Richard Hammond masters the track hoe, demolition machine and wrecking ball - or does he? He learns it is a far more delicate job than he first thought.
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On Crash Course right now, the delicate art of demolition.
I've driven just about
every-high powered vehicle there is.
But that was just for fun.
The world's biggest, baddest vehicles are made to work.
So, now I've decided to travel across the United States
to see if I can conquer the monsters of the worksite.
I'll have just three days to learn how to handle
these complex and dangerous machines
that normally take years of training to master.
And in the end,
we'll find out if I'm good enough to get the job done.
This is a track hoe. You will have seen one.
And there's a very good reason for that -
they are the workhorse of the construction industry.
They can push, pull, dig, lift, load.
Pretty much every building you've ever seen
will have been worked on by one of these.
Every road you've ever seen, every bridge you've ever seen.
Pretty much everything you've ever seen that has been built
will have been worked on by one of these.
And as this is a show about working vehicles,
I really need to learn how to run one.
To do that, I've hooked up with a team
at Central Environmental Services, demolition experts,
because they use these things in some pretty special, unique ways.
They use a thumb and bucket attachment
to grab and pull down walls, sifting out recyclable material.
Then they use a densifier attachment
to crush the remaining slabs of concrete.
They even use it to swing a wrecking ball.
They're using it right now to pull down that building over there,
and that's a hint,
because at the end of my three days' training on that machine,
I'm going to use it to tear down an entire house by myself.
I'm going to pull a house down with that.
Just me and that.
And if I can do that, I'll be able to call myself a real demo man.
Let's use this building as an example,
-cos this is going to come down, isn't it?
Right. Now, to the likes of me, I look at what you're doing
where you get some sort of big machine and go splat
and that's that. What's involved in taking that down?
We pull off the wire.
All the electrical boxes, the air conditioning units,
the heaters, the boilers, then we pull out all woods,
kitchen equipment, whatever is in there.
Punch out all the aluminum, pull all the wire,
get all the copper, all the brass.
Even the steel and the concrete are all recycled.
Everything goes to recycling.
And we got ourselves to the point where we're recycling
about 85% of most commercial buildings.
You love this, don't you?
-I love it.
-You really do.
Are you kidding? There ain't nothing like demo.
It's wonderful. I love it. It's great.
It...when you're wrecking something, you're like a Superman.
You're going to take a day and knock it on its butt.
OK. Let's knock a building on its butt.
My teacher Danny is going to show me how it's done.
-Cos he's going to punch a hole through the wall.
Right there. Now be real careful when you punch that hole.
Now, he doesn't want to go all the way through,
so he doesn't hit his boom or his cylinders.
So, he's just going to punch a hole, push all the block in.
He's quite neat, isn't he, for a man in a big track hoe?
It is amazing. That's a 30-ton track hoe,
but it's extremely accurate.
And now he's using it like a fist to just punch through the wall.
-So, now he's taking out the pillars.
It really isn't just an all-out destructive process, is it?
There is some finesse being demonstrated by the operator.
These guys know what a building is about.
They're pretty much destruction engineers.
-That is a big powerful machine he's using.
Just because he's using finesse, that's got a lot...look at it.
-He's just flicking it out of the way.
Why is he watering the ivy? You're pulling the building down.
-I don't get it.
-There's another regulation in demolition.
We've got to make sure that we do everything we can
to keep the dust down.
When we hose stuff down, the dust goes right down.
Now, see what he's doing?
He's picking up the air conditioners that have already been abated
and getting them out of the way. This is all wire in there.
We...we'll recycle all that stuff. This is the beginning of recycling.
Aaargh! He's not even...
-He's just flicking it all to one side.
Now watch, he's going to go after the first bar joints.
Now, see? He's got the outside bar joints. He's going to do
a little bit more pushing and shoving.
Now he's going after that steel.
So, he doesn't tear it up apart. He pulls it apart, piece by piece.
'Danny just took down that building like a surgeon.
'Now, I'm dying to learn how to use a 30-ton track hoe like a scalpel.'
So, Danny, this bit of the end here is the track hoe itself.
