UK based Land & Water Plant Hire has enabled continued sand and gravel dredging at a quarry near Manchester by placing a 20m long-reach excavator on one of their own floating pontoons.
Some sand and gravel had been safely excavated by a long reach excavator working from the bank but it could only work to a limited depth of 6m. Operators Breedon Group turned to Land & Water because of the latter’s expertise in providing floating solutions.
The specialist team at Land & Water were able to dredge the remaining material by floating the 20m ZX470 long reach excavator on a pontoon designed to carry the long reach safely. The pontoon is road transportable, essential for this particular application due to the landlocked location of the quarry.
The sand and gravel is excavated from the quarry bed and loaded onto one of Land & Water’s split barges, which is moved easily around the lake by a 250hp river class tug designed by the Land & Water team.
The barge is split at the edge of the lake, dropping some 100 tonnes of sand and gravel into the shallow water at the bank. The process gives the material a valuable first wash, removing much of the fine silt. A Hitachi ZX 350 long reach excavator is then used to remove the washed material to the bank where it is stockpiled and drains more quickly because of the first wash. Around 24 hours later, the stockpile is loaded directly into the plant for washing and processing.
The efficient and cost effective floating solution is made possible by Land & Water’s specialist expertise and equipment. It has allowed Breedon to reliably supply consistently high quality aggregate from this challenging site.
By Larz Bourne