On The Cover

Ascot Demolition and Epiroc

Having made the move to Australia from the UK in 1999, Gareth Golding had wasted little time in finding his feet and becoming acquainted with his new surroundings, taking up a job with a local plant hire company, which not only required him to travel throughout Brisbane, but also the wider South East Queensland region.

Gareth, who was 28 at the time, told EEM that he had greatly enjoyed the work, and the ability to get out and about, having worked for the hire company for around two years before deciding to start up his own business and establishing Ascot Demolition, drawing on his prior experience in the industry.

“My background before moving to Australia was always in demolition and recycling,” he explained. “I started by working with a close friend of mine for many years, including time at several other demolition and recycling companies in and around London.

“After taking the plunge and going out on my own with a 20 t excavator, I came up with the name Ascot Demolition, simply because the suburb in Brisbane’s inner north was where most of my work seemed to be and acted as my base.”

Now closing in on two decades of operations, family-owned-and-operated Ascot services the Brisbane, Ipswich and Gold Coast regions, with Gareth highlighting the business’s ability to provide a wide range of services, including civil works, site remediation, early works, bulk and detailed excavation, and residential and commercial demolition.

He told EEM that this allows Ascot to cater to a broad range of client requirements, with the business drawing on significant industry experience across each of these service areas.

“This gives us the capacity to provide all-encompassing packages and avoid large crossovers between trades during the crucial start of projects,” Gareth said.

“We’re still family owned and focused, with my wife Trisha running the office, along with our kids helping where they can. We have always wanted to be, and would like to think that we are big enough to cope, but small enough to care!

Industry Advances Lead To Safer And More Efficient Operations

Gareth noted that during his time in the industry it has undergone significant changes, with new and improved equipment arriving to market, delivering significant safety benefits and facilitating more efficient operations.

“The industry has evolved so much over the years, from the crash and bash days of wrecking balls, through to excavators with five finger grabs, and now designated demolition machines fitted with attachments for a multitude of tasks,” he observed.

“Using the new gear, such as the Epiroc hydraulic grabs, takes safety and efficiency to a new level – so much so, it’s hard to think how you ever managed without it.”

Ascot has recently added the Epiroc MG 1000R hydraulic grapple to its fleet,designed for a carrier weight class of 12-20 t, and decked out with a range of features to streamline operations.

Epiroc advises that its MG multi-grapple range can be used for the loading and sorting of different materials, along with demolishing wooden and masonry structures, with the range featuring:

  • A removable rotation unit, allowing for proper use with tiltrotators (MG 1000)
  • A 360-degree endless hydraulic rotation, allowing for optimal positioning and precise handling
  • An integrated mechanical stop, reducing the load on cylinders
  • Solid perforated shells, providing for excellent visibility during operations
  • Optional tooth blades for undertaking block and stone handling (MG 400-1500)
  • Cutting blades, which are both replaceable and reversible
  • Optional bolt-on side plates, allowing for handling of fine-grained material and debris (MG 400-1500)
  • The ability to switch from rotation to non-rotation or converse

Gareth told EEM that Ascot has opted to use Epiroc attachments across a range of its machines, with the recent addition of the MG 1000R making it the 10th machine in Ascot’s fleet fitted out with one.

“We have them on our mini-diggers, up to our 40 t carriers,” he said. “They have proven to be extremely robust, and are well worth the extra bit of maintenance required to keep them in top condition.

“The newest models are very good, with the twin rotating motors for smooth operation, and new mechanical stops to protect from over-extension and operator misuse.”

Getting The Job Done With Epiroc Attachments

Gareth said that in combination with the MG 1000R, Ascot has also recently added an Epiroc SB 702 hydraulic breaker (designed for a carrier weight class of 10-17 t) to its fleet, further streamlining operations.

Epiroc advises that its solid body breakers range is suitable for a variety of outdoor and indoor purposes, including demolishing light concrete structures and asphalt pavements, along with performing earthworks, scaling in underground operations, and cleaning ladles and converters in foundries.

