42 · Plant
D & D Autumn 08
MCFLETCH GETS FRISKIE AT HITACHI HEAVEN
An Essex-based demolition specialist is utilising a full range of Hitachi equipment to tackle the demolition of the former Nestle Friskies Cat Biscuits factory in Southall, Middlesex. Spearheaded by a new high reach specification Zaxis ZX350-3LC machine, the contract boasts so many HM Plant-supplied machines that it has been dubbed “Hitachi Heaven”.
An impressive line-up of Hitachi excavators is playing a pivotal role in the complex demolition of a former Nestle site in Middlesex. Supplied by HM Plant, the equipment is being used by McFletch to spearhead a demolition programme that will ultimately return a disused food factory back into a super-clean site. The PM Group (a major international design and project management company servicing the Food, Pharmaceutical, Education and Healthcare sectors) were appointed as the Construction Managers and CDM Coordinators for the Southall project. MD of its Rugby based UK operations Ward Catherwood said: "The demolition and site clearance of the Ex-Friskies buildings has challenged the team, due to the close proximity of other businesses and properties, and risks from the potential health hazards. PM's excellent long term relationship with McFletch and a meticulously planned programme of demolition has delivered another successful project"
Built in the 1960s, the factory stands amid a 2.0 hectare site that is bounded side by a railway shunting line to the rear and a canal that runs along one side, both of which serve to make access awkward. The 10-week contract charged to McFletch Ltd is for the controlled demolition and dismantling of a four-storey office building, three factory units of three storeys each, together with numerous outbuildings and cold stores. One factor that makes the contract slightly more complex is the need to clinically clean the entire site. Indeed, the contract has such precise health and safety implications that the redevelopment has been five years in planning and work is conducted in accordance with a health and safety document that is War and Peace-like in its detail and sheer volume.
Spearheading the demolition works is a brand new Hitachi Zaxis ZX350-3LC supplied by HM Plant. Equipped with a 2 tonne MBI MS201 shear, this is
the first outing for the 35 tonne machine and it has already made good use of its 24 metre upward reach. “We pride ourselves on achieving high levels of recycling and materials reclamation so we have utilised the biggest of our Hitachi machines to systematically dismantle the main factory building,” Fletcher continues. “Even though there are a wide variety of materials on this site, we are aiming to recycle at least 80 percent of all arising on site with even more materials being processed for recycling off-site.” The Zaxis ZX350-3LC may be the biggest Hitachi machine on the site but it is by no means the only one. Indeed, the site is using so many Hitachi machines that it has been dubbed “Hitachi Heaven”. “In addition to the ZX350-3LC, we also have a ZX250LC high reach machine handling some of the lower-level high reach work. These are supported by a Hitachi ZX210LC equipped with a revolving grapple, a Hitachi fitted with a grab/grapple and three smaller Hitachi machines on site clearance duties,”
Fletcher says. “The site has so many orange machines that somebody named it Hitachi Heaven and the name has just stuck.” That name may stick even harder; Fletcher has just ordered another five Hitachi machines including an additional Hitachi Zaxis ZX250-3LC unit to further strengthen an already impressive equipment fleet. Chris Fletcher is clearly a keen advocate of the Hitachi brand and believes the machines are ideally suited to the demolition environment. “Demolition is an extremely demanding application, so build quality and reliability is very important to us. The Hitachi machines are very reliable and our operators love them, which is another important consideration,” Chris Fletcher concludes. “I also try to maintain a young equipment fleet so the fact that they command a high resale value was another key factor. I am also told that HM Plant’s aftersales service is very good but, to be honest, the machines are so reliable we’ve had very little opportunity to test it for ourselves.”
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