Digger Man

Digger Man Blog

by Nick Drew  |  Thu 05 Nov 2020

Advanced X-Series Upgrade

Taking a look back at another one of my articles first published in Earthmovers Magazine, bringing it to life on the Internet with alternative photos and video footage.

Based in the beautiful village of Lytchett Matravers, near Poole in Dorset, Advanced Demolition was established some 17 years ago in 2003 by Managing Director Brian Hansford.

Advanced X-Series Upgrade

Mr Hansford had previously had a long working history in both the groundworks and demolition industries gaining a lot of experience along the way. It was while working for another locally based demolition company which he was running jobs for, that Brian was unfortunately involved in a serious motorbike accident, which was followed by a long lay off from work.

The owner of that business was an elderly gentleman and it soon became apparent that without Brian running the business on his behalf, he could not realistically carry on.

Following his recovery Brian returned to work to discover that the owner had a proposition for him. He suggested that Brian could buy the business off him. So, with an already existing business with a well-established client list available to takeover, it was a bit of a no brainer really, especially as Brian knew the game inside out.

Like so many other businesses, Advanced Demolition is now very much a family affair with Brian being assisted by his two sons. Craig Hansford works as a Site Foreman and excavator operator, while younger brother Matthew Hansford takes on additional roles including some machine operating.

It would appear that Brian, in the time-honoured way, has taught the boys well, a recent customer review stated, “Nothing phases these boys, Craig in particular has a fantastic attitude and great ability at the controls of the machine, the team in general are totally capable of dealing with the most difficult demolition situations”. 

One of the firms first machines was a 25-tonne class Case-Poclain 1188, a popular machine with demolition outfits back in the day, this machine served them well for around 10 years. A smaller 13 tonne Hitachi excavator was also added to the fleet.

In more recent years the company has turned to JCB for its excavator requirements, their first JCB was a JS220LC, this machine had proven to be a very reliable over the years and had served them well, talking about the machine Craig said, “We feel the JS range has had a bad rap from people, our experience has been totally different, we never had any problems with ours, it was a great machine”. As such when it was time to replace the JS, they naturally looked at the new X Series model, in particular the 22-tonne 220XLC model.

Talking about the decision to go for the X Series Craig said, “Well, we had read a lot of the reviews on the machine which have generally been really positive and obviously for us it did seem like a good tool for the demolition industry, so we decided to go for it, as it was the right price at the right time”.

The deal for the 220XLC from their local dealer, Blandford Forum based Holt JCB, was arranged by Holt’s Managing Director Andrew Shields and organised in rapid time, in fact within two days of them first discussing it, the machine was on site! The machine itself was an ex-demonstration model with just 100 working hours on the meter, effectively a dream purchase, of a machine that had really done very little work.

We caught up with the team, consisting of the two brothers Craig & Matthew and labourer Ricky Kerr and the new machine on site at the Ferndown Industrial Estate in Dorset, where they were engaged in the demolition of an old existing single factory unit which, once flattened and cleared, will be re-developed into 3 smaller industrial units. 

At the time of our visit they had only had the machine for around a month and it had been in their yard having additional rotation lines fitted to enable them to run their existing arsenal of attachments which includes a British built Northerntrack NTSG-15HD rotary selector grab in its distinctive purple paintwork and an Italian built VTN multi-processor.

The machine was supplied with factory fitted “boxing ring” fall from height protection and full colour rear-view camera as standard visible through the machines 7” monitor. It will be fitted with full dedicated demolition cab guarding which was on order, but due to the Covid-19 situation it had not been supplied yet.

Craig who is the full-time operator of the 220XLC is clearly delighted with his new steed saying, “It’s a brilliant machine, everything is right where you want it in the cab, it’s been well thought out that’s for sure, it’s also nicely balanced with the extra tonne they have put on the back compared to our previous JS model. It’s got plenty of power and it’s fast in every aspect too.

I suppose if I had to be critical, where I’m such a big lad, I find there is slightly less leg room in these, compared to our old JS220, that’s my only criticism, but overall, it’s a nice environment to spend my days in, just a great bit of kit all round!”.

We arrived on site just as demolition was beginning and Craig was skilfully dismantling the building using a combination of the selector grab and multi-processor in the controlled manner that we see on modern demolition jobs these days.

The 220XLC was the first of the new and long-awaited X Series range of JCB excavators and was launched in the first quarter of 2018. The replacement for the old JS model had been 4 years in the planning in complete secrecy backed by a hefty £110m investment programme.

Power for the 220XLC comes from a well proven but slightly tweaked for this application, 173hp (129kw) Ecomax Stage 4 emissions compliant 4-cylinder, 4.8 litre powerpack built by JCB, which the manufacturer says can cut fuel consumption by up to 15%.

The British built machine which has been universally praised by end users and operators alike is brimming with the latest Japanese designed hydraulic components from Kawasaki and Kayaba which combined with JCB’s engine have really made a big difference in the machine’s performance.   





Pictured above: Craig Hansford (Left) & Ricky Kerr (Labourer)

Summarizing Craig said, “I know its early days but it’s proving to be a great machine for us, the precision of movements with the new hydraulic system is really noticeable, which of course is ideal for our type of work so it's all good and if it's anything like our last JCB it will do us proud.

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