Demolition Richard Hammond's Crash Course


Demolition

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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Transcript


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On Crash Course right now, the delicate art of demolition.

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I've driven just about

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every-high powered vehicle there is.

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But that was just for fun.

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The world's biggest, baddest vehicles are made to work.

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So, now I've decided to travel across the United States

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to see if I can conquer the monsters of the worksite.

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I'll have just three days to learn how to handle

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these complex and dangerous machines

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that normally take years of training to master.

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And in the end,

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we'll find out if I'm good enough to get the job done.

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This is a track hoe. You will have seen one.

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And there's a very good reason for that -

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they are the workhorse of the construction industry.

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They can push, pull, dig, lift, load.

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Pretty much every building you've ever seen

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will have been worked on by one of these.

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Every road you've ever seen, every bridge you've ever seen.

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Pretty much everything you've ever seen that has been built

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will have been worked on by one of these.

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And as this is a show about working vehicles,

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I really need to learn how to run one.

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To do that, I've hooked up with a team

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at Central Environmental Services, demolition experts,

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because they use these things in some pretty special, unique ways.

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They use a thumb and bucket attachment

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to grab and pull down walls, sifting out recyclable material.

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Then they use a densifier attachment

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to crush the remaining slabs of concrete.

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They even use it to swing a wrecking ball.

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They're using it right now to pull down that building over there,

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and that's a hint,

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because at the end of my three days' training on that machine,

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I'm going to use it to tear down an entire house by myself.

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I'm going to pull a house down with that.

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Just me and that.

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And if I can do that, I'll be able to call myself a real demo man.

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Let's use this building as an example,

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-cos this is going to come down, isn't it?

-Yes, sir.

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Right. Now, to the likes of me, I look at what you're doing

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where you get some sort of big machine and go splat

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and that's that. What's involved in taking that down?

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We pull off the wire.

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All the electrical boxes, the air conditioning units,

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the heaters, the boilers, then we pull out all woods,

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kitchen equipment, whatever is in there.

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Punch out all the aluminum, pull all the wire,

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get all the copper, all the brass.

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Even the steel and the concrete are all recycled.

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Everything goes to recycling.

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And we got ourselves to the point where we're recycling

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about 85% of most commercial buildings.

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You love this, don't you?

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-I love it.

-You really do.

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Are you kidding? There ain't nothing like demo.

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It's wonderful. I love it. It's great.

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It's powerful.

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It...when you're wrecking something, you're like a Superman.

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You're going to take a day and knock it on its butt.

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OK. Let's knock a building on its butt.

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My teacher Danny is going to show me how it's done.

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-Cos he's going to punch a hole through the wall.

-Yes.

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Right there. Now be real careful when you punch that hole.

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Now, he doesn't want to go all the way through,

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so he doesn't hit his boom or his cylinders.

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So, he's just going to punch a hole, push all the block in.

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He's quite neat, isn't he, for a man in a big track hoe?

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It is amazing. That's a 30-ton track hoe,

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but it's extremely accurate.

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And now he's using it like a fist to just punch through the wall.

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-Right.

-So, now he's taking out the pillars.

-Right.

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It really isn't just an all-out destructive process, is it?

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There is some finesse being demonstrated by the operator.

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These guys know what a building is about.

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They're pretty much destruction engineers.

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-That is a big powerful machine he's using.

-Very powerful.

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Just because he's using finesse, that's got a lot...look at it.

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-Very powerful.

-He's just flicking it out of the way.

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Why is he watering the ivy? You're pulling the building down.

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-I don't get it.

-There's another regulation in demolition.

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We've got to make sure that we do everything we can

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to keep the dust down.

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When we hose stuff down, the dust goes right down.

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Now, see what he's doing?

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He's picking up the air conditioners that have already been abated

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and getting them out of the way. This is all wire in there.

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We...we'll recycle all that stuff. This is the beginning of recycling.

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Aaargh! He's not even...

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-He's just flicking it all to one side.

-You're right.

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Now watch, he's going to go after the first bar joints.

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Now, see? He's got the outside bar joints. He's going to do

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a little bit more pushing and shoving.

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Now he's going after that steel.

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So, he doesn't tear it up apart. He pulls it apart, piece by piece.

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That's it.

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'Danny just took down that building like a surgeon.

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'Now, I'm dying to learn how to use a 30-ton track hoe like a scalpel.'

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So, Danny, this bit of the end here is the track hoe itself.

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-Right.

-And this is kind of familiar to us all.

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-This bit here.

-Right.

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These can be fitted with all sorts of heads.

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You've got a special one here. What does it do?

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This here is the standard hydraulic thumb built onto my bucket.

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So, essentially what you've got is bucket,

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-which we have, that can dig and stuff.

-Yes.

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-And then this thumb that does that?

-Right.

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-Yeah, it will move in and out.

-So you can pick stuff up.

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-Right.

-So, you can pick up a car with that?

-Right.

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But what about small stuff? How much finesse can you use?

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How small a thing can you pick up?

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-Small pieces of metal.

-Really?

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-Yeah.

-Hang on. Look, give me that. Thank you very much.

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You can see where this is going, can't you?

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-Yeah.

-I should introduce you. This is our drinks cooler.

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I just wondered if, say, the crew said,

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"Can somebody pass us our drinks cooler?"

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and you were up there in that, could you pass us that with this?

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-Er...

-Without breaking it?

-I can give it a shot.

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Saddle up, I'll put it down here.

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That's our drinks box.

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If it gets broken, there'll be a very cross crew.

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There, look he's in. He's in. He's in.

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Ooh! Ooh, ooh, that is millimetre-precise,

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cos it's not quite... oh, ho, ho!

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Gentlemen, your drinks.

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Ah, there we go.

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There you are.

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That is pretty amazing, actually,

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-and now you're going to teach me how to do it.

-OK.

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-I want to do that.

-OK.

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-I want to be that good.

-I can teach you.

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Yeah, right. I'm climbing up. Oh, oh.

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-This is about finessing my skills here.

-Right.

-So, what do I do?

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Well, I have a crazy way of remembering how to use the machine

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-and I teach a lot, you know.

-Yeah.

-some of the guys and stuff.

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I call it right-hand as BB and my left hand is SS.

