Long reach excavators are often confused with high reach demolition machines – but the two products are very different. Long reach machines are not suitable for the high side twisting forces that can be exerted by demolition attachments and many demolition machines are unstable at large radius – so they are often assisted with electronic cut off devices that restrict the operating radius of the machine. Long reach machines excel at dredging operations where large quantities of material needs to be removed from underwater while the physical plant stays above water.
The high reach excavator is a development of the excavator with an especially long boom arm, that is primarily used for demolition. Instead of excavating ditches, the high reach excavator is designed to reach the upper stories of buildings that are being demolished and pull down the structure in a controlled fashion. It has largely replaced the wrecking ball as the primary tool for demolition. The can take a number of different atachments such as shears, crushing jaws and demolition hammers.
Modern ultra reach machines can reach up to 90 m using a multistage telescopic boom.
The High reach excavator imported to New Zealand for demolitions of tall buildings following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes has been nicknamed Twinkle Toes. It is the largest excavator in the Southern Hemisphere.
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