The Lawson Group is a great believer in keeping its equipment up to date.
Its latest purchase, a Cat 336D excavator, has been immediately put to work sorting waste at a site in Luton where a heavily used footbridge is being demolished to make way for a new tram system to be installed adjacent the town’s bus and railway stations. As council wants a new bridge and footpath in place as soon as possible to minimise inconvenience to the travelling public, the demolition job has to be carried out as quickly as possible.
The company started 20 years ago as a local operation and now handles jobs across the country. Currently it is very busy, especially with jobs in and around the M25 area. CN visited the site in Luton where the main demolition was carried out by an 80 tonne Cat 365C (equipped with a MSD 2000 shear) after a 1.5t mini had been used to break out the concrete on the bridge deck. The steel structure was then lifted away in sections by a 500t Liebherr mobile crane.
To further complicate matters, the site is cut into three by two public roads: the main vehicular access to the railway station and, access to a large area of student accommodation. Lawson’s site supervisor Phil Bowen says careful planning meant the crane only had to be repositioned once during the lifts despite having to hoist the sections over the street lamps which had to be left in position.
So keen is the council to get the new footpath open that the kerbing stones had already been laid before the crane arrived on site. “We haven’t damaged any of the kerbstones or broken any of the lamp posts – but it has been very tight,” says Mr Bowen.
At 18 months old, the 365 is half way through its stay at Lawson. “We only keep our machines for three years so our demolition fleet always has the latest and cleanest engines and the highest standards of health and safety,” says Nikola Oakey,business development executive for the group. “Our clients are increasingly hiring environmental consultants and they want to know what machines we will have on site and if they are the cleanest options available,” she adds.
In this area the firm is a big supporter of Caterpillar’s ACERT low emission technology and not only does it use Cat’s excavators but also specifies the manufacturer’s engines in the crushers and screens it uses for reprocessing. In general Lawson says it recycles in excess of 90 per cent of the arisings, with much of the material re-used on site. The firm also has two dedicated reprocessing sites close to its headquarters near Swindon in Wiltshire.