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Which just stands for the right-hand runs

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-operates your bucket and your boom.

-BB.

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And then your left hand operates your stick and your swing.

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All right.

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Stick and swing. Boom and bucket.

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Right.

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Boom and bucket, stick and swing.

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It's kind of cool, isn't it?

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-That's how I like it.

-That's how I teach the guys.

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-I can do that.

-You can do that?

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-I can do that.

-All right.

-I can do that.

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-We'll give it a shot, see what you can do.

-OK. I'm good.

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This really is where it all starts

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for most building and demolition projects.

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This one machine is an extension of the builder's

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and the demo guy's hands and arms.

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It's that significant a machine.

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So, I have to learn how to move one of these

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if I'm going to appreciate what working machines are all about.

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Bucket and boom, bucket and boom, bucket and boom, swing and stick.

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And I have to say, his boom and bucket thing,

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way of remembering, it does work.

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I reckon if I get good enough with this,

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I'll be able to pet a mouse.

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Not my own mouse, somebody else's, obviously.

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OK, Danny, I've got that. I've got it.

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I'm ready to pull a building down. Where do I go? Come on.

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Actually, I got a smaller house you can practise on.

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OK. I'm willing. I'll start small.

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That's good, where do I go? Lead on.

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I'll take you to it.

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Oh, come on. I'm not going to wreck that.

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No, you're not going to wreck this.

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You're going to move this for me.

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-Pick it up

-Pick it up and move it for me.

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-The outside lavatory.

-Right.

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-All right. I've got to be careful.

-Yeah.

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-Oh, I can do that. You stand back and watch.

-OK.

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Here we go. I go right to the immortal words, "Watch this."

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Huh.

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OK then, boss, so what do you want?

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Gently pick it up. From the top.

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I need you to move that from there, I want to move it over there

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just out of the way for the... underneath my trees for me.

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OK. Pick it up, put it by the trees. Here I go.

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Ahhh.

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Precision.

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Precision.

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OK.

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Down with your boom a little bit.

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Down with the boom, OK.

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So, let's just line that up in there like that.

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That's the thumb, in goes the thumb. Nice and careful.

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Now, in comes the bucket.

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I got it. I got it. I got it.

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Oh, slipping, slipping! Oh!

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OK. Got to put the thumb to the back carefully.

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In.

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There we go.

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Oh!

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Oh.

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Yes. It's the whole precision.

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It's harder than it looks, isn't it?

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Isn't it harder than it looks? Oh.

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Yeah, I'll maybe finesse that a bit. I think...

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I kind of had it, but it slipped,

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and then I thought I caught it and it...I didn't in the end.

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Its...oh, that's not nice either.

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That's a...oh!

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Yeah. We'll deal with that later.

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Practice is everything, though, I can see now. I'm learning.

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I'm learn...I'm getting better.

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Do you want me to tidy it up?

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I got other things for you to do.

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Day One ends in Orlando.

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And clearly, I've already mastered the fine art

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of using the track hoe with finesse and precision.

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Yeah, all right. Clearly, there is some practice needed.

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But hey, I've got two days left.

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Day Two in Orlando. My second day with Central Environmental Services

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Demolition Company. I've set myself the goal of becoming a demo man.

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And today is the day when, finally,

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I get my first go at tearing a building down.

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You are mine, oh, yeah. Boom, gone.

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You're as good as gone already. You might want to stand back.

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'I just have one problem.

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'Before I have a good whack at this building,

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'I have to get Rich out of the track hoe.'

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-Yo, Richard. I'm going to show you how it's done.

-Here we go.

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There, he's happy, look.

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-Not modern dance, but...

-Incoming!

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Missed, but only just.

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I don't think I've ever witnessed anyone so completely caught up

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-in what they're doing as he is right now.

-Mm-mm. Mm-mm, no.

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I've never seen anything like this.

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Watching him, you can kind of see the...

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he goes after specifics, doesn't he?

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He's not just flailing about and smashing it to bits,

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he is going into particular...

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Yeah. He goes in...

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It's like a backwards puzzle to him.

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In the course of making these shows, I've met a lot of guys

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who are really good at what they do, whatever their role is.

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I've never met anybody who just enjoys it as much

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as he clearly does it now.

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That was astonishing.

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It just shows the muscle that this thing's got,

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and the skill that an operator can develop.

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You must be the calmest man in the world up there.

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-All I can say, have you any stress left in you?

-Well,

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-this is my good stress release.

-You don't say(?)

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Other people go to a bar, I get down here, wreck a crack house,

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-you know? Or a building.

-I'm not surprised. What can I do?

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Get in there and see if you can pull down some bones.

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I might not show quite the same aggression. I'll try.

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I'm never going to match up to that display of...

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I don't want to say naked aggression, cos it wasn't.

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It was...it was controlled aggression, but it was aggression.

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Little guy with a big job to do.

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HE LAUGHS

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Already this feels funny.

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I don't know why, it just does.

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I'm walking. This feels strange.

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I'm a bit nervous. It feels like I'm going to...

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well, I'm going to break something, obviously.

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Ah, you'll be all right.

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You'll be OK. You got it.

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Oh, I got one! I got one. Hold on.

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I have!

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I've got one. Blow me down if I haven't got one.

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Now, just slowly bring that to you.

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That whole piece, bring it to you slowly.

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HE LAUGHS

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Look at that.

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All right. That's a loose piece. Bring it all around here.

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Free swing all around.

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Oh, yes.

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All right, reach out and set it way out here.

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Out of your way.

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Good job. Good job.

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That's one.

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Only about 100 more to go.

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Suddenly, I see what it's about.

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This is strangely and horribly,

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for all the wrong reasons, fantastic.

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You're mine, come with me.

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Come on. Come with me.

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Arrr, arrr. You're mine.

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Arrr.

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Oh, it's breaking all those wires off it.

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Grrr!

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HE LAUGHS

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HE LAUGHS

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'There you go. All right.'

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Take it back around.

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CRASH

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That was alarming.

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I want more of that.

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I want to get some more of these bones.

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Is there any chance I can have that air-conditioning unit off?

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-Please.

-'Ah, go for it. Take it off.

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-'It's in your way.'

-Yes! Yes!

-'Get rid of it.'