-And this is kind of familiar to us all.
-This bit here.
These can be fitted with all sorts of heads.
You've got a special one here. What does it do?
This here is the standard hydraulic thumb built onto my bucket.
So, essentially what you've got is bucket,
-which we have, that can dig and stuff.
-And then this thumb that does that?
-Yeah, it will move in and out.
-So you can pick stuff up.
-So, you can pick up a car with that?
But what about small stuff? How much finesse can you use?
How small a thing can you pick up?
-Small pieces of metal.
-Hang on. Look, give me that. Thank you very much.
You can see where this is going, can't you?
-I should introduce you. This is our drinks cooler.
I just wondered if, say, the crew said,
"Can somebody pass us our drinks cooler?"
and you were up there in that, could you pass us that with this?
-Without breaking it?
-I can give it a shot.
Saddle up, I'll put it down here.
That's our drinks box.
If it gets broken, there'll be a very cross crew.
There, look he's in. He's in. He's in.
Ooh! Ooh, ooh, that is millimetre-precise,
cos it's not quite... oh, ho, ho!
Gentlemen, your drinks.
Ah, there we go.
There you are.
That is pretty amazing, actually,
-and now you're going to teach me how to do it.
-I want to do that.
-I want to be that good.
-I can teach you.
Yeah, right. I'm climbing up. Oh, oh.
-This is about finessing my skills here.
-So, what do I do?
Well, I have a crazy way of remembering how to use the machine
-and I teach a lot, you know.
-some of the guys and stuff.
I call it right-hand as BB and my left hand is SS.
Which just stands for the right-hand runs
-operates your bucket and your boom.
And then your left hand operates your stick and your swing.
Stick and swing. Boom and bucket.
Boom and bucket, stick and swing.
It's kind of cool, isn't it?
-That's how I like it.
-That's how I teach the guys.
-I can do that.
-You can do that?
-I can do that.
-I can do that.
-We'll give it a shot, see what you can do.
-OK. I'm good.
This really is where it all starts
for most building and demolition projects.
This one machine is an extension of the builder's
and the demo guy's hands and arms.
It's that significant a machine.
So, I have to learn how to move one of these
if I'm going to appreciate what working machines are all about.
Bucket and boom, bucket and boom, bucket and boom, swing and stick.
And I have to say, his boom and bucket thing,
way of remembering, it does work.
I reckon if I get good enough with this,
I'll be able to pet a mouse.
Not my own mouse, somebody else's, obviously.
OK, Danny, I've got that. I've got it.
I'm ready to pull a building down. Where do I go? Come on.
Actually, I got a smaller house you can practise on.
OK. I'm willing. I'll start small.
That's good, where do I go? Lead on.
I'll take you to it.
Oh, come on. I'm not going to wreck that.
No, you're not going to wreck this.
You're going to move this for me.
-Pick it up
-Pick it up and move it for me.
-The outside lavatory.
-All right. I've got to be careful.
-Oh, I can do that. You stand back and watch.
Here we go. I go right to the immortal words, "Watch this."
OK then, boss, so what do you want?
Gently pick it up. From the top.
I need you to move that from there, I want to move it over there
just out of the way for the... underneath my trees for me.
OK. Pick it up, put it by the trees. Here I go.
Down with your boom a little bit.
Down with the boom, OK.
So, let's just line that up in there like that.
That's the thumb, in goes the thumb. Nice and careful.
Now, in comes the bucket.
I got it. I got it. I got it.
Oh, slipping, slipping! Oh!
OK. Got to put the thumb to the back carefully.
There we go.
Yes. It's the whole precision.
It's harder than it looks, isn't it?
Isn't it harder than it looks? Oh.
Yeah, I'll maybe finesse that a bit. I think...
I kind of had it, but it slipped,
and then I thought I caught it and it...I didn't in the end.
Its...oh, that's not nice either.
Yeah. We'll deal with that later.
Practice is everything, though, I can see now. I'm learning.
I'm learn...I'm getting better.
Do you want me to tidy it up?
I got other things for you to do.
