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Hydraulic and Mechanical Dredges

In the business of wetlands excavation and dredging, there are two main types of dredges: mechanical and hydraulic. Both of these dredges serve a purpose, but the hydraulic dredge, as you will see, is less damaging to the Louisiana bayou.

Mechanical dredges dig or take materials from the bottom of a body of water or its banks via a clamshell or a bucket. Hydraulic dredges, on the other hand, suck up this mixture of water and sediment, called slurry, and then move it to another area by a pipeline.

Stan's Bobcat 337 Mini-Excavator/Dredger in Action

Stan’s Bobcat 337 Mini-Excavator/Dredger in action 

What are Mechanical Dredges?

Dredges can move just about any kind of material you can think of. These dredges serve multiple purposes. We see them used in construction projects here in Louisiana. They also keep harbors, marinas, ports, and canals clean and free of waste. Some dredges are even used to help restore sand that has disappeared due to the effects of erosion.

Mechanical dredges, like the backhoe dredger (BHD) (basically a pontoon equipped with a hydraulic excavator), are much like the land-based backhoe or excavator. A mechanical pair of arms lifts heavy loads, and a large attached bucket digs down into the underwater surface.

A grab or clamshell dredge takes advantage of a set of buckets located at the end of its arms to take out sediment, while a bucket-line dredge uses a series of buckets. These buckets are attached to a chain that mechanically digs up and moves out sediment.

What is a Hydraulic Dredge?

A hydraulic dredge is a powerful floating machine that pumps a materials, like sediment and water, through floating pipes to be released on shore, or on board, where they may be filtered through for oysters.

These dredges have different hydraulic ratings that are made to work in specific environments. An open harbor would require more suction, while still water or parts of the Louisiana bayou, could get by with a low-horsepower hydraulic dredge.

There are a variety of hydraulic dredges to fit a variety of jobs, like the cutter suction dredge, the chain ladder dredge, and the hopper dredge, to name a few. But the core of a hydraulic dredge is the dredge pump.

The dredge pump is responsible for creating the necessary vacuum needed to successfully suck in material from the bottom of a body of water. It supplies the flow to move material along the pipeline to the site of its disposal.

Too Tight for Typical Dredging Machinery?

For waterways that are too tight for the typical marine machinery and out of reach for dredging, Stan’s Airboat and Marsh Excavator Service amphibious fleet of equipment can handle shallow water operations.

Stan’s can work alongside the large hydraulic dredges. Instead of pumping sediment into marsh and swamp, where it would disastrously disturb the natural environment, Stan’s Airboat and Marsh Excavator Service can construct levee systems to contain the disposal and may assemble piping systems to transport unneeded materials.

Contact Stan’s Airboat and Marsh Excavator Service today for all your shallow water operations.

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