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Oh, I'm so having that. That's my prize.

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If you're watching and imagining, "I bet that's fun..."

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or worse still, imagining,

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"That can't be as much fun as it looks..." No, it is.

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Butterfingers, butterfingers.

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Just want to get it out from all those bits of wire and metal there.

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That's it.

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That's mine.

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Not sure, but this could be about as much fun

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as I've ever had in any machine.

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It's just a humble track hoe, but now I'm learning just why it is.

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Good job.

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Oh, that is just...

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-You did really good.

-..too much fun.

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You giggled like a little schoolgirl in there.

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I don't know why I enjoyed that so much.

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It probably doesn't bear examining, but that is just...

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it's weirdly addictive, isn't it?

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-Yes, very.

-Trying to find the right bit and pulling,

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and pulling and then, bam! Off it comes.

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And you realise the power of the machine, that it just..

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-Yeah.

-Nothing can stop it.

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Well, it really is up to you to make sure you don't make

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a horrible mistake. Everything is just... you put it on.

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-You don't drive it, you wear it. It becomes... like wearing a big robot suit.

-Yup.

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I love that game!

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I'm surprised there's anything left standing around here.

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'Now that I've had and enjoyed my first taste of wrecking a building,

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'I think it might be nice to kick back and relax at Richard's house.'

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Right, I am keen to see what a guy who wrecks buildings

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does in his downtime.

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And I'm guessing it's going to be in here.

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It is. Some people call this thing a barn.

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I call it my kind of man cave.

0:17:030:17:05

So, right now...

0:17:090:17:10

every man across America watching is calling his wife and saying,

0:17:100:17:13

"Look at what this guy's got. I want that at home."

0:17:130:17:16

You don't think that's neat... Come on.

0:17:160:17:18

I've got something else to show you.

0:17:180:17:20

OK. So the...this is it. This is your hobby?

0:17:200:17:23

Yes, it is.

0:17:230:17:24

What is it?

0:17:240:17:26

-Oh, these are bonsais.

-Are they?

0:17:260:17:28

It's an ancient art of the miniaturisation of trees.

0:17:280:17:31

OK. This is just one of these weird leaps that you have to make

0:17:310:17:35

when you meet somebody, because having met you,

0:17:350:17:37

you talk about your job and what you do is big,

0:17:370:17:40

knocking stuff down... and then, little tiny trees.

0:17:400:17:42

I know. It takes the stress out.

0:17:420:17:44

You know, it wouldn't matter how long you gave me to think about it,

0:17:470:17:50

I could not come up with something just more opposite

0:17:500:17:53

to what you do for a job than this.

0:17:530:17:55

I mean, it's completely...

0:17:550:17:58

it's...you're creating stuff, it's tiny.

0:17:580:18:01

Requires patience. Well, let's get back to work.

0:18:010:18:04

-That's enough.

-You got it.

0:18:040:18:05

-It's important we get on.

-Let's go wreck something.

0:18:050:18:07

Just one...just...that one there.

0:18:090:18:13

Come on, we got a building to wreck.

0:18:130:18:15

Yeah, I just want to... you see, once you've started...

0:18:150:18:17

that one, that was bothering me.

0:18:170:18:19

This is a wrecking ball.

0:18:230:18:25

Probably the iconic piece of demolition hardware.

0:18:250:18:29

It's best part of two tons of lead encased in steel.

0:18:290:18:33

It is effective and dangerous.

0:18:330:18:36

So dangerous, it's actually illegal in the UK.

0:18:360:18:39

Nevertheless, if I'm going to learn how to be a demo man,

0:18:390:18:41

I'm going to have to learn how to swing one of these.

0:18:410:18:44

Before I actually swing it, I am going to need a lesson or two.

0:18:440:18:48

It's making me nervous even when it's still.

0:18:480:18:50

Just going to back away from it slowly.

0:18:500:18:52

OK, then, Danny, um...

0:18:570:18:59

'Do you have everything you need?'

0:18:590:19:01

Demonstrate the fine art of swinging a wrecking ball.

0:19:010:19:04

I've never even see this done.

0:19:040:19:05

-I...honestly, this is a first for me.

-I'll show you.

0:19:050:19:08

There we go.

0:19:130:19:15

There we go.

0:19:150:19:18

That's what I'm talking about.

0:19:180:19:19

There we go.

0:19:220:19:23

Oh, you see there's a lot...

0:19:290:19:30

there's more involved in this than I thought.

0:19:300:19:32

Oh, there's thinking to be done. It's really hard.

0:19:320:19:36

And that ball weighs the better part of two tons.

0:19:370:19:40

If that goes out of control,

0:19:400:19:41

it weighs an equivalent of many times more.

0:19:410:19:44

HE LAUGHS

0:19:490:19:50

Simple as that.

0:19:500:19:52

'OK.'

0:19:520:19:54

I'm guessing if I get this wrong, I am, well, killed.

0:19:540:19:59

Uh, yeah, basically.

0:19:590:20:02

Oh, Lord.

0:20:020:20:03

'Because the wrecking ball is so dangerous,

0:20:030:20:07

'it won't be part of my final exam.

0:20:070:20:09

but I'll never be able to call myself a real demo man

0:20:090:20:12

'if I don't at least learn how to swing one.'

0:20:120:20:15

I have one piece of advice for your crew, really

0:20:150:20:18

and that is, seriously, go over there somewhere.

0:20:180:20:21

Bye.

0:20:210:20:22

I mean, how hard can this be?

0:20:240:20:27

Danny, I guess this is one of those things

0:20:270:20:28

I just need to sort of get a feel for, yeah?

0:20:280:20:31

Yes, it's just something you got to get a feel for and the only...

0:20:310:20:34

the key thing to this is that you don't open your bucket.

0:20:340:20:38

'Left hand, side to side,'

0:20:380:20:40

not your right hand.

0:20:400:20:42

Yeah, so back and forth with my right hand,

0:20:420:20:46

but not side to side, or the bucket will be opened?

0:20:460:20:49

Correct.

0:20:490:20:50

And if you feel like it's coming at you,

0:20:500:20:53

just try and take your left hand,

0:20:530:20:55

straight down, to bring the ball to the ground.

0:20:550:20:58

Right. So, lifting it up.