Day One ends in Orlando.
And clearly, I've already mastered the fine art
of using the track hoe with finesse and precision.
Yeah, all right. Clearly, there is some practice needed.
But hey, I've got two days left.
Day Two in Orlando. My second day with Central Environmental Services
Demolition Company. I've set myself the goal of becoming a demo man.
And today is the day when, finally,
I get my first go at tearing a building down.
You are mine, oh, yeah. Boom, gone.
You're as good as gone already. You might want to stand back.
'I just have one problem.
'Before I have a good whack at this building,
'I have to get Rich out of the track hoe.'
-Yo, Richard. I'm going to show you how it's done.
-Here we go.
There, he's happy, look.
-Not modern dance, but...
Missed, but only just.
I don't think I've ever witnessed anyone so completely caught up
-in what they're doing as he is right now.
-Mm-mm. Mm-mm, no.
I've never seen anything like this.
Watching him, you can kind of see the...
he goes after specifics, doesn't he?
He's not just flailing about and smashing it to bits,
he is going into particular...
Yeah. He goes in...
It's like a backwards puzzle to him.
In the course of making these shows, I've met a lot of guys
who are really good at what they do, whatever their role is.
I've never met anybody who just enjoys it as much
as he clearly does it now.
That was astonishing.
It just shows the muscle that this thing's got,
and the skill that an operator can develop.
You must be the calmest man in the world up there.
-All I can say, have you any stress left in you?
-this is my good stress release.
-You don't say(?)
Other people go to a bar, I get down here, wreck a crack house,
-you know? Or a building.
-I'm not surprised. What can I do?
Get in there and see if you can pull down some bones.
I might not show quite the same aggression. I'll try.
I'm never going to match up to that display of...
I don't want to say naked aggression, cos it wasn't.
It was...it was controlled aggression, but it was aggression.
Little guy with a big job to do.
Already this feels funny.
I don't know why, it just does.
I'm walking. This feels strange.
I'm a bit nervous. It feels like I'm going to...
well, I'm going to break something, obviously.
Ah, you'll be all right.
You'll be OK. You got it.
Oh, I got one! I got one. Hold on.
I've got one. Blow me down if I haven't got one.
Now, just slowly bring that to you.
That whole piece, bring it to you slowly.
Look at that.
All right. That's a loose piece. Bring it all around here.
Free swing all around.
All right, reach out and set it way out here.
Out of your way.
Good job. Good job.
Only about 100 more to go.
Suddenly, I see what it's about.
This is strangely and horribly,
for all the wrong reasons, fantastic.
You're mine, come with me.
Come on. Come with me.
Arrr, arrr. You're mine.
Oh, it's breaking all those wires off it.
'There you go. All right.'
Take it back around.
That was alarming.
I want more of that.
I want to get some more of these bones.
Is there any chance I can have that air-conditioning unit off?
-'Ah, go for it. Take it off.
-'It's in your way.'
-'Get rid of it.'
Oh, I'm so having that. That's my prize.
If you're watching and imagining, "I bet that's fun..."
or worse still, imagining,
"That can't be as much fun as it looks..." No, it is.
Just want to get it out from all those bits of wire and metal there.
Not sure, but this could be about as much fun
as I've ever had in any machine.
It's just a humble track hoe, but now I'm learning just why it is.
Oh, that is just...
-You did really good.
-..too much fun.
You giggled like a little schoolgirl in there.
I don't know why I enjoyed that so much.
It probably doesn't bear examining, but that is just...
it's weirdly addictive, isn't it?
-Trying to find the right bit and pulling,
and pulling and then, bam! Off it comes.
And you realise the power of the machine, that it just..
-Nothing can stop it.
Well, it really is up to you to make sure you don't make
a horrible mistake. Everything is just... you put it on.
-You don't drive it, you wear it. It becomes... like wearing a big robot suit.
I love that game!
I'm surprised there's anything left standing around here.
'Now that I've had and enjoyed my first taste of wrecking a building,
'I think it might be nice to kick back and relax at Richard's house.'
Right, I am keen to see what a guy who wrecks buildings
does in his downtime.
