world leaders and nation states have once again drawn a big red cross on a map to show our next destination. And once again, they have failed to provide another map of how to get there.

The Break Fast Show #409

In today’s show: We have pulled together several full-length interviews filmed during Bauma 2022 featuring the likes of Sennebogen, KTEG, Dehaco, Bobcat, Hyundai and XCMG.

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show.

The Break Fast Show #408

In today’s show: We have a double-dose of Liebherr including a walk-around the company’s remarkable Bauma 2022 exhibition stand; Wacker Neuson helps turn Barcelona green; we’re looking back at what Sunward showed at Bauma; and we have the most flexible and agile excavator in the world.

PLUS Volvo finds the perfect application for electric equipment.

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show.

The Break Fast Show #407

In today’s show: We’re back out on site with CJ Charlton and the latest addition to their equipment fleet; John Deere makes the grade by embracing technology; we’re heading for New Zealand for a spot of time-lapse demolition action; if you’ve got materials, Hyundai can handle them; and things are looking up in the field of high reach demolition excavators.

PLUS we can finally reveal why we were in Wales earlier this year with Leica Geosystems.

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show.