Like a Surgeon: Safety Spurs LVI/Mazzocchi’s Success

Wed November 11, 2009 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Equipped with a 182 ft. (55 m) long reach boom and stick, the Sennebogen 870 R-HD makes quick work of the site.
Equipped with a 182 ft. (55 m) long reach boom and stick, the Sennebogen 870 R-HD makes quick work of the site.

LVI/Mazzocchi Wrecking specializes in the demolition and dismantling of high-rise buildings, industrial structures, bridges and marine projects on tight sites where doing it by hand is not an option and traditional methods like wrecking balls and explosives are either prohibited or severely restricted. It is a highly specialized application typical of urban centers in the northeastern United States that requires purpose-built long reach demolition equipment (LRDs) to get the job done safely, quickly and efficiently.

“Safety is our No. 1 priority at LVI/Mazzocchi,” said Norman Russo, LVI/Mazzocchi Wrecking’s operations manager. “It really requires a surgical, meticulous, pay-attention-at-all times approach and equipment that is up to the challenge.”

A base model Sennebogen 870 R-HD powered by a Caterpillar C11 diesel engine and with an operating weight of more than 200,000 lbs. (90,718 kg), recently joined LVI/Mazzocchi Wrecking’s fleet of long-reach demolition machines and has proven itself to be a flexible solution for this unique application. Painted in the company’s trademark orange, the 870 R-HD is equipped with a 182 ft. (55 m) long reach demolition boom and stick front.

According to Russo, the tracked unit has been one of the company’s most durable and reliable LRDs since it went into service about two years ago.

A Full-Service Demolition Company

In business for more than 45 years, LVI/Mazzocchi Wrecking is a full-service demolition and wrecking company that lists demolition, dismantling and environmental services like soil remediation, PCB removal, and lead and asbestos abatement, as its specialties. In 2007, the company was acquired by LVI Services Inc., the largest environmental remediation and facility services firm in the United States. Today, LVI/Mazzocchi Wrecking is the largest demolition and wrecking company in the New York metropolitan area and the sixth-largest in the United States.

Russo said LVI/Mazzocchi has seen its share of high-profile challenging projects in recent years, including cleaning up the World Trade Centre site after the tragic events of Sept. 2001.

“We brought down the Philadelphia Convention Center, demolished and removed asbestos from Hangar 55 at the Newark Airport and we took apart a 230-foot-high, 350-ton hammerhead crane at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. These projects all presented unique challenges for our personnel and equipment.”

With more than 200 pieces of company-owned and maintained equipment in its fleet, the company prides itself on having the “right equipment for the right job,” including crushers, hydraulic excavators, cranes and its trademark LRD long-reach booms.

Transportability, Stability and Reliability Help 870 R-HD Reach New Heights

Used primarily to demolish higher elevation concrete, steel and wood structures, the Sennebogen 870 R-HD base unit features a transport optimized hydraulic extendable crawler undercarriage that gives LVI/Mazzocchi operators the wide stance and extra stability they need for high work of this type. It also enables the company to transport the machine quickly from one place to the next without removing tracks or getting wide-load permits.

Three attachments are used interchangeably with the unit’s Jewel boom and stick front. A heavy-duty shear is used for cutting steel structures; a pulverizer for smashing concrete structures; and a grapple-basket for use with wood structures. The spacious F2000 20 degree tilting cab on the 870 R-HD model offers operators a perfect place to work. Equipped with tinted safety glass, it provides all-around visibility and sound absorbing insulation. The guarding on the cab protects operators from falling debris.

“We recently used the Sennebogen unit for the demolition of five 178’ high concrete silos in Newark,” said Russo. “Using the pulverizer attachment, we basically munched each silo down quite quickly and quite efficiently. That’s the type of job this unit is purpose-built for.”

Another application Russo anticipated the Sennebogen 870 R-HD being used for is fire prevention and retention

“If a building catches on fire and the firemen can’t get near it to put it out, we can go in with our LRDs and literally cut the building in half much like they do when they cut a pass during a forest fire. So when the fire reaches that point it will die out and not pass onto adjoining structures. Cutting off the fire also allows for re-building if possible. We have had a lot of good luck with this application, so we have fire departments calling us quite often to get our machines to the fire site.”

Given the nature of its business, all of LVI/Mazzocchi’s equipment can be deployed from its New Jersey yard at a moment’s notice with the hydraulic telescopic undercarriage on the 870 R-HD. Russo estimated that the Sennebogen unit can be mobilized from the yard in less than two hours.

“We have a very well-trained diversified crew who like the pressure and can handle it quite well,” said Russo. “They remove the boom and stick and attachments, take off the counter-weights and place all the components on three trailers and we’re good to go. Depending on the location of the job site, we can usually have the Sennebogen LRD unit onsite, put together and operational in less than three hours. That’s efficiency.”

LVI/Mazzocchi’s highly-trained maintenance staff can repair all of the company’s equipment onsite maximizing uptime and keeping costs down. Not surprisingly, Russo said that the Sennebogen machine is one of the best running of all of the company’s LRDs.

“I think the Sennebogen 870 is a machine that is going to last us for a lot of years,” said Russo.

According to Constantino Lannes, president Sennebogen LLC, Sennebogen demolition machines are available in 840, 850 and 870 R-HD models.

“The demolition application is a very dusty and challenging environment and with no onboard electronics or computer, the machines are very reliable for an application of this nature. As they are fit for purpose, they are very fuel efficient especially when compared to standard, converted excavators. This makes the total unit a much more cost effective acquisition. Additionally, they also are available with an optional counterweight lowering system,” said Lannes.

“LVI/Mazzocchi Wrecking’s use of their Sennebogen 870 R-HD unit as a long reach demolition machine is proof-positive of how flexible our equipment is for special applications.”