And I'm guessing it's going to be in here.
It is. Some people call this thing a barn.
I call it my kind of man cave.
So, right now...
every man across America watching is calling his wife and saying,
"Look at what this guy's got. I want that at home."
You don't think that's neat... Come on.
I've got something else to show you.
OK. So the...this is it. This is your hobby?
Yes, it is.
What is it?
-Oh, these are bonsais.
It's an ancient art of the miniaturisation of trees.
OK. This is just one of these weird leaps that you have to make
when you meet somebody, because having met you,
you talk about your job and what you do is big,
knocking stuff down... and then, little tiny trees.
I know. It takes the stress out.
You know, it wouldn't matter how long you gave me to think about it,
I could not come up with something just more opposite
to what you do for a job than this.
I mean, it's completely...
it's...you're creating stuff, it's tiny.
Requires patience. Well, let's get back to work.
-You got it.
-It's important we get on.
-Let's go wreck something.
Just one...just...that one there.
Come on, we got a building to wreck.
Yeah, I just want to... you see, once you've started...
that one, that was bothering me.
This is a wrecking ball.
Probably the iconic piece of demolition hardware.
It's best part of two tons of lead encased in steel.
It is effective and dangerous.
So dangerous, it's actually illegal in the UK.
Nevertheless, if I'm going to learn how to be a demo man,
I'm going to have to learn how to swing one of these.
Before I actually swing it, I am going to need a lesson or two.
It's making me nervous even when it's still.
Just going to back away from it slowly.
OK, then, Danny, um...
'Do you have everything you need?'
Demonstrate the fine art of swinging a wrecking ball.
I've never even see this done.
-I...honestly, this is a first for me.
-I'll show you.
There we go.
There we go.
That's what I'm talking about.
There we go.
Oh, you see there's a lot...
there's more involved in this than I thought.
Oh, there's thinking to be done. It's really hard.
And that ball weighs the better part of two tons.
If that goes out of control,
it weighs an equivalent of many times more.
Simple as that.
I'm guessing if I get this wrong, I am, well, killed.
Uh, yeah, basically.
'Because the wrecking ball is so dangerous,
'it won't be part of my final exam.
but I'll never be able to call myself a real demo man
'if I don't at least learn how to swing one.'
I have one piece of advice for your crew, really
and that is, seriously, go over there somewhere.
I mean, how hard can this be?
Danny, I guess this is one of those things
I just need to sort of get a feel for, yeah?
Yes, it's just something you got to get a feel for and the only...
the key thing to this is that you don't open your bucket.
'Left hand, side to side,'
not your right hand.
Yeah, so back and forth with my right hand,
but not side to side, or the bucket will be opened?
And if you feel like it's coming at you,
just try and take your left hand,
straight down, to bring the ball to the ground.
Right. So, lifting it up.
I'm suddenly scared of this thing. I mean, really scared.
This thing is illegal in the UK.
Oh, that's a two-ton weight there.
..and then swing down.
This is dangerous. Oh, God.
You want that ball to chase that bucket.
As it's coming up, you already want to get your motion
to go the opposite way with that bucket.
Oh, man, that is so much harder than I expected.
I mean, really a lot.
I thought you just swing and then it's done.
But no, there's timing,
you've got to extend and depress the boom,
and as soon as you get the swing wrong,
what the ball does is come at you.
That's why it's dangerous.
Well, I'd say I've just about got the hang of the wrecking ball,
but clearly I do need to practice.
It's a big dangerous thing.
I wish there was, like, a wall I could practise on.
You know, something...
well, look at that!
'A wall constructed of such unforgivable hideousness
'that it deserves to be pummelled by a two-ton ball of steel.'
OK. Danny, in your own time, show me how it's done.
Oh, that thing is just terrifying.
Oh, oh, oh!
My, but that's an effective piece of kit.
Danny, that was truly some fine work.
Do you reckon I can give it a go on the second story of them?
-Come on. No problem.
I'm just... it's old and childish
but that looks like too much fun to miss out.