Of the SB range’s features, Epiroc states that the solid body concept eliminates common parts, enabling both high durability and a slim, compact, lightweight design, advising that:

  • Energy recovery automatically utilises the piston recoil energy, reducing vibration levels with the simultaneous increase of performance
  • An integrated pressure relief valve protects against overloads
  • A maintenance-free, high-pressure accumulator, with a patented diaphragm support, is designed to deliver consistent performance and high reliability
  • A floating fit tool bushing, with a patented tool locking system, is designed to enable quick and easy onsite replacement Gareth pointed to the combined benefits the MG 1000R and SB 702 provide, explaining that, with the hammer able to break up larger materials into more manageable sizes, operation of the grab is in turn made easier.

“We have chosen this combo from Epiroc, as the relationship we have with BA Equipment Group has been excellent over the years,” he commented. “They are very helpful, and always keen to help with solutions and pairing of the right attachment to the right piece of machinery.

“Another benefit of working with BA is excellent after-sales service. These are just some of the reasons why we also run a multitude of hammers, ranging in sizes from the HB 7000 down to the SB 102, as well as drum cutters, shears and combi cutters.”

Robert Guerin, BA QLD/NT/PNG Manager, told EEM that the team at BA has been working with Gareth and Ascot for over 12 years, while BA’s longest-serving employee, Chris Theodore, QLD/NT/PNG Sales Manager, has been working with Gareth for 14 years.

“Gareth is always looking for new and more efficient ways to perform his works,” Robert commented. “The team at BA enjoy working with Gareth and learning about his jobs, and discussing the different attachment options to best suit the various applications he uses them for.”

BA Delivers Comprehensive Service Offering

Robert – who has been working with hydraulic attachments for over 20 years, and who has been a member of the BA team for just over 10 of those years – pointed to the range of benefits provided by Epiroc grapples.

“The Epiroc grapples include limiters/stops to avoid over-extension of the clamshells, which protects the cylinder, 360 degree endless rotation for precision handling of materials, two hydraulic rotation motors for added strength under load, built-in relief valves to protect the rotation motors and high-qualityheavy duty welding to maximise the strength/ longevity of the grapple,” he commented.

“That said, all equipment eventually needs some servicing, and every member of the team at BA prides themselves on providing high standards of customer service to help maximise our customers’ investments.” Robert advised that BA’s service offering ranges from initial product selection, through to delivery and commissioning, ensuring the attachment is set to OEM specifications, and preventative maintenance and servicing, with all members of the BA QLD and WA sales/service and spares teams regularly participating in Epiroc OEM training.

“BA has a safety-focused, well-equipped team of attachment professionals dedicated to our customers’ success,” he said.

“BA actively maintains a health and safety management system in accordance with AS/NZS 4804:2001, and is third-part certified. We stock a diverse range of new attachments, hire attachments, spare parts and tools, and employ trade qualified service technicians for field service and workshop repairs.”

Industry Outlook

Amid the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Robert stated that the industry has been fortunate in being able to adapt and continue operations, creating COVID-safe workplaces and moving forward.

He noted that with most hydraulic attachments made overseas, the construction and mining sectors have broadly had to deal with some delays, however pointed to the comprehensive support provided by Epiroc.

“In addition to BA’s inventory, the Epiroc Australia Tools & Attachments Business Development Manager Glenn Illingworth, who has over 45 years of industry experience, works with the Australian dealers on product support matters, marketing support, and maintains back-up stock of Epiroc products/ spares at the Epiroc distribution centre located in NSW,” he commented.

“Epiroc’s ongoing commitment to maintaining this level of support gives confidence to our customers, knowing the OEM is locally backing and standing behind the products within the Australian market.” Gareth told EEM that while the events of 2020 have caused concern, Ascot maintains a positive outlook, and is very much focused on the future.

“Business in 2020 has been scary and uncertain, to say the least, but we believe that work will still go on,” he said. “We believe that by investing in equipment and personnel our company can strengthen its capabilities to provide a service to customers that is modern, friendly and of great value.”

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