New Zaxis-5 demolishes former US military base
A former US military base is the location for a major demolition project being undertaken by a new Hitachi Zaxis-5 excavator in Germany. Part of Reese Barracks is being dismantled by one of the first ZX350LC-5s in Europe, which is being operated by KS Engineering in the city of Augsburg, south-west Bavaria.
The base was originally constructed in 1934-36 and named after Private James W Reese of the US Army, who was awarded the Medal of Honour after being killed in Sicily in August 1943. The 45-hectare site is being redeveloped for housing, offices and a park. The project started at the end of 2010 and each building has been tendered on an individual basis by the local authority for demolition.
KS Engineering has been successful with four of the tenders and an old garage complex is the third structure being dismantled by the Laupheim-based company. The process includes the assessment of each building for hazardous materials, the demolition activities and separating the materials for recycling purposes.
KS stands for (Tobias) Kuhn and (Manfred) Schöll , who started their specialist demolition company – and bought the first Hitachi excavator, a ZX350LCN-3 – in 2007 and currently employ 30 members of staff. While Mr Kuhn is responsible for personnel and financial matters, Mr Schöllhorn manages the job sites. The latter has 25 years’ operating experience and can even be found in the cab of the company’s two ZX350LCN-3s and the latest ZX350LC-5, which has been rented from official German dealer Kiesel.
The ZX350LCN-3s were delivered in 2010 and 2011, and have 3,500 and 2,000 working hours respectively. A third identical medium excavator has been ordered to further expand KS Engineering’s fleet of Hitachi construction equipment. The company keeps its excavators for three years, after each machine has clocked up between 5,000 and 6,000 hours.
“Price is of course an important consideration for the purchase of construction equipment,” says Mr Schöllhorn. “We are looking at value for money in terms of reliability and availability. Demolition projects have tight deadlines and so any downtime is expensive. Hitachi Zaxis-3 machines have never let us down, and we also benefit from the fast and efficient service offered by Kiesel.
“The superior power and handling characteristics of the new ZX350LC-5 are what we would expect from Hitachi. The cab is really comfortable, the interior is very modern and the technology is similar to what you would find in a car. The most impressive feature is the ergonomic design of the control panel and LCD monitor. It is so easy to operate the air conditioning, rear-view camera and other functions. All of this makes life much easier for the operator.”
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