'Danny was able to swing the wrecking ball with such force,
'he was able to flick those minivans off the pile like ants off a twig.
'Now, let's see if I can do the same.'
And with the ball of death, ohhh.
All right. Activate hydraulics.
Keep it close to you and hit it.
Now draw her back the other way. Now go for it.
Give a little more swing to her.
Just bring her out a little more and then come back.
Nearly...I nearly got it,
I nearly got it, I nearly got it.
Yeah, nearly. And you are going off now, baby.
You are going off.
Boom, boom, bang!
Oh, come on! It's stubborn, isn't it, that one?
It's wedged on top of her.
Right. What I need to do is the other car.
I might go slightly higher. What do you think?
It's all yours.
It's starting to suss...
it's all these little movements that they do
that is very much like complex surgery.
I'm just beating it up. I don't mind that,
but it's not going to fall off. This is tricky.
I'm learning something really special and subtle.
You know those people who paint miniature portraits on enamel?
It's a bit like that.
Exactly. Track forward about another three feet.
Both tracks. Straight forward, there you go.
There's the sweet spot right there.
OK. I'm going to start from there.
I want to get the centre pillar where the doors meet.
That's a strong bit.
Right. Let's give it a go, then.
I think I missed the strong bit.
Sometimes you have a picture in your mind of what will happen
and what something is going to be like,
and then the reality turns out to be really very different.
That's what's happening here. I thought a wrecking ball is just,
"Raar!" swing it and it just knocks everything down.
It turns out, no. It's a fine and subtle art.
No wonder that's illegal.
It's not just dangerous, it's impossible. Really difficult.
-Look what it's taken.
-It's wedged up in there and you see the other one.
Well, clearly some idiot built the wall wrong.
I mean, they all locked together.
-I learned, though... I learned a lot doing that.
-Do you know what?
-Really enjoying being a demo man. I have to say.
I love this.
What you see before you is evidence of learning,
training, and I like to think,
an almost artful determination to see your job through.
It's quite a moving thing.
That is an art installation right there.
We made that. It's quite beautiful.
Day three for me at Central Environmental Services in Orlando.
So far I've learned, I think, pretty quickly
how to tear down a building using a track hoe.
The thing is, though, the job doesn't end there,
because right now, these guys can recycle 85% of a building
after they've wrecked it.
And that's what my lesson today is about, recycling.
This is where we get to the finer details,
finessing the whole process.
It's why people talk of the fine art of demolition.
They do talk about it. Well, I do.
It is a fine art of demolition.
And today that's what I'll learn.
So what are we doing here?
Well, we're recycling metals.
This here is called dirty aluminum.
-This is dirty what?
Aluminium. It's aluminium.
-Yes, it is.
-And three small screws in there are steel.
So if we took that to a scrap yard and put it in there,
they'd give us a price for dirty aluminum,
which would be about 30 or 40 cents per pound less.
Now, this over here...
These are the copper water pipes within a house,
probably the most valuable non-ferrous metal
-out there on the demo job.
This is the stuff you really want.
So my job is to go through that whole pile
-and sort it out into these piles so it's ready to go?
-There you go.
What's really cool is that you're, like, on a treasure hunt.
You never know if you're going to find a special prize
in that pile. You never know.
Oh, oh. Right. So that's... no, that's the boom.
Oh, oh, Lord. Hold on.
No, no, no, no, it's the other...
I've just got the hang of this. Oh, no.
Oh, this is really difficult. No.
Look, this is harder than it looks. That's what you need to know.
Curl your bucket too.
-There you go.
-That's sheet aluminium, yeah?
-I'll go the other way around.
-All the way over here.
Go around this way.
Oh, I'm really getting to grips with this now.
Let's have a look. So...
You see that piece of copper in there, Richard?
Get that piece of copper pipe right there.
Oh, that's the treasure, isn't it? This...OK.
This is what these guys are after. The copper is where the value is.
Now, hopefully I can bring that in.
Come on, come on, come on, little pipe.
-There it is.
-There you go. Just swing her over here.
I want to check that. It sure looks to me like it's fool's copper.
