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Caution: Hard Hat Area

Caution: Hard Hat Area

Craziest Shingle Tear-Off Method Ever?

comments (25) May 27th, 2009 in Blogs
RDA RDA, producer

Video Length: 1:59
Produced by: boyd224

We found this alternative method of removing cedar shingles from a roof on YouTube and shuddered. But with viewer comments like, "Dude, you're awesome." And "That machine saved HOURS of back breaking work!" (There were some others, but they aren't fit to print here, if you know what I mean). We have to ask: Is this the coolest or craziest method of tear-off you've ever seen?

Personally, I don't care how skilled the operator is, or how much time this crew saves, I'd never let anyone scrape shingles off my roof using this method.

Watch the video and tell us what you think by leaving a comment below.

Update: If you're interested in a tear-off method we would recommend, members can check out Stephen Hazlett's "Low-Risk Reroof," where he says it's best to only tear off what you can reroof in a day. And, you might like "Tearing Off Old Roofing" too; it's a classic.

So now what? If you're wondering what to do once the shingles are off, check out "Reroofing With Asphalt Shingles," also by Hazlett, and "Recycling Roofs into Roads," where you can tour an asphalt-shingle recycling plant and learn how discarded asphalt shingles can be recycled to make hot-mix asphalt used to pave roads. Pretty cool.


posted in: Blogs, roofs, shingles

Comments (25)

countrycurt countrycurt writes: Wow, interesting, entertaining, and great skill by the operator, but you've got to be joking! The risk of damage is too great to ever even consider doing this. I hope I'm not the unfortunate person to install/replace the next roof on a strip off done this way, or the poor sucker that buys a home/business that was stripped as shown, as in 'unknown stress damage to the structure.'
Posted: 9:42 am on September 3rd

RDCwood RDCwood writes: With due respect
I think we are missing the mark here,

What needs to be asked is:
1 - Has the method been tested for safety?
2 - Is the equipemnt operating in the range of safety of the particualr equiment and methodology?
3 - Does it causes damage to the the underlay?

And not : morons, stupid, fire the contractor etc

What strikes me is the skill of the operator, even though It is not clear if he is directed by an assistant with good visibility of the part of the roof being stripped.

I want to make clear that I am not endorsing the technique but I am also not comdemning it whithout having more information of it.
Posted: 1:16 pm on December 14th

Mack9000 Mack9000 writes: Like nails on a chalkboard, I just felt my skin crawl. This is wrong on so many levels.
Posted: 10:08 am on December 14th

kwhit190211 kwhit190211 writes: I'll tell you this. If a roofer showed up to my hooch with a front end loader to rip the shingles off, he would be fired on the spot. And, for you morons out there who think that this is a good or great idea. It time to go & get yourselves committed to the local nut house.
Posted: 4:11 am on December 14th

MasterofNoneSC MasterofNoneSC writes: I would fire the contractor on the spot.
Posted: 4:10 pm on December 11th

engrx2 engrx2 writes: On my house way. But if you're in snow country, you can have as much as 200 lbs/sq-ft bearing capacity plus the dead load design. When I was doing research on buying a little Bobcat 453, I heard of folks getting engineering OK to drive them on an industrial roof to strip them. That's 4000 lbs of machinery. Excellent operator though. If you look closely, the operator is keeping a gap between the roof deck and shake because all you need to do is lift the exposed tips to break them loose. The problem is, one sneeze and your fired!!
Posted: 10:40 am on June 6th

rafeik rafeik writes: Kudos for the control, but I have to think the positioning and "reset" for every pass would eat up a lot of time. And since they only show one pass, it would be nice to know how the total job ended up. As a homeowner seeing this being done to my roof, I'd probably have a heart attack. I know my insurance agent would!
Posted: 8:27 am on June 4th

MFournier MFournier writes: Since the machine cost more then the cost of labor of 10 jobs stripped the old way I don't think I will ever have to worry about doing it that way.
But hay if you got it and are that good on the controls go for it.
Posted: 10:36 am on June 3rd

RDA RDA writes: All right, I realized after my post that it wasn’t fair to criticize one method without offering an alternative from our archives. I searched our site and found some good stuff worth sharing. I’ve added a few links to the end of my post. Enjoy.
Posted: 12:35 pm on June 2nd

andyfew322 andyfew322 writes: while I would never want this done my house, the roof in the video is very large, so the ends do justify the means in this case, and i do think saves enough time. If the operator continues to do that with out touching the roof, then it would be the best way ever for that building
Posted: 5:37 pm on June 1st

VMFehr VMFehr writes: I'm sure this works but the cost for a mistake doing it this is way gonna be a lot more then a guy with a shovel, catch once and you'll be lucky if all you end up with is an interior ceiling full of cracks. Won't see this on my sites.
Posted: 4:53 pm on June 1st

djthx djthx writes: It's a great time saving technique that can only be achieved by a proficient crane operator. The fact the he didn't scathe the felt indicates that the crane's shovel never actually makes contact with the sheathing. All you really need to be careful with is to make sure you carefully and accurately grab the bottom cedar shingles. Since the subsequent shingles are on top, they'll be scooped up with less required precision.