0:20:590:21:01

I'm suddenly scared of this thing. I mean, really scared.

0:21:050:21:07

This thing is illegal in the UK.

0:21:070:21:09

Oh, that's a two-ton weight there.

0:21:090:21:13

So, up...

0:21:130:21:14

..and then swing down.

0:21:160:21:20

Whoa!

0:21:260:21:27

This is dangerous. Oh, God.

0:21:270:21:30

You want that ball to chase that bucket.

0:21:310:21:34

As it's coming up, you already want to get your motion

0:21:370:21:40

to go the opposite way with that bucket.

0:21:400:21:42

Oh, man, that is so much harder than I expected.

0:21:470:21:51

I mean, really a lot.

0:21:510:21:52

I thought you just swing and then it's done.

0:21:530:21:57

But no, there's timing,

0:21:570:21:59

you've got to extend and depress the boom,

0:21:590:22:01

and as soon as you get the swing wrong,

0:22:010:22:04

what the ball does is come at you.

0:22:040:22:06

That's why it's dangerous.

0:22:070:22:09

Well, I'd say I've just about got the hang of the wrecking ball,

0:22:120:22:16

but clearly I do need to practice.

0:22:160:22:18

It's a big dangerous thing.

0:22:180:22:19

I wish there was, like, a wall I could practise on.

0:22:190:22:22

You know, something...

0:22:220:22:23

well, look at that!

0:22:230:22:26

How convenient.

0:22:260:22:27

'A wall constructed of such unforgivable hideousness

0:22:270:22:30

'that it deserves to be pummelled by a two-ton ball of steel.'

0:22:300:22:34

OK. Danny, in your own time, show me how it's done.

0:22:340:22:37

No problem.

0:22:370:22:39

Oh, that thing is just terrifying.

0:22:410:22:44

Oh, oh, oh!

0:22:480:22:51

That's one.

0:22:510:22:53

Boo-yah!

0:22:540:22:55

It works.

0:22:570:22:58

My, but that's an effective piece of kit.

0:23:040:23:07

Danny, that was truly some fine work.

0:23:070:23:09

Do you reckon I can give it a go on the second story of them?

0:23:090:23:12

-Come on. No problem.

-'OK.'

0:23:120:23:14

I'm just... it's old and childish

0:23:140:23:16

but that looks like too much fun to miss out.

0:23:160:23:19

'Danny was able to swing the wrecking ball with such force,

0:23:190:23:22

'he was able to flick those minivans off the pile like ants off a twig.

0:23:220:23:26

'Now, let's see if I can do the same.'

0:23:260:23:29

OK.

0:23:290:23:30

And with the ball of death, ohhh.

0:23:300:23:33

All right. Activate hydraulics.

0:23:330:23:37

Keep it close to you and hit it.

0:23:370:23:40

Now draw her back the other way. Now go for it.

0:23:400:23:44

Yo-ho!

0:23:450:23:48

Give a little more swing to her.

0:23:480:23:49

Just bring her out a little more and then come back.

0:23:490:23:52

Swing. Boom!

0:23:540:23:55

Nearly...I nearly got it,

0:23:550:23:57

I nearly got it, I nearly got it.

0:23:570:23:59

Yeah, nearly. And you are going off now, baby.

0:23:590:24:03

You are going off.

0:24:030:24:04

Boom, boom, bang!

0:24:040:24:09

Oh, come on! It's stubborn, isn't it, that one?

0:24:100:24:13

It's wedged on top of her.

0:24:140:24:15

Right. What I need to do is the other car.

0:24:150:24:17

I might go slightly higher. What do you think?

0:24:190:24:20

It's all yours.

0:24:200:24:22

It's starting to suss...

0:24:260:24:28

it's all these little movements that they do

0:24:280:24:30

that is very much like complex surgery.

0:24:300:24:34

I'm just beating it up. I don't mind that,

0:24:420:24:45

but it's not going to fall off. This is tricky.

0:24:450:24:48

I'm learning something really special and subtle.

0:24:480:24:51

You know those people who paint miniature portraits on enamel?

0:24:510:24:54

It's a bit like that.

0:24:540:24:55

Exactly. Track forward about another three feet.

0:24:550:25:00

Both tracks. Straight forward, there you go.

0:25:000:25:02

There's the sweet spot right there.

0:25:020:25:04

OK. I'm going to start from there.

0:25:060:25:07

I want to get the centre pillar where the doors meet.

0:25:070:25:10

That's a strong bit.

0:25:100:25:11

Right. Let's give it a go, then.

0:25:110:25:13

I think I missed the strong bit.

0:25:190:25:20

Sometimes you have a picture in your mind of what will happen

0:25:200:25:23

and what something is going to be like,

0:25:230:25:25

and then the reality turns out to be really very different.

0:25:250:25:28

That's what's happening here. I thought a wrecking ball is just,

0:25:280:25:31

"Raar!" swing it and it just knocks everything down.

0:25:310:25:34

It turns out, no. It's a fine and subtle art.

0:25:340:25:37

No wonder that's illegal.

0:25:390:25:40

It's not just dangerous, it's impossible. Really difficult.

0:25:400:25:43

-Look what it's taken.

-Yes.

0:25:430:25:45

-It's wedged.

-It's wedged up in there and you see the other one.

0:25:450:25:49

Well, clearly some idiot built the wall wrong.

0:25:490:25:51

I mean, they all locked together.

0:25:510:25:53

-Yup.

-I learned, though... I learned a lot doing that.

-Yeah.

0:25:530:25:56

-Do you know what?

-Hmm?

0:25:560:25:57

-Really enjoying being a demo man. I have to say.

-Yeah.

0:25:570:26:01

I love this.

0:26:010:26:03

What you see before you is evidence of learning,

0:26:030:26:06

training, and I like to think,

0:26:060:26:09

an almost artful determination to see your job through.

0:26:090:26:12

It's quite a moving thing.

0:26:120:26:14

That is an art installation right there.

0:26:140:26:16

We made that. It's quite beautiful.

0:26:170:26:20

Day three for me at Central Environmental Services in Orlando.

0:26:210:26:25

So far I've learned, I think, pretty quickly

0:26:250:26:27

how to tear down a building using a track hoe.

