The landscape in Toronto is changing, and GFL Infrastructure Group is helping to reshape the skyline of Canada’s largest city.
The company recently expanded its equipment fleet by adding a Liebherr R 950 High Reach demolition excavator.
GFL Infrastructure Group provides demolition and hazardous materials abatement services through its demolition division, which employs about 150 people. The company has decades of experience in the industrial and commercial sectors, and a full range of specialized equipment.
One of many in the GFL fleet
Based in Toronto, GFL has several Liebherr high reach demolition machines and “they never let you down,” said Travis Willison, vice president of the company’s demolition division.
“The automatic lube systems on them are fantastic. The hydraulic systems are amazing.
“One of the major benefits of the machine is it’s a single float, so anytime you need to pick it up to go somewhere it’s quite easy.”
Dozens of people had an opportunity to operate the R 950 and four other Liebherr machines at the National Demolition Association’s Live DEMOlition event at Demolition Rockies 2019 in Aurora, Colorado.
R 950 demolition excavators are fast, efficient, safe and purpose built for selective deconstruction of large industrial buildings.
The entire machine is manufactured by Liebherr, meaning all systems are complimentary and integrated into the design.
By working from the ground, a Liebherr High Reach can eliminate the need of having another piece of equipment on site to take down structures below 4.5 metres.
The machine can work in a 360-degree radius, which is important on tight job sites and makes installing demolition attachments easier.
“The industry has changed in Toronto a lot,” Willison said.
“Everything is getting tighter. There’s no space, no room to get at things. To be able to put a machine in that can hit, quite easily, 70 or 80 feet and do work safely and efficiently in a tight spot is a bonus.”
25 metre reach
With a reach of 25 metres and the capacity to handle a 3,500 kg tool, the R 950 is large enough for major jobs. But despite its size, the R 950 is easily transportable thanks to the excavator’s hydraulically expandable undercarriage. This undercarriage makes the machine easier to move to and from job sites as it retracts the undercarriage width.
It also can expand to create a wider footprint, which enhances stability.
The company also works with clients to implement job-specific, environmentally sustainable waste management, disposal and erosion control methods.
“We’re really busy,” Willison said. Adding the Liebherr R 950 to the GFL Infrastructure fleet “will help us build and grow our company to the next level. We’ve got the right equipment for the work.”
Liebherr High Reach Excavators also have a plug in boom section where the attachment is mounted, allowing the machine to be used for multiple tasks.
A camera provides visibility to the operator when tools are placed inside structures and gives the operator a better view at all times when the end of the tool is out of sight.
Wrecking ball extinction
High reach machines “have eliminated the wrecking ball,” said Willison, who has nearly 20 years of experience in the industry.
“The wrecking ball was a great invention for its time. It was used on conventional cranes. There wasn’t a whole lot of hydraulics involved with it. It was a great concept, but engineers have come a long way with these designs.”
He added modern demolition machines “are much safer, much neater, much quicker. You can organize your material properly. The operator is a safe distance away from the building when he’s working. It’s the way of the future.”