A rapidly growing demolition contractor based in southern Indiana, USA, cares a lot about the environment, its customers and the safety and comfort of its operators – and so too does the company that helps to supply its machines. Klenck Company – experts in demolition – has a fleet consisting of seven Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) machines that have quality, safety and environmental care at the heart of their designs.
These shared values, combined with an innovative approach, have led to big things for Klenck Company. Founded in 2008 by husband and wife, Tim and Angie Klenck, the company has grown from a two-person venture working on small-scale projects to the Midwest’s leading commercial demolition enterprise. By joining forces with the Henry Fligeltaub Company – a scrap-metal recycling business – the building demolition specialists have obtained contracts with many large corporations, and business is now spreading across the USA and Canada.
So how did they do it? Tim, president of Klenck Company, explains, “We have a simple strategy – to keep the costs down for our customers, and for ourselves. By partnering with Fligeltaub Recycling we are able to salvage and recycle most of the building materials – benefitting our customers cost-wise and benefitting the environment by reducing the amount of waste that is sent to landfill.”
Painstaking but pain-free
A recent ‘big win’ for the ever-expanding business was the demolition of the well-known Emge Meat Packing Plant in Anderson, IN. Due to its location, Klenck Company was not allowed to use explosives during the demolition of the plant – meaning that every inch of concrete, steel beams, bricks and window frames had to be sheared, moved, sorted, loaded and processed using machinery. Tim employs operators through a trade union, so they come from all over the U.S. “Because many live far away from the site, we work long 10-hour shifts so they can have three-day weekends to visit their families,” says Tim. “Machine uptime is essential for us so that we can get the work done, correctly and on time. We only use Volvo CE machines because, for us, time is money, and Volvo’s service has always been timely and reliable.”
The majority of demolition work on this project is carried out at height – the factory is four stories high and even taller in some parts – so for Tim, giving his operators a comfortable working environment is extremely important. He says, “Volvo machines offer our operators a comfortable ride. The cabs tilt to 30 degrees, enhancing visibility and reducing neck strain when working on high buildings. They can sit back and easily see what’s going on above and around them.” Forward- and rearview-cameras, projected onto the in-cab monitor, further improve all-round visibility.
The latest addition to Tim’s fleet is a Volvo CE EC360C HR ultra high reach excavator – specially designed for demolition of tall structures – featuring a boom that extends to 21 m. Its attachments can be rotated 360 degrees for ultimate precision when pulverizing, grappling, crushing and shearing. Boosting machine utilization, an innovative modular joint uses a hydraulic lock mechanism to change from high-reach demolition boom to a standard backhoe configuration – in less than 30 minutes.
“Our machines work 2,000 hours per year and not always on high-rise projects. So being able to switch quickly and easily between standard and high-reach booms is essential to keep things moving on site,” says Tim.
Safety as number 1
Klenck Company currently owns three Volvo EC330B excavators, one Volvo L110E and L60F wheel loader, one Volvo MC135C skid steer loader, the latest addition to its fleet, and the Volvo EC360C HR ultra high reach demolition excavator.
“We don’t believe in micro-managing on our sites,” says Tim. “But we take safety very seriously and do all that we can to ensure operators are protected.” Klenck Company offers rigorous training and has a full-time safety officer on all of its sites. Operators carry out a hazard analysis before every job and site-specific training. And the company’s Volvo machinery helps to make their work even safer on site thanks to the special safety features built-into the machines.
The Volvo EC360C HR has a frame-mounted falling object guard (FOG) that protects the operator against any errant pieces of falling debris. Other protection includes bolted side-impact protection, heavy-duty double-thickness side doors and bucket and boom cylinder guards help to protect the machine and its operator from all other angles. The sound-dampened cab also protects the operator against hearing damage and enhances comfort.
“Our operators are very happy with the machines,” says Tim. “They often comment on the excellent visibility that Volvo CE machines, in particular, provide – and the additional protection features help to keep our operators safe on site.”