0:26:270:26:30

The thing is, though, the job doesn't end there,

0:26:300:26:33

because right now, these guys can recycle 85% of a building

0:26:330:26:36

after they've wrecked it.

0:26:360:26:38

And that's what my lesson today is about, recycling.

0:26:380:26:41

This is where we get to the finer details,

0:26:410:26:43

finessing the whole process.

0:26:430:26:45

It's why people talk of the fine art of demolition.

0:26:450:26:48

They do talk about it. Well, I do.

0:26:480:26:50

It is a fine art of demolition.

0:26:500:26:52

And today that's what I'll learn.

0:26:520:26:55

So what are we doing here?

0:26:560:26:57

Well, we're recycling metals.

0:26:570:27:00

This here is called dirty aluminum.

0:27:000:27:02

-This is dirty what?

-Dirty aluminum.

0:27:020:27:04

Aluminium. It's aluminium.

0:27:040:27:06

-Dirty aluminium.

-Yes, it is.

0:27:060:27:08

Aluminium.

0:27:080:27:10

-And three small screws in there are steel.

-Right.

0:27:100:27:12

So if we took that to a scrap yard and put it in there,

0:27:120:27:16

they'd give us a price for dirty aluminum,

0:27:160:27:18

which would be about 30 or 40 cents per pound less.

0:27:180:27:21

Now, this over here...

0:27:210:27:22

-Yes.

-..is copper.

0:27:220:27:24

These are the copper water pipes within a house,

0:27:240:27:26

probably the most valuable non-ferrous metal

0:27:260:27:29

-out there on the demo job.

-Right.

0:27:290:27:30

This is the stuff you really want.

0:27:300:27:33

So my job is to go through that whole pile

0:27:330:27:34

-and sort it out into these piles so it's ready to go?

-There you go.

0:27:340:27:38

What's really cool is that you're, like, on a treasure hunt.

0:27:380:27:40

You never know if you're going to find a special prize

0:27:400:27:43

in that pile. You never know.

0:27:430:27:44

Oh, ho.

0:27:460:27:47

Oh, oh. Right. So that's... no, that's the boom.

0:27:470:27:50

Oh, oh, Lord. Hold on.

0:27:520:27:53

No, no, no, no, it's the other...

0:27:530:27:55

HE LAUGHS

0:27:550:27:56

I've just got the hang of this. Oh, no.

0:27:560:27:59

Oh, this is really difficult. No.

0:27:590:28:02

Look, this is harder than it looks. That's what you need to know.

0:28:070:28:10

Curl your bucket too.

0:28:100:28:12

-There you go.

-That's sheet aluminium, yeah?

-Yes, sir.

0:28:150:28:18

-I'll go the other way around.

-All the way over here.

0:28:180:28:21

Go around this way.

0:28:210:28:22

Oh, I'm really getting to grips with this now.

0:28:270:28:29

Let's have a look. So...

0:28:290:28:30

You see that piece of copper in there, Richard?

0:28:300:28:33

Get that piece of copper pipe right there.

0:28:330:28:34

Oh, that's the treasure, isn't it? This...OK.

0:28:340:28:37

This is what these guys are after. The copper is where the value is.

0:28:370:28:40

Now, hopefully I can bring that in.

0:28:420:28:43

Come on, come on, come on, little pipe.

0:28:430:28:46

-There it is.

-There you go. Just swing her over here.

0:28:470:28:50

I want to check that. It sure looks to me like it's fool's copper.

0:28:530:28:56

What's wrong with that?

0:28:560:28:57

It looks like copper but it's not.

0:28:570:28:59

This here is the demo man's smallest tool.

0:28:590:29:02

It's a magnet.

0:29:020:29:04

It shouldn't be magnetic?

0:29:050:29:07

If it's pure copper, the magnet would be on the ground.

0:29:070:29:10

-But it's steel.

-Right. I'm going to find some copper.

0:29:100:29:13

Hang on, hang on, hang on, look.

0:29:140:29:16

You know how you said sometimes you find treasure?

0:29:160:29:19

If that's not treasure, what is?

0:29:190:29:22

Oh, yeah, hold on.

0:29:220:29:23

Oh, my goodness, look at this.

0:29:310:29:33

I may have bent it a little bit but not a lot.

0:29:330:29:36

-Look at that!

-See, I told you,

0:29:360:29:37

you never know what you're going to find.

0:29:370:29:39

There it is. I found it.

0:29:390:29:41

All right. Look at that. You know what?

0:29:410:29:44

This is your reward for such an unbelievable job.

0:29:450:29:48

Oh, that is so... it's a proud moment.

0:29:480:29:50

It matters a lot to me and to my family and my agent.

0:29:500:29:53

And whoever hid this and didn't expect me to ruin it,

0:29:530:29:57

I'm really sorry.

0:29:570:29:58

But I am starting to get that this really is about precision,

0:29:580:30:01

right from the moment you start.

0:30:010:30:02

It's not just tearing the place down,

0:30:020:30:04

it's about breaking all the way from being a building

0:30:040:30:06

down to its constituent elements and sorting those out.

0:30:060:30:09

Absolutely.

0:30:090:30:10

Demo guys don't just recycle the metal

0:30:130:30:16

out of the buildings they wreck.

0:30:160:30:17

They recycle the bricks, the concrete, the very fabric,

0:30:170:30:20

even the foundations of the buildings themselves.

0:30:200:30:23

To do that, we need something pretty special.

0:30:230:30:26

You need one of these.

0:30:260:30:28

That is one angry looking machine. Oh, oh.

0:30:300:30:32

I don't want to be recycled!

0:30:320:30:34

Rich, I don't think I need to ask really what's happening here.

0:30:390:30:42

Oh! I mean it's pretty clear what's going on.

0:30:420:30:46

That's called a densifier.

0:30:470:30:49

It's horrible.

0:30:490:30:50

That is about 10,000 pounds of pressure

0:30:500:30:53

cracking that, and gets it constantly broke up.

0:30:530:30:58

Why has it got to do that?

0:30:580:30:59

Well, he wants to make sure that

0:30:590:31:01

when he crushes a piece of concrete,

0:31:010:31:03

that he gets all the rebar out of it.

0:31:030:31:05

Then they just mag that out.

