Demolishing structures used to fall to the wrecking ball; however, swinging several tons about is dangerous and inefficient and can be impossible in tight places. Enter the long-reach hydraulic demolition unit, a purpose-built machine with an arm and claw able to tear buildings apart precisely while maintaining control of the debris.
Volvo has several demolition-specific models available, with the newest being the EC360CHR UHR (ultrahigh reach), which lands in the middle of the range with a 21-m (69-ft) reach.
The EC360CHR is based on the EC360C excavator introduced in 2007. The new demolition model comes with all the parts necessary to convert it into a tracked excavator, while maintaining the necessary reach and application-specific tools. Thirty minutes are needed to convert from the demolition to the backhoe attachment, making the EC360CHR doubly useful on-site. Volvo UHR machines come with both the demolition and digging boom and arm, along with transportation cradles for both.
Power and distance are of primary importance when pulling down, as opposed to knocking down, buildings so the reach can become difficult to balance with the forces against the machine. A long undercarriage and boom, arm holding valves, and slew sensor, which measures the rotation of the machine, all work to prevent instability. The operator also has a total moment indicator, which warns if the machine approaches maximum load. Additionally, the optional extendable undercarriage can expand by more than 1 m (3.3 ft) for greater balance. During transport, the high-reach equipment folds, not needing to be dismantled.
The cab tilts 30° to reduce operator strain and increase visibility. Multiple attachments, up to 2.5 ton (2.3 t), include pulverizers, grapples, hammers, shears, and multiprocessors.
Since additional protection is needed due to workplace hazards, there are guards on the bucket and boom cylinders, swing ring, undercarriage, and tracks. Falling object bars on the front, bolt-on side-impact protection, and doubly thick side doors also anticipate possible collisions. The 265-hp (198-kW) Cummins diesel is also protected by micromesh screens to keep fine particles out as well as optional reversible fans to expel debris.