Hydrodemolition 2016 – The Year in Numbers

2016 was another successful year for Sabre Jetting Services with some record-breaking months at both ends of the spectrum. A vast array of hydrodemolition and industrial projects were completed using various water jetting techniques, pressures, and equipment. Here we are going to take a look back over the year and delve into the numbers to see what story they portray.


January to March

The year got off to an extremely slow start with the worst January and February ever recorded. January saw us on site for just 93 days which was followed up by with only 80 days in February. Both those numbers were well down on the averages for these months which stand at 126 days for January and 115 days for February. Things did begin to improve in March as we worked 127 site days, although that was still down on the highest mark set for the month, 160 days achieved in 2012 and 2014. All in all, it was a slow first quarter and the operators were chomping at the bit to get out on site and put their skills to use on a more regular basis.


April to June

As April started it became apparent that all the frustration built up over previous months was to be put to good use. A major hydrodemolition project was underway for Galliford Try on the A45 near Coventry and with four teams committed to that job, other crews were busy ensuring all other work commitments were satisfied as well. In order to fulfil these requirements, the guys were working 6 days per week and put in a monumental effort to keep the programme moving, completing 158 site days.

Sadly, the peak in April was followed by a trough in May. Traditionally a fairly quiet month but nonetheless, just 94 days on site was a little underwhelming. Luckily though this was nothing on the record low from 2011 which was just 44 days, the worst of any month since records began. Despite not being completely flat out, some major hydrodemolition works were started during May that were to continue through the subsequent months. A local project kicked off at Snow Hill Car Park for Coleman Specialist Cutting and a crew was on site in Portsmouth working alongside a fellow hydrodemolition contractor.

As the summer months approached it was inevitable (and welcome) that the workload would increase as the holiday period started. A slight increase came in June with 107 days on site recorded. The projects at Snow Hill and in Portsmouth were supplemented by projects at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where our mini excavator was put to work, and Navigator Terminals working for CRL to repair a jetty. Along with the hydrodemolition works, there were also projects cleaning industrial tanks, removing rubber lining and cleaning tube bundles, a truly diverse industry. The second quarter of 2016 clocked a total 359 site days, a marked improvement from 300 in the previous quarter.


July to September

The steady increase in work continued in July up to 121 site days, 14 of which were carried out at the weekend. Another major project commenced at Liverpool 2 Docks, this time working for BAM Ritchie, having previously worked on the same site for BAM Nuttall. Some major hydrodemolition works were also carried out at Gravelly Hill Interchange in Birmingham, part of the infamous Spaghetti Junction. This work was to carry out repairs to the deck and deck ends of the elevated structures and started with 3 teams working through a weekend to complete the deck ends before dropping to 1 team to carry out phased repairs to the deck.

Despite the Gravelly Hill works continuing into August, there was a slight dip to 115 days on site, just slightly down on the average for the month of 121 days. The month was set to be far more fruitful but the pulling of a Network Rail project after just a couple of shifts meant it wasn’t to be. We were set to commit four jetting teams to the project for approximately 30 nights which would have given us a further 120 days over the coming months.

Rather than becoming a problem, the cancellation turned out to be an opportunity as the workload increased dramatically over the next two months. Major projects kicked off for Interserve on the M62 and Ekspan at Fiddlers Elbow, whilst the works at Liverpool 2 Dock and in the Car Park at Snow Hill Station continued at a pace. The total for September was 143 shift days with 18 of those carried out at the weekend thanks mainly to a major push on the Countess Weir project for Lagan Construction. We provided 7 operators with 4 working during the day and 3 during the night to remove a staggering 24m3 over one weekend. The total days for the quarter were up to 379, the best of the year so far.


October to December

If September was busy, then October was set to crank it up a notch with 160 days worked on site, the busiest October we have ever seen and the busiest month of 2016. In amongst those days were two visits to the prestigious Tower Bridge in London on behalf of Ekspan. The guys were working under intense scrutiny due to the significance of the location and the presence of a BBC documentary crew and the works were carried out in a professional manner as always. The operators once again pulled it out the bag to keep all works on programme including working 23 weekend shifts. The work carried out was predominantly hydrodemolition with 150 days dedicated to removal of concrete and just 10 days of industrial works including floor cleaning and paint removal.

Although November was a little slower than October there was still plenty of work to go around with 125 days worked. However, November saw an increase in industrial work rising to 32 shifts from 10 the previous month, 25.6% of the work carried out. One particularly successful project was carried out at Lexden Reservoir for CRL where the team removed over 1000m2 of coating in just 9 shifts using ultra-high pressure water with rotary nozzles. Several similar projects were carried out throughout the year with our ultra-high pressure equipment really coming to the fore.

After what had been a productive 5 month period, the work fell off dramatically in December as it always does. This is of course partly down to the Christmas shutdown in the construction industry. However, the monthly total of 46 days was still the lowest ever in December and obviously down on the average of 70 days for the month. The month had promised more with the first phase of a major job set to start on the M6, however unidentified services discovered on site left us looking forward to a busy start to 2017 as 2016 drew to a close.

All in all, it was a good year with 1369 days worked. A big thank you must go out to all our clients throughout the year and to our operators for their fantastic efforts once again. We hope 2017 can be just as successful!

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