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Rise of the machines: 8 reasons why our BROKK demolition robot is a glimpse of a hi tech vac ex future

11th Apr 2024

VAC UK BROKK D120II working in combination with a vac ex to excavate trenches at a housing development

At VAC UK, we are continually looking for clever and innovative tools to enhance our service.

Many of the benefits of vacuum excavation are well understood. They include a lower strike risk, a safer site, cleaner operation, less damage to the environment, smaller operating footprint and self-contained spoil management.

Our fleet of vac exes includes a range of versatile and flexible options which make suction excavation the first choice in a variety of deployments. It includes the world’s most powerful twin-fan vacuum excavator, the Longo Rhino, alongside smaller machines ideally suited for tight urban environments where narrow streets and low headroom can be a factor.

Customers are also taking advantage of vac ex’s capability beyond excavation and we have modifications which allow the machines to be used in other roles including hazardous material clearance and road sweeping.

One of the most useful technologies to the join the fleet is our BROKK 120DII demolition robot which has quickly established itself as a favourite tool among customers and operators.

BROKK ‘n’ roll – 8 important benefits of the 120D11 demolition robot

We think the BROKK is a fantastic bit of kit and we thought we’d share a few of its key features and benefits:

  1. Packs a serious punch (I). The BROKK 120DII is the world’s smallest diesel-powered demolition robot. Its excellent power to weight ratio provides an extra dimension to our vac ex capabilities because it is able to carry the suction nozzle up to 100 metres from the location of the truck. That can be really useful if, for example, the operating site will not bear much weight or if its difficult to access. We recently deployed to a covered reservoir in Wales where,  the truck was too heavy to go on to the cover. Here the BROKK would have been comfortably within the load bearing tolerances. By using extension hoses and the BROKK to do the heavy lifting it would be possible to manoeuvre the nozzle and carry out the excavation quickly and efficiently without any threat of damage to the integrity of the cover.
  2. Good in a squeeze. It may come as a bit of a surprise, but the 120DII is small enough to pass through a standard doorway. That makes it ideal for operation in confined spaces. Pairing it again with long-reach hoses makes for a potent combination able to project the excavation power of the vacuum excavator into the tightest of spots. Using the BROKK means that human entry is not required to many confined space workings. The robot is unaffected by the adverse conditions that can make it difficult and dangerous for human beings so it provides greater safety and comfort for operators and reduces overall site risk.
    BROKK and vac ex working at an industrial complex in Peterborough

    The BROKK working at an industrial complex in Peterborough

    Image shows how the BROKK can work with the vac ex to negotiate narrow access

    The narrow access through which the BROKK was easily able to pass

  3. Good things come in small packages. Its compact dimensions also mean that the BROKK is an ideal solution in many urban environments where the vac ex may need to reach down narrow streets or alleyways.
  4. A light touch. While it is a robust piece of equipment, the BROKK weighs significantly less than a vacuum excavator truck. So it has a much lighter footprint with much less potential impact on the landscape and flora. This makes it ideal for use where it is important to protect trees, hedges and grass.
  5. Diesel power. The powerful 24.8hp engine will work longer and harder than comparable alternatives. One tank will allow 8 hours of continuous use, minimising downtime for refuelling or Ideal for places that do not have reliable power supply.
  6. Tough customer. BROKK has more than 40 years pedigree of building tough equipment that can be relied on to deliver in the most challenging environment. Not only are the physical components manufactured to stand up to the rigours of day-to-day site use, all of the electrical components are also hardened to meet the most rugged requirements. It’s no accident that the machines are named after the legendary dwarf who was strong enough to forge Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir.
  7. Remote working. No not that kind. But the BROKK 120DII does offer a unique remote control system which means it can be deployed as far as 300 metres from the operator who will still enjoy instant response to the control inputs. The lightweight control box weighs in at under 3kg increasing operator comfort and minimising fatigue. The highly responsive system ensure accurate manoeuvring of the robot in confined space or distant working.

    BROKK and control unit

    BROKK and control unit

  8. Packs a serious punch (II) The BROKK also comes with its own breaker attachment, the BHB155, the most powerful that can be fitted to the chassis, is rated as hitting harder and faster than anything in its class.

    The breaker attachment, the BHB155, the most powerful that can be fitted to the chassis

    The breaker attachment, the BHB155, the most powerful that can be fitted to the chassis

The shape of things to come

We believe it is pointing the way for an increased use of robot technology across civil engineering and excavation and, at VAC UK, we will continue to explore options to add new technology-driven service enhancements and innovations to ensure our fleet and capabilities remain at the forefront of the field.


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