0:31:050:31:06

Oh, it's got it stuck in its teeth.

0:31:060:31:08

I hate when that happens. That'll be...

0:31:080:31:10

Oh, it's just angry, cross.

0:31:100:31:12

It's just an animal.

0:31:120:31:13

Grrr.

0:31:130:31:15

I've got to have a go. Please, can I have a go, please?

0:31:150:31:17

-Yeah. That's it. I think you ought to have a go on that.

-Yeah. OK.

0:31:170:31:21

All right, Richard.

0:31:210:31:23

You learned from the best with Central Demolition right there.

0:31:230:31:25

I'ma tell you, if you can't do it with this,

0:31:250:31:27

I got a 80-pound hammer sitting waiting on you. Good luck.

0:31:270:31:31

OK. I didn't understand most of that.

0:31:310:31:33

But basically, get this right or we're going to use a hammer.

0:31:330:31:36

That's what I took from that. OK.

0:31:360:31:38

So, Rich, do I now begin?

0:31:380:31:40

Ready to go, buddy.

0:31:400:31:41

Firing it up. Right. So, let's give it some revs.

0:31:410:31:44

I want to get a straight mouthful.

0:31:440:31:46

I'm driving a dinosaur.

0:31:460:31:49

-Now go ahead and crush. Try that right there.

-Which way is close?

0:31:490:31:52

There. Oh, that way. OK.

0:31:520:31:55

Grrr!

0:31:550:31:56

Hungry. Arrr!

0:31:560:31:58

There you go. That's it, man.

0:32:010:32:03

It's hungry.

0:32:050:32:06

It's like feeding a massive hungry dog. There you go.

0:32:060:32:09

Have a bone. Oh, my!

0:32:090:32:12

Whoo! Whoo!

0:32:140:32:15

Way to go, boy!

0:32:150:32:17

You cannot tell me the guys don't enjoy this. They must.

0:32:190:32:21

Big crunch coming up. Arrr!

0:32:230:32:24

HE GROWLS

0:32:240:32:26

Whoo!

0:32:280:32:29

You know, that's bloody fantastic.

0:32:320:32:34

That was great. You know what? I'm full.

0:32:350:32:37

It's like... it's almost like indigestion. It is.

0:32:370:32:41

-You're the man. Way to go. All right.

-Oh, I got indigestion.

0:32:410:32:44

You should make mint flavoured concrete for that thing.

0:32:440:32:47

-I think it would like it.

-I think it would too.

0:32:470:32:49

I thought at first it was a dog with a bone, but it's more like

0:32:490:32:51

-a dinosaur eating another dinosaur's leg bone.

-Yes, it is.

0:32:510:32:55

-All gone.

-Now, you did good.

0:32:550:32:57

I've got an idea for maybe another use for it.

0:32:570:32:59

-Something that's pretty important.

-Really?

0:32:590:33:02

Just bear with me on this one. You'll be impressed.

0:33:020:33:04

-Well this one I got to see.

-Yeah. Here it comes.

0:33:040:33:06

Hey, Rich, are you a lover of the arts?

0:33:170:33:21

Oh, yeah, absolutely.

0:33:210:33:22

I want to get this just right. I'm sorry.

0:33:240:33:26

I'm being precise. It's all about precision.

0:33:260:33:29

HE LAUGHS

0:33:290:33:31

This is a glorious, glorious thing that we are doing.

0:33:310:33:35

Stupid garden statues, I can't stand them.

0:33:370:33:40

Oh, that was... not at all gentle, was it?

0:33:410:33:44

You know, I think that might have been better than a minivan.

0:33:470:33:49

I think it was.

0:33:490:33:51

I do hate those miserable little garden statues.

0:33:510:33:54

Man, did you give him a whupping!

0:33:540:33:55

I'll tell you what I've...

0:33:570:33:59

What I've just seen in there.

0:33:590:34:01

THEY LAUGH

0:34:010:34:03

His butt made it. It's OK.

0:34:030:34:04

-His butt made it through. That's all OK.

-All right.

0:34:040:34:08

Well, there you go. Sorry, David.

0:34:080:34:10

It's the end of Day Three. The only thing ahead of me now

0:34:100:34:13

is my final exam, and this house is going to be it.

0:34:130:34:15

Greg Harvey, you're the contractor.

0:34:150:34:17

Greg is basically is my boss for the purposes of this exercise.

0:34:170:34:21

Before I actually do it, why are we tearing this house down?

0:34:210:34:24

Well, the owners wanted a very energy efficient

0:34:240:34:27

and eco-friendly home, and unfortunately,

0:34:270:34:29

we weren't able to achieve that with the home that we have today,

0:34:290:34:33

and they elected to go ahead

0:34:330:34:35

and tear it down and start with a new one.

0:34:350:34:37

-My conscience is entirely salved.

-You should be good.

0:34:370:34:39

-I'm doing the world a favour.

-You are.

0:34:390:34:41

There'll be, like, otters and birds and things that are pleased.

0:34:410:34:44

That's right. That's right.

0:34:440:34:45

-Because of what I'm about to do.

-That's right.

0:34:450:34:47

So if I appear at any point to be enjoying it wildly,

0:34:470:34:50

-I'm enjoying the sense of doing something good.

-That's correct.

0:34:500:34:53

And also most of this is going to be salvaged and recycled anyways.

0:34:530:34:57

So this is...it's kind of for the children,

0:34:570:34:59

for their future, that I'm...

0:34:590:35:01

You know what, you got it exactly right.

0:35:010:35:02

That's the nicest thing anybody's ever done for me, Greg.

0:35:020:35:05

All right. Good luck.

0:35:050:35:06

I've spent the last three days training with

0:35:090:35:11

Central Environmental Services in Orlando

0:35:110:35:14

to learn how to use the heavy machinery

0:35:140:35:16

they use in their work as demolition experts,

0:35:160:35:18

and that is my final exam.

0:35:180:35:21

I've got to use the track hoe

0:35:210:35:22

to tear that house down piece by piece.

0:35:220:35:26

But I am going to have to draw on all of my several days

0:35:260:35:28

of experience as a demo man to do that

0:35:280:35:30

with care and absolute precision.

