Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Construction equipment: Europe cleans up with storm repairs

Construction equipment has sprung into action to help with the post-storms recovery throughout Europe.

Gijon Spain

Storm solution: The promenade at Gijon being repaired

A wide range of construction equipment, from dozers to small compact excavators, has been involved in clean-up and repair operations throughout Europe after the recent storms and floods. It is not only the UK that has been affected by the extreme weather, other countries including Spain and Italy have had their coastlines battered by high winds, and many cities have been flooded due to exceptional rainfall.

In the last few weeks Spain’s northern coast suffered several storms, with many Spanish provinces on high alert. Wind gusts reaching 140km per hour, combined with heavy and constant rain, caused several rivers to flood in cities along the north coast, while waves more than 10m high caused damage to sea walls and seafront promenades.

We picked it up, washed it with fresh water and lubricated it. Despite the dip, it is continuing to work as well as on the first day

In Gijon on the northern coast of Spain, road maintenance ­contractor Ruvicam sent several New Holland machines to repair initial damage of the seafront promenade, before another incoming storm arrived.

“After several days of working to repair the damage, we parked one of our mini excavators [the New Holland E35.2] in the promenade, ready to continue,” explains Ruvicam manager José Luis Vigil Sánchez.

“The storm got worse, and spectacular waves managed to break down the wave breaker wall. These wave breakers are used to protect the sea promenade, this was then flooded and the machine soaked. We picked it up, washed it with fresh water and lubricated it. Despite the dip, it is continuing to work as well as on the first day.”

The company has been using three New Holland machines for the repairs. An E35.2 mini excavator equipped with a small hammer has been chipping the pavement off the promenade so that a top wall beam can be formed to re-attach the wave breakers to the seawall.

An E80 midi excavator has been used to remove and replace the damaged wave breakers - each of which weighs around 700kg. And an E50.2 mini excavator has been working on the rest of the ruined wall to extract stones weighing between 200kg and 400kg that were buried in the sand during the storm.

Violent rains

At the end of January Italy was struck by violent rains that led to serious floods and emergencies in Emilia Romagna, Tuscany and Liguria. A total of 2,000 emergency operations were carried out by Italy’s firefighters to help during the emergency, with New Holland machines in Italy’s firefighter’s fleet active in all three regions.

A New Holland machine has also been in action on the UK’s south coast, which experienced some of the most ferocious storms. As part of the clean-up and repair in Weymouth, Dorchester-based equipment company G Crook supplied a E385 excavator to the Environment Agency to reinstate shingle sea defences at Preston beach.

Just along the coast, the UK’s first Dressta dozer was used to reshape the high profile Chesil Beach flood defences, working as part of a fleet of machines for the Environment Agency, in conjunction with military kit from the Royal Engineers. The 20t TD-15M Extra dozer, supplied by J Ffrench Plant Hire, was used to push back an estimated 100,000m3 of pebbles that had been washed back out to sea during the storms. The machine worked in tandem with a Komatsu D85PX from the firm’s fleet.

Dressta manufactures its equipment in Poland. In 2012 it was acquired by Chinese construction equipment giant LiuGong.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Construction equipment trade shows mission is to help you keep track of major international events related to construction machines. Our event calendar provides exhibitors and visitors with key facts and figures on the most important industry-related exhibitions, trade shows and conferences around the world.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.