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Volvo helping to reach higher demolition standards in South Korea

Volvo EC480EHR excavator

Contractor Sungdo Construction leading by example following delivery of Volvo ultra high-reach excavator 

FOUNDED in 1979, family-owned Sungdo Construction are one of South Korea’s leading demolition firms. The business is renowned for its work in high-profile demolition projects, such as the collapsed Sampoong department store, the dismantling of the Cheonggye elevated highway and, most recently, the demolition of a 10-storey hospital in Changwon, with the help of a Volvo EC480EHR excavator. 

Doh Moon-gil, CEO and chairman of Sungdo Construction, chose the ultra high-reach excavator – the first of its kind to be used in the country – to help encourage higher safety standards in South Korea’s demolition industry.

‘High-reach demolition is safer for operators, as well as anyone else on the project site,’ he commented. ‘And there are some projects where a normal excavator just can’t get the job done – the hospital demolition was one of them.’

Offering Sungdo Construction the extra height they needed, the Volvo EC480EHR model has been customized with a 3.4m extension to the standard 28m long boom. As the first ultra high-reach excavator in South Korea, Mr Moon-gil believes that not only will it elevate safety standards in the country but it will also open the door to new opportunities for his company.

Keeping his team safe on the job, the EC480EHR high-reach excavator has a steel frame-mounted falling object guard (FOG) cabin and reinforced windows to protect the operator from being struck by debris. Cameras on the boom, rear and sides of the machine provide views of the entire work area.

Mun In-hwan, one of Sungdo Construction’s most experienced operators, confidently uses the Volvo excavator to bring down mounds of concrete and rebar. Towering way above the 4m high aluminum barricades that surround the 18,000 sq m job site, the EC480EHR is suited to the range of demolition work that the company undertakes. Fitted with a three-tonne sheering tool that can slice through metal and cement, Mr In-hwan said he has never felt safer while on a job than when he is operating the machine.

In addition to the safety features, the machine is equipped with a dust-suppression system which is a real benefit considering the hospital demolition worksite is adjacent to the new Samsung Changwon Hospital. 

Mr Moon-gil said: ‘Not only did the high-reach excavator improve working conditions, it also increased our work rate. In seven days we were able to complete what would normally take 10 days. I’m advocating for the implementation of new safety regulations. Once these are adopted, I hope the demand for more high-reach demolition machines, like the Volvo EC480EHR, will increase.’

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