0:35:300:35:33

Because here's the thing -

0:35:330:35:35

I have to demolish the entire house leaving this room,

0:35:350:35:38

and my friend Nigel here, undisturbed.

0:35:380:35:41

Though he's not my real friend. Obviously.

0:35:410:35:43

I mean, the dummy doesn't travel everywhere with me.

0:35:430:35:46

It's just...a dummy representing a friend of mine.

0:35:460:35:49

The point is I have to demolish the whole house

0:35:490:35:52

leaving this room and the dummy in the bed

0:35:520:35:54

intact and undisturbed.

0:35:540:35:55

You see. Precision.

0:35:550:35:58

Here you go, Nigel.

0:35:580:35:59

Here you go, fella. Just in case.

0:35:590:36:01

You'll be fine. Don't worry.

0:36:010:36:03

Suddenly, not nervous.

0:36:070:36:09

What's the word? Really excited.

0:36:090:36:11

That's what I am.

0:36:110:36:13

Going to knock a house down, going to knock a house down.

0:36:130:36:15

-Richard, are you ready?

-Oh, it's the boss.

0:36:150:36:17

I am so ready. I'm firing up. Here I go.

0:36:170:36:20

Now, to make things even tougher,

0:36:200:36:22

Nigel's room is located in the centre of the house.

0:36:220:36:26

I'm going to have to attack the building

0:36:260:36:28

from two different sides if I'm going to save Nigel.

0:36:280:36:31

I'll be starting with the master bedroom,

0:36:310:36:33

which is directly attached to Nigel's room.

0:36:330:36:37

Here I go.

0:36:370:36:39

Pull that thumb all the way back to the stick,

0:36:450:36:48

and just start going through the... right through the roof.

0:36:480:36:51

Terribly sorry. Hope you had a lovely time in the house.

0:36:510:36:53

I don't doubt it holds many happy memories

0:36:530:36:55

for a lot of people, but...

0:36:550:36:57

Oh, I've spoiled it.

0:36:590:37:01

Rather bad, let me just put that back.

0:37:010:37:04

Oh!

0:37:060:37:07

Oh. Just knock it down...

0:37:070:37:11

In fact, backwards a little bit, for a little bit.

0:37:140:37:16

Let's take some of them walls down.

0:37:160:37:18

Oops, sorry.

0:37:350:37:38

All right, go ahead and push her in right there.

0:37:400:37:43

There you go.

0:37:430:37:44

There you go, Madam. See, there's daylight flooding in.

0:37:530:37:57

Oh, now the room is far... it feels more open, doesn't it?

0:37:570:38:01

Yes, it does. Yes, it does.

0:38:010:38:02

Right. What I'm doing now is just going for...

0:38:030:38:06

I'm trying to just flatten the roof.

0:38:060:38:08

What he said was bring it all into one sort of big, central pile.

0:38:080:38:12

It might look like I'm simply flailing around.

0:38:120:38:16

So this is where it gets really tricky.

0:38:160:38:18

I'll put this lot over here.

0:38:180:38:20

Nigel, my dummy, is very precious to me.

0:38:210:38:24

I don't want to disturb his sleep.

0:38:240:38:27

He's in there.

0:38:270:38:28

Can I walk on this stuff now?

0:38:310:38:33

Am I all right to walk it further in or will I be killed?

0:38:330:38:36

It's all yours. Go ahead and walk her in. Take a risk.

0:38:360:38:38

I've now come round to the side of the house, into the garage.

0:38:470:38:50

I'm going find the strength inside myself

0:38:500:38:53

to use this track hoe to smash the roof in

0:38:530:38:56

and then push the walls in.

0:38:560:38:57

Oh, boom!

0:39:020:39:04

Boom!

0:39:040:39:05

-Hello? Come in.

-HE LAUGHS

0:39:050:39:08

Bang!

0:39:080:39:09

This is the most destructive thing, obviously, that I have ever done.

0:39:090:39:15

Honey, I'm home. Here I am. Yeah.

0:39:150:39:18

I'll be in the garage, that's where I am.

0:39:180:39:20

Oh, that's going to need a new garage door.

0:39:230:39:25

The good thing about this is I'm nowhere near Nigel.

0:39:250:39:28

I know I'm safe.

0:39:280:39:29

Boom!

0:39:290:39:30

Oh, that was a good one. Now I'm going to do it again.

0:39:300:39:34

Now that did... that really went.

0:39:340:39:36

Tell you what...

0:39:390:39:40

after a big party, this thing would be really useful.

0:39:400:39:43

One of those teenage ones when you're a kid

0:39:430:39:46

that got a bit out of hand.

0:39:460:39:47

Before your mum and dad came back, have a sort out with this and...

0:39:470:39:51

Boom!

0:39:510:39:52

..and bang.

0:39:540:39:56

Yeah. Oh, that's effective.

0:39:560:39:58

You have to understand, for a small guy, this is amazing.

0:39:580:40:02

I'm a giant! See, I am mighty.

0:40:020:40:05

I've never been mighty before, and now I am.

0:40:050:40:08

Now it's, pardon the pun, crunch time.

0:40:110:40:14

The only parts of the house that still remain

0:40:140:40:16

are directly attached to Nigel's room.

0:40:160:40:19

I have to surgically remove those bits

0:40:190:40:21

without disturbing either the roof of Nigel's room or its walls,

0:40:210:40:25

and I have to use a 30-ton track hoe to do it.

0:40:250:40:29

'Danny, I'm getting very close to the bit of roof'

0:40:290:40:32

that has Nigel under it.

0:40:320:40:33

How do I not smash that bit of roof off

0:40:330:40:36

when I'm punching this roof in?

0:40:360:40:37

Just keep poking through like you're doing

0:40:370:40:39

'on the opposite side of that header beam.'

0:40:390:40:42

Once you try and get out and poke a hole through it,

0:40:420:40:44

and weaken it up, then just bring down that header beam,

0:40:440:40:47

it should keep it away...

0:40:470:40:48

should be able to keep your roof intact over Nigel.

0:40:480:40:52

Yeah, it's about to be spoiled.

0:40:530:40:55

Oh, yeah.

0:40:550:40:57

Yeah, there it is.

0:40:580:40:59

Just swinging along, punching holes in the roof

0:41:000:41:03

either side of that big central beam.

