The former home to recently promoted Brentford FC, Griffin Park, is currently undergoing demolition. Constructed in 1904 on the grounds of a former orchard, Griffin Park, the ground was well known for having a pub on each of its four corners, the only one in the UK.
With the club’s success gathering pace and new owners and investors coming on board, A new ground, the Brentford Community Stadium was constructed just a stone’s throw away from their old home with Brentford playing their first game there, a friendly against Oxford, on the 1st of September 2020.
The redevelopment of Griffin Park will see 75 new homes constructed and a large area of green space made available to the community.
Essex based demolition contractors Northeast Demolition won the contract to demolish the stadium and prepare the ground for the developers to start work. The company has long been associated with using JCB equipment, but several recent purchases has seen a number of LiuGong excavators enter the fleet. Bradley Harris, Northeast Demolition’s Contracts Director takes up the story; “We have used and still do, JCB excavators in our fleet and find them to be great bits of kit. We took our first LiuGong a couple of years ago and have found it to be just as good and just as reliable. When we won this project at Brentford we needed an additional 40t excavator for some of the heavier work. As many people have found out recently, delivery times can be long at the moment, but LiuGong were able to supply us from stock with a new 939E demolition spec machine.”
Following on from over 12 months of hard work from their initial 933E excavator, the team at Northeast didn’t hesitate in adding the larger machine to the fleet. “We expect our machines to be able to cope with the work we throw at them in the demolition industry.” Bradley explains “The 933E has proven to be a very reliable and productive excavator and combines the power we require for digging out heavy concrete slabs and footings to the finesse in finishing off a site to a level ready to hand back to our customers. The whole package offered by LiuGong UK is very excellent from dealing with your enquiry to their servicing and backup team.”
The new signing for the team headed out into midfield armed with a shear and selector grab to process a pile of steel removed from one of the canopies above the stands.
With an operating weight of just under 38 tonnes, the excavator is powered by a StageV compliant 6-cylinder Cummins engine. Delivering 300hp, the compact design of the Cummins and its emissions equipment means the upper structure of the excavator remains reasonably compact increasing the operator’s view around the machine. With the demolition industry in mind, LiuGong in the UK can supply machines for the industry with additional features such as dipper protection, cab guarding, additional hydraulic circuits for powering attachments and upper structure side impact protection. Many aftermarket suppliers and OEMs will fit side impact protection strips of varying designs in single pieces along the frame of the upper structure. LiuGong has approached the task differently and offers shorter sections that, if damaged can be replaced easily at a fraction of the cost of a full length.
Standard front-end equipment on the 939E is a 6.4m boom and 3.2m dipper which has a Geith quick hitch fitted. When coupled to its large shear, the jaws a further 3m away potentially making the machine very unstable when handling large steel sections. Thankfully, this isn’t the case as both the 939E and the smaller 933E are said to be extremely stable and its only when at full stretch and cross-carriage that the back end of either machine gets a little light. The standard excavating front end allows the machine to reach a potential 10m in height which is a bonus for the Northeast team as they can remove some structures without the need for a high reach machine or building up a working platform.
Both excavators have slotted seamlessly into the ever-growing fleet of equipment run by the company and have so far proved to be reliable and productive acquisitions. “There are still people out there who have issues with Chinese made equipment.” Bradley comments “On our experience, we cannot fault the machines, their build quality and their ability to do the job. Our drivers like them and if they are happy, we’re happy.”