Liugong Machinery

908C Mini Excavator - Squibb Group - United Kingdom


My name is Aaron Gill. I am 25 years old and have worked in the construction industry for eight years, the last five of which have been with Squibb Group. My role within the company changed three years ago when I became an authorised excavator operator and I now operate the LiuGong 908C at Squibb Group’s head office handling non-ferrous metals for recycling.

Squibb Group is a leading player in the demolition sector of the UK’s construction industry and has recently acquired two LiuGong 908C excavators. Squibb Group can be traced back to 1948, when founder Harry Squibb formed H. Squibb & Son to assist in the redevelopment of a war-ravaged London. At present it has six offices covering the UK and has the resources to undertake all aspects of controlled demolition such as dismantling, recycling, decommissioning, asbestos removal and much more. This vast experience has led to the creation of Squibb International, with operations in mainland Europe and two Middle East offices.

In the UK, Squibb Group employs 400 people and currently has 103 construction industry machines ranging from mini-excavators to specialist demolition units, two of which are the LiuGong 908C excavators. Both of the machines have been used on various UK demolition sites, but one is now permanently based at Squibb Group head-office in Barking, Essex. This facility is also the base for the bulk of Squibb Group’s South-East reclamation process of non-ferrous materials.

The working area within the materials yard is busy and front visibility has to be good when working in close proximity with other equipment and also site operatives, and I have no complaints about the view from the cab. There’s also a need for common sense in these conditions and also a great sense of feel for how a machine works to understand what manoeuvres are required; it helps to have control feedback in the way the LiuGong gives.

So far the LiuGong has worked eight-hour days five days a week and when I’m not operating it a colleague takes my place. I had never worked with a LiuGong machine before and was surprised at how quickly I adapted to it. The joystick is sensitive and accurate with no juddering with the machine working under load. It’s also a strong machine – when pulling certain materials from the stacked material heaps they need that strength to get them clear.

We’ve had to modify the LiuGong to enable it to work in the yard. The standard bucket has been replaced with a Mutley grab (Mutley is a local Plant Attachment specialist) with long teeth that close together perfectly. This enables me to grab a good load or pick individual cables; this is when the control sensitivity helps. The standard metal tracks were replaced for rubber tracks because the yard is concrete and the constant small movements would affect the concrete surface. The other important modification was to have a Ram-guard fitted – no-one wants to accidentally damage the ram and some of the materials have sharp edges.

So far the LiuGong is performing well. You can see it has already suffered some abuse but you can also see it has stood up to this very well. The body panels are strong and not flimsy like some of the machines…

Rob Honour, Operations Manager for Squibb Group, said: “There were two main reasons that drove our company to buy a relatively unknown brand of machine. Firstly, Brian Prescott from Construction Plant & Machinery Sales (LiuGong sales and after-sales support for Southern Counties of England); we’ve had dealings with Brian for nearly 13 years and he knows what he is talking about. Secondly, we urgently needed two eight-ton machines so, of course, we asked for Brian’s recommendation, which is when the LiuGong brand first came to our attention. The eventual deciding factors to buy were the favourable price, quick availability, and the prompt back up we’ve come to expect from Construction Plant & Machinery Sales.

“Overall the LiuGong appears to be more robust and has more ‘oomph’ compared with other machines and the controls are very positive. The operators seem to enjoy working with it.”

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