0:41:030:41:06

Now just push her straight down. Let them go straight down.

0:41:100:41:13

OK. I'm getting very close to Nigel now.

0:41:160:41:18

I'm going to be very delicate and grab this lot and the remainder

0:41:180:41:21

of that beam, see if I can't lift it off the roof without waking him.

0:41:210:41:24

So.

0:41:260:41:27

Ah.

0:41:410:41:42

Yes!

0:41:420:41:44

Yes!

0:41:440:41:46

The other side of Nigel's wall is intact.

0:41:470:41:49

Oh, there's a hole in it, but it'll be all right. He's asleep deeply.

0:41:490:41:53

Good job. Good job, Richard.

0:41:530:41:55

He's going to be so amazed when he wakes up and the house is gone.

0:41:550:41:58

All right, Richard. We got two walls left.

0:41:580:42:00

Don't disturb Nigel.

0:42:000:42:02

Yeah. I'm going to be super careful.

0:42:020:42:04

I'm creeping in now.

0:42:040:42:05

This next bit is going to be especially tricky.

0:42:060:42:09

I have to take down a huge brick fireplace next to Nigel's wall.

0:42:090:42:13

If it falls in the wrong direction,

0:42:130:42:16

Nigel is going to be buried in rubble.

0:42:160:42:19

Hey, Danny, what I've got in front of me now

0:42:200:42:22

appears to be a big brick chimney.

0:42:220:42:24

Leave your bucket...leave your thumb folded back towards the stick.

0:42:240:42:27

Lift up, put the bucket over the top of that chimney.

0:42:270:42:31

Set her down on top of it and retract her backwards.

0:42:310:42:34

Bring her to you.

0:42:340:42:35

Come on. There you go.

0:42:350:42:36

All right.

0:42:360:42:38

What I'm hoping to do is pull the chimney...oh, God, I'm going.

0:42:380:42:40

Back her fast... back her up quick.

0:42:420:42:45

Back her up quick.

0:42:450:42:46

That's what I was talking about. Good job.

0:42:470:42:49

'All right. This is it.

0:42:510:42:53

'I'm down to my last two walls.

0:42:530:42:54

'I'm just hoping that these walls aren't what's keeping up

0:42:540:42:59

'the walls of Nigel's room.'

0:42:590:43:01

You're almost there.

0:43:100:43:11

You're almost there. Good job.

0:43:110:43:13

All right. You're almost there.

0:43:130:43:16

All the skill I've learnt...

0:43:170:43:19

..all that talk of finesse.

0:43:200:43:22

There's going to be some finesse.

0:43:230:43:25

Oh! Look at that pirouette!

0:43:250:43:27

There you go. Last one.

0:43:320:43:34

Last one.

0:43:340:43:36

Bring her in. Bring her in.

0:43:360:43:39

Can you move back a little bit?

0:43:410:43:42

I make that done. Is it done? Is it done?

0:43:440:43:46

In demo world, that is done.

0:43:480:43:50

Good. That's good. The house is down,

0:43:500:43:52

but I've got to know... how's Nigel?

0:43:520:43:53

We've got to go and have a look, yeah?

0:43:530:43:55

That was incredible.

0:43:550:44:00

I can't tell you.

0:44:000:44:01

That was just the most amazing thing.

0:44:010:44:04

All I did was knock down a house.

0:44:040:44:05

Well, all I did. But the point is I'm walking around it now and well,

0:44:050:44:09

-there was a house there.

-Was.

0:44:090:44:10

And it's gone. Oh, and there is a bit of a mess.

0:44:100:44:12

-I did that.

-You made the mess.

0:44:120:44:14

-Yeah. But there was a house there.

-Yeah.

0:44:140:44:16

And me and that machine... poof, gone.

0:44:160:44:17

Had to go.

0:44:170:44:19

It just felt...

0:44:190:44:20

mighty.

0:44:200:44:22

So, Nigel was asleep in his bed, in this bedroom here.

0:44:220:44:26

Oh, come on. Look! Ha!

0:44:270:44:30

Do you see?

0:44:300:44:32

-Come on. The ceiling's there.

-He's still asleep?

0:44:330:44:36

Don't wake him. Honestly.

0:44:360:44:37

-He's still intact.

-You'd have been fine.

-Yup.

0:44:370:44:40

-Could have stayed in there yourself.

-Yeah. Could have.

0:44:400:44:42

-I did it.

-You did it. Congratulations.

0:44:420:44:44

-Yes, I did. I got to...

-You did a great job.

0:44:440:44:46

It has been...it has been an amazing few days,

0:44:460:44:49

and I have to say as well that at the very beginning,

0:44:490:44:52

when I met you and Richie, I just thought,

0:44:520:44:54

"Those guys are a bit odd with their passion for wrecking."

0:44:540:44:57

-Yeah.

-Now I've done it.

-Yeah.

0:44:570:45:00

And I totally, totally get it.

0:45:000:45:02

Yeah.

0:45:020:45:04

-You're doing a puzzle in reverse.

-In reverse.

0:45:040:45:06

Looking at something, thinking, "Just how is that put together?

0:45:060:45:08

"How can I take it apart?"

0:45:080:45:10

And I guess how you take it apart can be just as important

0:45:100:45:12

-as how it's assembled in the first place

-Exactly.

0:45:120:45:15

It has been a real eye-opener. I've learned a lot.

0:45:150:45:17

And I knocked a house down and I didn't wake Nigel.

0:45:170:45:19

Greg.

0:45:220:45:23

House is gone.

0:45:230:45:25

It's not there and Nigel is fine.

0:45:250:45:28

Brilliant. Brilliant job. You did an outstanding job.

0:45:280:45:31

It's going to be pretty easy to take from here.

0:45:310:45:33

-Yeah. It's not bad. So that's praise from my boss.

-Yeah.

0:45:330:45:36

Can I just say, you've got the best job in the world.

0:45:360:45:38

-It's astonishing.

-Yeah.

0:45:380:45:40

I get to destroy things for a living and get paid for it.

0:45:400:45:43

And that was tremendous. I thank you very much for my lesson.

0:45:430:45:45

-Thank you. Congratulations.

-I did that.

0:45:450:45:47

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:45:470:45:49

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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