What's wrong with that?
It looks like copper but it's not.
This here is the demo man's smallest tool.
It's a magnet.
It shouldn't be magnetic?
If it's pure copper, the magnet would be on the ground.
-But it's steel.
-Right. I'm going to find some copper.
Hang on, hang on, hang on, look.
You know how you said sometimes you find treasure?
If that's not treasure, what is?
Oh, yeah, hold on.
Oh, my goodness, look at this.
I may have bent it a little bit but not a lot.
-Look at that!
-See, I told you,
you never know what you're going to find.
There it is. I found it.
All right. Look at that. You know what?
This is your reward for such an unbelievable job.
Oh, that is so... it's a proud moment.
It matters a lot to me and to my family and my agent.
And whoever hid this and didn't expect me to ruin it,
I'm really sorry.
But I am starting to get that this really is about precision,
right from the moment you start.
It's not just tearing the place down,
it's about breaking all the way from being a building
down to its constituent elements and sorting those out.
Demo guys don't just recycle the metal
out of the buildings they wreck.
They recycle the bricks, the concrete, the very fabric,
even the foundations of the buildings themselves.
To do that, we need something pretty special.
You need one of these.
That is one angry looking machine. Oh, oh.
I don't want to be recycled!
Rich, I don't think I need to ask really what's happening here.
Oh! I mean it's pretty clear what's going on.
That's called a densifier.
That is about 10,000 pounds of pressure
cracking that, and gets it constantly broke up.
Why has it got to do that?
Well, he wants to make sure that
when he crushes a piece of concrete,
that he gets all the rebar out of it.
Then they just mag that out.
Oh, it's got it stuck in its teeth.
I hate when that happens. That'll be...
Oh, it's just angry, cross.
It's just an animal.
I've got to have a go. Please, can I have a go, please?
-Yeah. That's it. I think you ought to have a go on that.
All right, Richard.
You learned from the best with Central Demolition right there.
I'ma tell you, if you can't do it with this,
I got a 80-pound hammer sitting waiting on you. Good luck.
OK. I didn't understand most of that.
But basically, get this right or we're going to use a hammer.
That's what I took from that. OK.
So, Rich, do I now begin?
Ready to go, buddy.
Firing it up. Right. So, let's give it some revs.
I want to get a straight mouthful.
I'm driving a dinosaur.
-Now go ahead and crush. Try that right there.
-Which way is close?
There. Oh, that way. OK.
There you go. That's it, man.
It's like feeding a massive hungry dog. There you go.
Have a bone. Oh, my!
Way to go, boy!
You cannot tell me the guys don't enjoy this. They must.
Big crunch coming up. Arrr!
You know, that's bloody fantastic.
That was great. You know what? I'm full.
It's like... it's almost like indigestion. It is.
-You're the man. Way to go. All right.
-Oh, I got indigestion.
You should make mint flavoured concrete for that thing.
-I think it would like it.
-I think it would too.
I thought at first it was a dog with a bone, but it's more like
-a dinosaur eating another dinosaur's leg bone.
-Yes, it is.
-Now, you did good.
I've got an idea for maybe another use for it.
-Something that's pretty important.
Just bear with me on this one. You'll be impressed.
-Well this one I got to see.
-Yeah. Here it comes.
Hey, Rich, are you a lover of the arts?
Oh, yeah, absolutely.
I want to get this just right. I'm sorry.
I'm being precise. It's all about precision.
This is a glorious, glorious thing that we are doing.
Stupid garden statues, I can't stand them.
Oh, that was... not at all gentle, was it?
You know, I think that might have been better than a minivan.
I think it was.
I do hate those miserable little garden statues.
Man, did you give him a whupping!
I'll tell you what I've...
What I've just seen in there.
His butt made it. It's OK.
-His butt made it through. That's all OK.
Well, there you go. Sorry, David.
It's the end of Day Three. The only thing ahead of me now
is my final exam, and this house is going to be it.
Greg Harvey, you're the contractor.
Greg is basically is my boss for the purposes of this exercise.
Before I actually do it, why are we tearing this house down?
