LaBounty Mobile Shear Dives Under Water to Cut Piles for Pier Demolition

Fri December 19, 2003 - Northeast Edition

Taking on difficult and unique projects is nothing new to McLean Contracting, headquartered in Glen Burnie, a southern suburb of Baltimore, MD.

A recent project involved the removal of two large piers jutting out into Baltimore Harbor, each held in place with extensive steel piles. The two large piers contained 35 caps each with each cap being held in place with 10, 14-in. (36 cm), 89- and 117-lb. (40 and 53 kg) H-beams.

Some piles had to be cut twice, once at the top to separate it from the pier cap and then again at the bottom of the mud line. All piles cut below the mud line were done so to alleviate environmental and safety concerns.

Bill Cyford, equipment superintendent of McLean explained. “Although we had experience using LaBounty shears, even in cable hanging them, we had never tried using them underwater. After consulting with our local LaBounty dealer, Chesapeake Supply, along with LaBounty representatives, we felt this job would give us a good opportunity to see if the shear could give us the production and safety advantage that we were looking for.”

The LaBounty chosen for the job was a MSD 70R-IIIsv mobile shear suspended from a large cable crane powered by a 570-hp (425 kW) diesel engine. A vibratory hammer hydraulic power unit operated at 4,750 psi.

“Whereas before we needed drivers and torching equipment working in less than ideal conditions [underwater], the shear totally eliminated the need for divers, which removed a potentially dangerous situation.”

Another concern associated with using hydraulic equipment near water of course is leakage and the potential environmental problems this potential hazard can pose. Fortunately, LaBounty shears are equipped with special seals and hoses that allow them to use biodegradable, vegetable-based hydraulic fluid for just such applications.

“What used to take us a full day to do, involving a number of laborers working in dangerous environment, now takes us less than a half a day and keeps our workers a safe distance from the work. The LaBounty shear we bought makes this all possible.

“The LaBounty shear proved to be a pleasant surprise and definitely exceeded all of our expectations. With our knowledge gained from this job and having the right equipment, we feel we will be very competitive in bidding these types of jobs in the future,” Cyford said.

McLean Contracting has been in business for more than 100 years and currently has 310 employees.

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