However, I don't think it would be as easy to remove slate shingles, and it will be impossible to remove fiberglass shingles this way.
Posted: 1:23 pm on June 1st

Matt1 Matt1 writes: Sweet! I wouldn't worry about the stress to the framing as I see he has the touch and is leaving the roofing felt unscathed. I have seen skilled track hoe/excavator operators perform similar "delicate" operations. Love it!
Posted: 12:26 pm on June 1st

neal_r_smith neal_r_smith writes: I am impressed that someone would even try doing it with a bucket. My first reaction was the same as others, I hope he has done it MANY times before he comes to my house to remove my roof.
Posted: 11:34 am on June 1st

sligett sligett writes: Opps, wrong house.
Posted: 9:03 am on June 1st

dwerm dwerm writes: This method is not for the faint of heart. To their credit, the operator took his time and there was a spotter (the cameraman). I too would be concerned about unnecessary stresses put on the building. A machine like that is capable of toppling a house quite easily and the likelihood of damage to the roof/house goes up exponentially. Its a huge risk that im not sure the insurance company would like to see you take. I'm reminded of the movie Top Gun where Charlie says "The encounter was a victory, but we
show it as an example of what not to do." and someone behind Maverick says "Gutsiest move I ever saw, man."
Posted: 8:29 am on June 1st

AquaLinda AquaLinda writes: Great heavy equipment operator. I'm impressed with his skills. A savings in time on removal of the shingles and cleanup. I wonder what other short cuts he's developed? He appears to be a master of innovation combined with the skills to pull it off.
Posted: 7:43 am on June 1st

roofer101 roofer101 writes: I've removed shingles myself with my front end loader, the only trouble was I was trying to remove snow load.
Posted: 7:27 am on June 1st

Lawrie Lawrie writes: I guess I'm not surprised. Next we'll see one where they've got the bobcat on the roof. The operator does have an amazing touch on those boom and bucket levers, though.
Posted: 3:54 am on June 1st

wamoor wamoor writes: I wonder how this works with asphalt shingles?
Posted: 4:23 pm on May 29th

RDA RDA writes: Maybe I’m just too skittish. . .

I read on YouTube this was the crew’s second time using this method. Maybe if it were their 102nd time, I might consider. Who wants to be a surgeon’s third major operation?

Posted: 11:24 am on May 29th

Mike_Guertin Mike_Guertin writes: I'm already thinking of other ways to put this practice to use.

Sidewall shingles - as long as you can get the bucket to catch the bottom lip of the shingles - you're golden.

Asphalt roof shingles - why not 'eh?

You can damage anything if you aren't careful so each project needs to be assessed independently.

There may be an upcoming market for specialty blades and buckets for jobsite lifts - get your patent ideas in fast.
Posted: 10:16 am on May 29th

jross jross writes: I asked John Mahan, a slate roofer in Springfield MA, about this. He'd already seen the video and thought it was impressive. The big concern he had was the stress put on the framing members. While it seems in the video that the bucket is not touching the roof (the roofing felt is not torn), the large number of fasteners being pulled at once would put upload stress on the framing.

But hey--It’s working for the guy in the video!

Posted: 2:54 pm on May 28th

grateful.ed grateful.ed writes: This looks like a great way to save some time removing cedar shingles if you’ve got a simple shed or gable roof with great access front and back for the loader, and an operator who’s had plenty of time to practice on his own house. That’s a narrow set of criteria, but as proved in this video, it can happen.

Posted: 12:40 pm on May 28th

ChuckB ChuckB writes: If the guy is as delicate in every pass, and if he doesn't clip the vent stack, and if that yellow jacket doesn't land on his control hand, it would work. But it's still scary. I'd rather have the guy shoveling the snow off my driveway, personally....but he does plow a nice path in that cedar.
Posted: 4:36 pm on May 27th

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