Doosan heavy hitters make easy work of demolition
Starting a demolition company was something that Mark Peitzmeier of Omaha, Neb., had wanted to do for many years. After his three daughters graduated from college, he decided it was "now or never." After just 18 months in business, Peitzmeier Demolition and Concrete Cutting has a growing list of confirmed projects, expanding employee base and need for Doosan heavy equipment.
Prior to starting his own company, Peitzmeier worked for a construction company in the Omaha area. He leveraged nearly 30 years of knowledge of the construction industry when he started his demolition and concrete cutting business.
"We started with some smaller jobs and then we landed a demolition job with Kiewit," Peitzmeier says, "and that really got our foot in the door. That is when we purchased our first piece of Doosan equipment."
Preparing for new outdoor outlet mall
The Kiewit project that Peitzmeier is referring to is demolition of the Nebraska Crossing outlet mall, from March through April 2013, to make way for a new outlet mall in Gretna, Neb., scheduled to open in fall 2013. The new 350,000-square-foot, $87 million outlet mall is called Smart Outlets at Nebraska Crossing. Peitzmeier was selected as a subcontractor to demolish the outlet mall, and had just eight weeks to complete the work. Peitzmeier says his company finished the job early, in about six weeks, even with an exceptionally wet early spring.
Two developers, Century Development and OTB Destination LLC, announced a proposal in early 2013 to demolish the current structure and construct a new outlet mall that would feature new stores and more recognizable names, with as many as 60 tenants. Construction crews arrived shortly after the proposal was approved by the City of Gretna, and Peitzmeier and crews started their demolition efforts.
Diverse equipment for demo
Peitzmeier, his General Superintendent Ben Ruthven and crews utilized both compact and heavy equipment to efficiently demolish the 170,000-square-foot mall, beginning March 1.
Ruthven says crews started the project by stripping the façade from the front of the building, working from the west end of the structure eastward. He said the company then sent in its skid-steer loaders equipped with industrial grapples and general purpose buckets to gut the inside, down to the block walls and steel columns and trusses in the roof.
Peitzmeier owns five Bobcat skid-steer loaders for interior demolition tasks. He says they brought the material out of the building with industrial grapple attachments and loaded it into containers for removal and offsite processing.
"We try to recycle as much as we can — all the copper, wiring and steel. And the concrete and masonry, we keep clean and take it to get recycled and crushed."
Once the compact equipment had done its job inside, Peitzmeier transitioned to three Doosan crawler excavators and attachments for the heavy-duty work.
"We came in with the Doosan excavators and started from the front, working our way to the back, ripping the roof off, leaving just a couple of main trusses," Ruthven says. "Then we ripped the main trusses, tipped the walls over and pulled up the slabs."
Doosan excavator trio
For a project of this size, Peitzmeier went to a familiar name, a company he had worked with for more than 10 years, for some guidance for heavy equipment selection — his compact equipment dealer in Omaha. Dave Goodsell and Scott Gerdes at Bobcat of Omaha, an authorized Doosan heavy equipment dealer, suggested three Doosan crawler excavators: DX140LCR, DX235LCR and DX180LC. The 14-metric-ton, 109-horsepower DX140LCR and the 24-metric-ton, 173-horsepower DX235LCR are reduced tail swing models, which was an added benefit for the job that required working in some limited-space areas.
Ruthven says the size of the Doosan DX140LCR and DX235LCR excavators made them a good fit for the demolition project.
"The best thing about the Doosan excavators is their reduced tail swing," he says. "When we first started this project, everything was so tight. We could squeeze between buildings and didn't worry about the counterweight hitting something. That was a big plus for the two machines. The camera on the back of the excavator allowed the operator to see what was behind him and provided good all-around visibility. You need good visibility when you're working in a situation like this. You're working right next to other structures and other machines."
Sorting demolition debris and recyclable materials helps minimize waste that goes to the landfill, something that Peitzmeier says has changed since he started. He says more and more demolition debris is recycled than ever before.
"The DX140LCR processed and sorted a lot of the material and did some of the concrete slab removal," Peitzmeier says. "We like to separate everything because it works out better economically for us. The DX235LCR is a workhorse here. It's nice for doing the big stuff, like tearing the roof off."
A third excavator, the 18-metric-ton, 125-horsepower DX180LC, was operated to pull up footings and remove old sewer systems at the site.
"The DX180LC has plenty of power for the type of work that we do," Peitzmeier says. "We used it to pull out some pretty good-sized footings and didn't have any trouble at all."
Attachments aid sorting task
A combination of buckets and hydraulic clamps, equipped with a two-way hydraulic kit on the Doosan DX140LCR and DX235LCR excavators, enabled operators to easily grab, lift, sort and load recyclable material into containers, which were then hauled away for recycling. With the clamp's serrated edges holding firmly onto the demolition material, the operator precisely loaded it into containers and maximized the container space.
"It's so precise that you can pick a stud out of a pile with the hydraulic clamp," Ruthven says, "and it makes our job a lot easier than it used to be."
By early April, crews were tearing down the final portion of the outlet mall, finishing ahead of schedule.
"We were able to give Keiwit the startup for the dirt work about four days early," Peitzmeier says. "Kiewit got started on it ahead of schedule. This project turned out to be a nice job for us to get our foot in the door and work with Kiewit, being the biggest company around, of course. I told the guys, ‘if we don't hit these dates, we won't be working for Kiewit again,' so we were all motivated. Demolition is our job and our livelihood, and we were going to make them happy, no matter how long we had to work. We were going to make the dates they wanted."