Will County, Illinois



Unique boom movements and grapple enable XL 3100 III to make short work of demolition project.

Like most county road and maintenance departments, the people charged with maintaining roads, bridges and other infrastructure in Will County, Illinois, demand equipment that's durable, versatile, and able to complete different jobs every day. When there was a need to demolish an old salt bin, that task joined the list of successful jobs assigned to the county's Gradall excavators.


We'd already replaced the old salt bin with a new one, so we wanted to demolish it quickly, said Ron Strohman, the county's maintenance administrator. "Everyone was amazed how fast they got it down," added Mike Vandercar, salesman for Finkbiner Equipment, the Gradall distributor in the Chicago area. "It took less than half a day."

The bin had been used to store about 2,500 tons of salt, and was around 75 feet in diameter and about 30 feet high. Using a fixed thumb grapple, the XL 3100 III was able to "nibble away" at the building before reaching inside to grab a cable that secured roof trusses and bring it down.

Assisting on the job was another Gradall excavator - an XL 4100 - both using grapples to pull away pieces of the building, break them up, place them in a pile and then load them onto trucks. "The boom rotates the whole grapple, so you can grab material at any angle and break it up quickly," said Strohman. "With the telescoping boom," noted Vandercar, "the boom can work just like your hand reaching into the building, demolishing and then removing material - something you can't possibly do with a conventional excavator boom."

In addition to the grapples, Will County has ditching and excavating buckets to maintain drainage in culverts, clean debris from around bridges, and for heavier excavating.

A few years ago, we had a tornado rip through our county, and our men used Gradalls with grapples to clear away branches and debris very quickly, said Strohman. "We've had Gradalls here for about 30 years, and we make good use of them."

For more information about Gradall excavators call (800) 445-4752.