Ever wondered how they get diggers out of those mansion basement excavations? The truth will blow your mind

The topic of JCB-style diggers understandably doesn’t come up often in the LondonlovesBusiness.com office. In fact, we’ve never written a story about diggers.

That is, until now.

You’ve probably never wondered how they get diggers out of those massive basement excavations – sometimes known as iceberg homes.

If you really think about it, you might assume they take out a wall and get some special crane to lift it out. That’s what they used to do apparently, but it was a tricky job, and often ended up costing more than the digger.

So what do you do when something costs more to remove than to buy? You leave it there.

That’s right, there are multimillionaires all around London with diggers buried under their swimming pools and home cinemas.

Ed Smith in the New Statesman, which revealed the technique, explains: “The new method, now considered standard operating practice, is to cover the digger with ‘hardcore’, a mixture of sand and gravel. Then a layer of concrete is simply poured over the top. Digger? What digger? The digger has literally dug its own grave – just as the boring machines that excavated the Channel Tunnel were abandoned beneath the passage they had just created.”

According to the article, there could be up to 1,000 diggers abandoned beneath London buildings.


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Readers' comments (1)

  • Do they drain the fuel, lubricant and hydraulic oils or do they leave them to permeate the groundwater?

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