Many people throughout the world have made hobbies and even careers out of repairing and restoring antique cars and trucks, but what about antique construction equipment? Due to the sheer size and weight of the machines of the past, it places of major limitations on their collect-ability to be sure. At least one man has taken it upon himself to collect them before we lose them all.
Jim Carter of Zionsville, Indianapolis finds, collects, preserves, and rescues old construction equipment that he has found throughout the country. He mostly prefers excavators, whether they’re of cranes, drag lines, or clam shells, but he does also have a few dozers and tractors. The videos below show a 4 part series of Dick Wolfsie’s interview of Carter, which aired on WISH in Indianapolis. In the videos, Carter shows off a 1968 Koehring 305 crane, which weighs 25 tons and still operates. While sitting inside the cab, Carter walks Wolfsie through the differences of today’s machines versus the older versions. The early machines, he says, is stone age technology, operating mostly with gears, brakes, and clutches, as opposed to the hydraulics and electronics of today’s equipment. Unsurprisingly and just like older cars, the more simply the machine is built, the easier it is to fix.
Cramer also explains in the interview that he’s a member of the Historical Construction Equipment Association, which is headquartered in Bowling Green, OH. The organization, which has roughly 4,000 members worldwide, also owns the National Construction Equipment Museum, also in Bowling Green. They also put on a yearly convention for antique equipment; this year’s will be near the headquarters from September 16-18.
Most of these antique machines are not useful on a modern job site, Carter explains, so many of them are scrapped, never to be seen again. We can only hope that we don’t lose the historical machines that built many of the buildings and infrastructure throughout the World.
Buildings are demolished all the time in order to make way for new construction. The buildings that are demolished have usually lived out their useful life and are no longer functional. Recently a demolition video resurfaced, which shows a 27 story building in China being imploded. The strange thing is that, since it was finished in 1999, the building had never even been used.
There are a lot of people that would be pretty unhappy with whoever tears down a 98 foot tall, 105 year old tree to make room for a building expansion. In order for most projects to work financially, however, many trees are uprooted and replaced with smaller trees. That’s not what happened with what is believed to be the state of Idaho’s largest sequoia tree, however.
As recently highlighted by several multi-story building fires, contractors should always be prepared in the event a fire starts on a job site. There have been dozens multi-story building fires in the past few years and many were started when the building was topped out. In most cases, the project was completely destroyed, leaving developers and owners to deal with years of delays from insurance claims. A massive five-alarm fire at an Oakland construction site is one of the more recent examples.
In today’s race for most powerful cordless tools, it’s important to remember the humble beginnings of hand tools, especially those with mechanical parts. Much like cars of the early 20th century, mechanical and power tools were simple machines, as opposed to the heavily electronic tools that are becoming popular now. Easy to understand and easier to repair.
Two construction workers in Sarasota, Florida were recently trapped 15 stories in the air after one of the lines on their suspended scaffolding snapped. One of the two men was able to be pulled to safety by some co-workers on site, but the second was stuck on the scaffold for an hour before the fire department could rescue him.
Since it opened its doors in 2010, the Burj Khalifa has been the world’s tallest building, one of the most coveted titles in all of the construction industry. If all goes according to plan, the Burj’s reign at the top will come to an end when Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Tower is completed in 2020.
Standing 821 feet (250m) in the New York City skyline, the new 57-story residential tower, called 56 Leonard Street, has opened its doors to residents. The 145 condos that inhabit the high rise range in size from 1,418 square feet to 6,400 square feet and in price from $3.5 million to $50 million. Amazingly, even with those staggering prices, the developer told the New York Times that 92% of the units had sold in 2013, even though the tower officially opened last year.
A nearby office worker caught video of a dramatic demolition that showed the remains of an 11 story building collapse on top of the excavator performing the demolition.
Strange things are found on job sites across the globe all the time. We’ve shared plenty of stories in the past about the odd things construction workers have discovered, like human remains, 200,000 year old mammoth bones, ancient roman treasure, and more. When contractors dig in the dirt, there’s always a chance of uncovering history. Sometimes, though, the things found can be extremely dangerous.
In order to get the bad taste of last week’s botched demolition, in which an adjacent building also got destroyed in the process, we needed to share a highly successful one. Priestly Demolition, a Canadian demolition contractor, has been the subject of our articles in the past and the company has even won awards for the best demolition in the world.