Costello Dismantling places an emphasis on mechanization. “We try to minimize the number of man hours and the exposure of personnel to the jobsites,” says Costello. “We intentionally avoid jobs that have very high labor concentrations.”
This approach requires the right equipment. “We select our equipment very carefully so that we are able to sort and handle material mechanically,” Costello states. This includes tools such as high-boom excavators with rotating grapples, which provide precise control over dismantling and dismembering buildings.
“We have really put a lot of effort into developing those techniques using mechanization vs. manpower to take the building apart,” says Costello. “By being very careful and selective in our dismantlement process, we are able to carefully separate the materials from out of the building and process them on the ground as clean, separated material.”
Costello Dismantling converts scrap steel into finished end products that are suitable to be shipped directly to mills. “That goes a step beyond what normally happens on a demolition job because of our involvement in the scrap industry,” notes Costello. “We tend to produce a higher grade product... That produces higher revenues, too. If we are able to provide higher credits against the cost of work with the value we derive from salvage and recycling, then that makes our net number more competitive and gives us an opportunity for doing more work.”
Many attachments are used to accomplish mechanized demolition, including fixed and rotating grapples, magnets and shears. In addition, the company has a LaBounty UP25 Universal Processor mounted on a new Volvo EC700 high reach excavator with a 110-ft. high boom. The UP25 has interchangeable shear, concrete cracker and pulverizer jaws. A Trevi-Benne MK 30 multi-processor with shear, concrete cracker and plate shear jaws is mounted on a Volvo EC460 with an 85-ft. high boom.
Even though the company is happy with its multi-processors, Costello is considering a change. “My philosophy had always been that by using multi-processors, you sacrificed at least one tool size in capability because of the weight of the house,” he explains. “If you had a straight shear on the end of a high boom, you could go almost one size larger and have that much more capacity.”
A multi-processor offers advantages in the right application. “We liked them very much. They are effective,” says Costello. “But we are swinging back to the sole-purpose attachments. I think you get more capability and production. We found that we didn’t change [the jaws] that often. The other side of the coin is, if you want to have the capabilities of both a steel shear and a concrete processor, you have to buy both of them. But that might not be the worst thing in the world.”
Costello Dismantling recently purchased Sennebogen material handlers. “We have a Sennebogen 825 that we use primarily for scrap handling and scrap loading,” says Costello. “We recently got a Sennebogen 821 and we have a Bateman grapple magnet on it. So it has a fixed contractor’s grapple with a built-in magnet. We bought it primarily to service a new fleet of wood grinding equipment.”
The material handlers compliment the company’s fleet of Doppstadt wood grinders, which are used to take wood that is not re-saleable as structural lumber and process it into a specified fuel-grade biomass right on demolition jobsites. “We found the Sennebogen was very good in being able to pick out any free metal and take it out of the processing stream before it goes into the grinders,” Costello comments.
The right tools for the job
Boston, MA-based Charter Environmental is a civil and environmental contractor that has worked closely with the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers, traveling all over the country to perform projects at different Department of Defense installations. It also works with municipal and commercial clients.
The firm recently won an award from the NDA for a demolition project at the Prichard Stadium Sports Complex in Fort Hood, TX. The sports complex was taken down to make way for a new hospital. The project exceeded the client’s recycling goals by reusing or recycling 99.56% of the debris.