The UK’s first Bobcat Remote Control compact loader has increased safety and reduced costs on a major demolition contract in London. Purchased by BooBoo Plant Hire, based in Kings Langley, and supplied by Bobcat of London, the local Authorised Bobcat dealer, the Remote Control S450 skid-steer loader is working on the top-down demolition of a former wing of the Whittington Hospital in Upper Holloway in North London, being carried out by main contractor, Kent-based Erith.
Bobcat of London supplied the S450 with a kit for the Bobcat Remote Control System – installed in a matter of minutes, the Remote Control System allows the operator to leave the seat in the cab of the S450 and control it remotely whilst maintaining full visibility and safety. Compatible with any Bobcat skid-steer, compact track and all wheel steer loader equipped with the company’s Selectable Joystick Controls, the Remote Control System can be quickly removed, leaving the standard machine in its original form.
The new S450 forms part of a fleet of Bobcat machines purchased from Bobcat of London by BooBoo Plant Hire, that are being used on the contract – the company is responsible for supplying specialist equipment for the project. They include conventional and specially modified E85 8.5 tonne mini-excavators and an S70 skid-steer loader.
Two of the E85 units have specially modified hydraulics that allow them to operate a Multi Quick Processor 25 (MQP-25) and large hydraulic breakers, whilst still maintaining the low ground pressure that is required for working safely on the floors of buildings being demolished in this way. BooBoo Plant Hire prides itself in running a state-of-the-art fleet and like all the machines in the fleet, the Bobcat loaders and excavators are all less than three years old and meet the Non-Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM) emission standards.
Remote Control for Increased Safety on Site
Remote control aims to increase safety, comfort and productivity by distancing the operator from dust, noise, vibrations and other hazards encountered on job sites that require special safety precautions. In the confined spaces of top-down demolition, the remote control system removes the operator from any danger, such as rebar penetrating the cab space as well dust inhalation and the effects of vibration and noise in the cab.
Harry Allen, Owner of BooBoo Plant Hire, commented: “With the number of injuries on sites increasing again, maintaining maximum safety is paramount. I believe remote control is the way to go in the future in our industry – it’s a no-brainer really – so I was very interested in the excellent demonstration provided by Phil Stoneham at Bobcat of London.
“As well as increased safety, the remote control saves costs by removing the need for a banksman as a lookout for the machine, a prerequsite now on many sites. Banksmen are necessary to help avoid collisions of machines with other workers on site, which after falls from height is one of the major causes of accidents and injuries.
“So instead of the contractor having to pay for both a banksman and the loader driver, these are both replaced by the operator on the remote control system. On top of that, they do not have to pay for pensions, holiday pay and other associated costs, providing further savings.”
The Bobcat Remote Control System allows direct sight of the work in progress in demolition and many other sites, further increasing the versatility of the loader and a comprehensive range of attachments including angle brooms, augers, breakers, buckets and snow blowers.
Harry Allen added: “We see many other uses of the system – with trenchers and wheelsaws, where the operator specifically needs to drive backwards with the loader, this solution offers perfect visibility of the project. It also allows operators to talk face-to-face with project partners and manage the surroundings (verbally or non-verbally) at the same time. To market the advantages that this equipment offers, we have recently formed a new company called Lobotics, which will specialise in robotic/automatic solutions such as the remote control loaders for work on our sites throughout the UK.”
Expansion in Bobcat Attachment Range
Bobcat is a major player worldwide in the attachment market. The new Bobcat Remote Control System is the latest expansion of the attachment range for the company’s market-leading range of compact loaders.
As well as demolition, construction, road maintenance and utilities, the new Bobcat Remote Control System provides a state-of-the-art solution for use in shipyards and in vessels with limited space in the hold. It ensures the operator is distanced from other loading machinery such as grabs and the materials they are carrying, separating them from hazardous chemicals and other airborne pollutants in addition to falling heavy objects such as scrap metal and other items.
The same applies to the waste and recycling industries, where the remote control solution allows operators to handle dangerous or toxic materials from a safe distance, minimizing the risk of exposure. With remote control, operators can also work on hazardous applications (such as detecting and removing land mines) and in disasters like floods, forest fires, mud or rock slides and in other places where operators can be subjected to dangerous situations.
Simple, Easy-to-Use Design
All Bobcat compact loaders are equipped with the quick-change Bob-Tach attachment mounting system, facilitating the quick and safe interchange of over 80 different types of Bobcat attachment. The new Remote Control System has been designed in the same way – it is a plug and play system comprising an easily portable and industrial radio remote control solution that can be mounted and dismounted on machines very quickly.
Every remote-control kit is protected by a dedicated password, with two-way communication providing all the important information about the loader (such as fuel and oil status, warnings, etc.) on a 3.5-inch transflective colour backlit LCD display.
The system provides most of the functions that can be performed via direct loader operation, including throttle, light, creep and float controls. There is also speed management control to ensure easier operation in certain applications (such as trenching, tilling, scarifying and so on). The system is very intuitive to use and the training for end users will be provided by Bobcat dealers.
The Remote Control System is supplied with two exchangeable batteries offering a long 20-hour battery life. The protective case ensures it is easier to transport from one job site to another. This forms part of an updated state-of-the-art ergonomic design with the system housed in a rugged and weatherproof enclosure.
Bobcat of London – Working Hard for London and the South East
Based at Grays in Essex, Bobcat of London is the Authorised Dealer for Bobcat for London, Essex, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Surrey, Hertfordshire and Middlesex. The company is responsible for sales and service for Bobcat skid-steer, compact tracked and all wheel steer loaders, excavators, telehandlers and utility vehicles. The company also offers for sale over 80 different types of Bobcat attachments that help to deliver versatility and time-saving efficiency across a huge range of applications.
Phil Stoneham of Bobcat of London added: “Only original Bobcat parts should be used to maintain the best mechanical standards and to optimise performance, reliability and protect machines’ residual values. Bobcat of London stocks a full selection of genuine Bobcat accessories and parts to support every machine in the field and backs these with flexible service agreements, depending on the requirements of the customer. Bobcat of London’s factory-trained engineers have many years of hands-on experience of repairs and servicing of compact and heavy plant and machinery.”
For more information about Bobcat and Bobcat products, visit the website www.bobcat.com