Well, the owners wanted a very energy efficient
and eco-friendly home, and unfortunately,
we weren't able to achieve that with the home that we have today,
and they elected to go ahead
and tear it down and start with a new one.
-My conscience is entirely salved.
-You should be good.
-I'm doing the world a favour.
There'll be, like, otters and birds and things that are pleased.
That's right. That's right.
-Because of what I'm about to do.
So if I appear at any point to be enjoying it wildly,
-I'm enjoying the sense of doing something good.
And also most of this is going to be salvaged and recycled anyways.
So this is...it's kind of for the children,
for their future, that I'm...
You know what, you got it exactly right.
That's the nicest thing anybody's ever done for me, Greg.
All right. Good luck.
I've spent the last three days training with
Central Environmental Services in Orlando
to learn how to use the heavy machinery
they use in their work as demolition experts,
and that is my final exam.
I've got to use the track hoe
to tear that house down piece by piece.
But I am going to have to draw on all of my several days
of experience as a demo man to do that
with care and absolute precision.
Because here's the thing -
I have to demolish the entire house leaving this room,
and my friend Nigel here, undisturbed.
Though he's not my real friend. Obviously.
I mean, the dummy doesn't travel everywhere with me.
It's just...a dummy representing a friend of mine.
The point is I have to demolish the whole house
leaving this room and the dummy in the bed
intact and undisturbed.
You see. Precision.
Here you go, Nigel.
Here you go, fella. Just in case.
You'll be fine. Don't worry.
Suddenly, not nervous.
What's the word? Really excited.
That's what I am.
Going to knock a house down, going to knock a house down.
-Richard, are you ready?
-Oh, it's the boss.
I am so ready. I'm firing up. Here I go.
Now, to make things even tougher,
Nigel's room is located in the centre of the house.
I'm going to have to attack the building
from two different sides if I'm going to save Nigel.
I'll be starting with the master bedroom,
which is directly attached to Nigel's room.
Here I go.
Pull that thumb all the way back to the stick,
and just start going through the... right through the roof.
Terribly sorry. Hope you had a lovely time in the house.
I don't doubt it holds many happy memories
for a lot of people, but...
Oh, I've spoiled it.
Rather bad, let me just put that back.
Oh. Just knock it down...
In fact, backwards a little bit, for a little bit.
Let's take some of them walls down.
All right, go ahead and push her in right there.
There you go.
There you go, Madam. See, there's daylight flooding in.
Oh, now the room is far... it feels more open, doesn't it?
Yes, it does. Yes, it does.
Right. What I'm doing now is just going for...
I'm trying to just flatten the roof.
What he said was bring it all into one sort of big, central pile.
It might look like I'm simply flailing around.
So this is where it gets really tricky.
I'll put this lot over here.
Nigel, my dummy, is very precious to me.
I don't want to disturb his sleep.
He's in there.
Can I walk on this stuff now?
Am I all right to walk it further in or will I be killed?
It's all yours. Go ahead and walk her in. Take a risk.
I've now come round to the side of the house, into the garage.
I'm going find the strength inside myself
to use this track hoe to smash the roof in
and then push the walls in.
-Hello? Come in.
This is the most destructive thing, obviously, that I have ever done.
Honey, I'm home. Here I am. Yeah.
I'll be in the garage, that's where I am.
Oh, that's going to need a new garage door.
The good thing about this is I'm nowhere near Nigel.
I know I'm safe.
Oh, that was a good one. Now I'm going to do it again.
Now that did... that really went.
Tell you what...
after a big party, this thing would be really useful.
One of those teenage ones when you're a kid
that got a bit out of hand.
Before your mum and dad came back, have a sort out with this and...
Yeah. Oh, that's effective.
You have to understand, for a small guy, this is amazing.
I'm a giant! See, I am mighty.
I've never been mighty before, and now I am.
Now it's, pardon the pun, crunch time.
The only parts of the house that still remain
are directly attached to Nigel's room.
I have to surgically remove those bits
without disturbing either the roof of Nigel's room or its walls,
and I have to use a 30-ton track hoe to do it.
