Friday, July 16, 2010


When we last left the QVC project, the demolition of the turret had just been completed. After slightly more than 30 minutes the building was little more than a nice circular pile of rubble ready to be picked up and hauled off. There was, of course, still the small matter of the 28,000-pound crane hauled out from inside the QVC. That steel superstructure was sitting in the middle of the parking lot and taking up quite a bit of space. You, constant readers, probably forgot about that and went on to spend sleepless nights worrying about whether or not LeBron James would sign with the NY Yankees. In the meantime we had our own little sporting event at Dinosaur.

The crane was installed when the QVC was built in 1957/1958. Its dark chocolate brown paint was, of course, lead based. Using an acetylene torch to cut the crane up would vaporize the paint into unhealthy fumes. If it was to be cut up, then each cut would need to be identified beforehand and each area to be cut abated so that the cuts didn’t involve any paint. Plus a very large piece of machinery (or maybe two) would be needed to brace the frame and hold up any cut parts to stop them from falling. That was a rather cumbersome and time-consuming method. A different approach was to unbolt the individual pieces, but years of paint and stress had made it impossible to loosen the large nuts from the bolts. A more aggressive approach was needed.

Into the ring steps the very same CAT that so quickly demolished the turret part of the QVC. Grabbing, twisting, and pushing broke welds and crumpled the crane. I believe the final move was described as a combination suplex/piledriver/bodyslam. Anyway, after only 45 minutes the crane was reduced to mangled pieces of steel ready to be loaded up into dump trucks and taken away.

There are unsubstantiated rumors that the SyFy Channel is interested in the rights to this great rumble in the QVC parking lot. Seem silly? Or improbable? Did you ever see the 1974 TV movie Killdozer, about a murderous alien controlled bulldozer at a construction site? Or the more recent SyFy original “film” Megashark Vs Giant Ocotpus? Enough said.

Photos courtesy of Dinosaur National Monument and Justin Jones NPS.

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