Remote Controlled Excavators
Remote controls are a common feature for such equipment as self-erecting tower cranes and trench compactors. It is not surprising, therefore, to see the technology being introduced into hydraulic excavators.
Unstable ground meant that remote controlled Komatsu demolition excavators was the ideal solution during remedial work after the Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake.
As the examples here illustrate, there are situations in which it is unsafe for an operator to be in the cab. The technique is being used in New Zealand, where renovation work and demolition is still taking place in Christchurch following the devastating earthquake in February 2011.
There are a number of residential properties that have to be demolished. However, they are close to a cliff edge and the ground is very unstable. The New Zealand demolition company, Protranz are, therefore, using a Komatsu 270LE excavator equipped with a remote control.
Remote control is not new. A paper called “New Capability for Remote Controlled Excavation” written by Deere & Co. shows that the concept was being used in 1987 by the US Air Force.
In the UK, JCB has also developed a remotely-operated excavator for one of the UK’s leading demolition specialists.
Birmingham-based Coleman & Company has purchased the bespoke 21 tonne excavator which combines a JCB JS190 upper structure with a JS220LC undercarriage and rubber track pads. The result is a machine powerful enough to deploy a 4-tonne multi processor attachment without exceeding a gross weight of 25 tonnes.