'Danny, I'm getting very close to the bit of roof'
that has Nigel under it.
How do I not smash that bit of roof off
when I'm punching this roof in?
Just keep poking through like you're doing
'on the opposite side of that header beam.'
Once you try and get out and poke a hole through it,
and weaken it up, then just bring down that header beam,
it should keep it away...
should be able to keep your roof intact over Nigel.
Yeah, it's about to be spoiled.
Yeah, there it is.
Just swinging along, punching holes in the roof
either side of that big central beam.
Now just push her straight down. Let them go straight down.
OK. I'm getting very close to Nigel now.
I'm going to be very delicate and grab this lot and the remainder
of that beam, see if I can't lift it off the roof without waking him.
The other side of Nigel's wall is intact.
Oh, there's a hole in it, but it'll be all right. He's asleep deeply.
Good job. Good job, Richard.
He's going to be so amazed when he wakes up and the house is gone.
All right, Richard. We got two walls left.
Don't disturb Nigel.
Yeah. I'm going to be super careful.
I'm creeping in now.
This next bit is going to be especially tricky.
I have to take down a huge brick fireplace next to Nigel's wall.
If it falls in the wrong direction,
Nigel is going to be buried in rubble.
Hey, Danny, what I've got in front of me now
appears to be a big brick chimney.
Leave your bucket...leave your thumb folded back towards the stick.
Lift up, put the bucket over the top of that chimney.
Set her down on top of it and retract her backwards.
Bring her to you.
Come on. There you go.
What I'm hoping to do is pull the chimney...oh, God, I'm going.
Back her fast... back her up quick.
Back her up quick.
That's what I was talking about. Good job.
'All right. This is it.
'I'm down to my last two walls.
'I'm just hoping that these walls aren't what's keeping up
'the walls of Nigel's room.'
You're almost there.
You're almost there. Good job.
All right. You're almost there.
All the skill I've learnt...
..all that talk of finesse.
There's going to be some finesse.
Oh! Look at that pirouette!
There you go. Last one.
Bring her in. Bring her in.
Can you move back a little bit?
I make that done. Is it done? Is it done?
In demo world, that is done.
Good. That's good. The house is down,
but I've got to know... how's Nigel?
We've got to go and have a look, yeah?
That was incredible.
I can't tell you.
That was just the most amazing thing.
All I did was knock down a house.
Well, all I did. But the point is I'm walking around it now and well,
-there was a house there.
And it's gone. Oh, and there is a bit of a mess.
-I did that.
-You made the mess.
-Yeah. But there was a house there.
And me and that machine... poof, gone.
Had to go.
It just felt...
So, Nigel was asleep in his bed, in this bedroom here.
Oh, come on. Look! Ha!
Do you see?
-Come on. The ceiling's there.
-He's still asleep?
Don't wake him. Honestly.
-He's still intact.
-You'd have been fine.
-Could have stayed in there yourself.
-Yeah. Could have.
-I did it.
-You did it. Congratulations.
-Yes, I did. I got to...
-You did a great job.
It has been...it has been an amazing few days,
and I have to say as well that at the very beginning,
when I met you and Richie, I just thought,
"Those guys are a bit odd with their passion for wrecking."
-Now I've done it.
And I totally, totally get it.
-You're doing a puzzle in reverse.
Looking at something, thinking, "Just how is that put together?
"How can I take it apart?"
And I guess how you take it apart can be just as important
-as how it's assembled in the first place
It has been a real eye-opener. I've learned a lot.
And I knocked a house down and I didn't wake Nigel.
House is gone.
It's not there and Nigel is fine.
Brilliant. Brilliant job. You did an outstanding job.
It's going to be pretty easy to take from here.
-Yeah. It's not bad. So that's praise from my boss.
Can I just say, you've got the best job in the world.
I get to destroy things for a living and get paid for it.
And that was tremendous. I thank you very much for my lesson.
-Thank you. Congratulations.
-I did that.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Hammond masters the track hoe, demolition machine and wrecking ball - or does he? He learns it is a far more delicate job than he first thought.