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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 pur-

chased 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.

The development required close co-operation between

Coleman Engineering Services, dealer Gunn JCB and JCB

Heavy Products.

The new excavator is working 20 hours a day on the

highly prestigious redevelopment of Birmingham New

Street Train Station. It has been purpose designed for the

project at the redeveloped station and Grand Central shop-

ping centre.

Its work involves the removal of existing reinforced con-

crete floors to create a void beneath the new atrium


Coleman is the principal demolition contrac-

tor working on the project and is now in its fifth year

on site. The current phase sees the removal of 6,000

tonnes of mass reinforced concrete during 2014/2015.

Some beams weigh as much as 80-90 tonnes and

are 2.5 m wide and 1.5 m deep.

On an industrial site, these would present a sig-

nificant challenge, however this project is taking place

inside, directly beneath the newly constructed, multi-

million pound atrium steelwork structure which must

be protected from all aspects of the demolition.

It is also taking place within a live construction site

while 140,000 people continue to travel through the

station each day.

Coleman & Company Technical Manager, Chris Holland,


“We asked JCB to design a bespoke machine that

could carry out specific tasks in high risk and

technically challenging environments. Nothingwas

ever an issue or problem. It was more a challenge

the company rose to. This was very encouraging as

the stakes are very high at New Street given we’ll

be operating above twelve live train lines carrying

thousands of passengers per day.”

The new JCB machine is expected to work on the pro-

ject for the next 9 months. Once completed, it provides

Coleman & Company with a tool for highly complex demo-

lition tasks.

Coleman & Company Contract Support Manager

Malcolm Hurst added:

“The remote control machine gives Coleman &

Company the option to operate in restricted and

confined areas while the operator remains in a

A JCB remote controlled excavator made for

Coleman Demolition at work on Birmingham

New Street Station project.

Page 18

Contractors World International Vol 6 No 1