Spending a career in new construction you don’t get to see many wrecking balls especially in today’s age where wrecking balls have taken a back seat to other demolition practices. I was just watching the video of the Leaning Tower of Dallas demolition and, along with the rest of the Western World, kept seeing this crane swing what looked like a toy ball at the tower with little more than a cloud of dust to show. It really got me wondering how much a wrecking ball weighs.
Wrecking balls can come in many different sizes ranging from 1,000 pounds (450 kg) to 15,000 pounds (6,800 kg) but the average wrecking ball weighs around 5,000 pounds (2,250 kg).
What is the diameter of a wrecking ball?
The average sized wrecking ball is approximately 36″ in diameter. It should be noted that not all wrecking balls are actually spheres. The “balls” can actually be a few different shapes, such as pear shaped or cylindrical, depending on their intended usage. A pear shaped design allows for the ball to be more easily pulled back through a roof or concrete slab after if has punched through.
What are wrecking balls made of?
A typical wrecking ball is made of forged steel making it 37% stronger than cast steel. In appears in the past balls could be lead filled for extra density.
Why is a tire used in the rigging above the wrecking ball?
If you have ever seen a wrecking ball actually rigged up a crane and in action you may have noticed there is a tire (or multiple tires!) in the rigging just above the wrecking ball itself. The tire is actually there to act as a shock absorber and limit the vibration transmitted back to the crane. I’m sure you could imagine how slamming a 5,000 lb ball into a concrete wall would create a little bit of shock to the crane if there was not means to dampen it.
How much does a wrecking ball cost?
I have found in my research of this post that a typical wrecking ball will cost around $7,500. Like anything the value depends on if you are looking for new or used and what size you are looking for. I have found new 4,000 lb balls for $5,700 and used 12,000 lb balls for $11,000.
What else is a wrecking ball used for?
Obviously the most popular use of a wrecking ball is for building demolition. This is what put the tool on the map and has made it a cultural icon of sorts. However there are many other uses for a wrecking ball including: breaking concrete slabs, earth compaction, aggregate resizing, and crushing vehicles for recycle.