Shovel on barge

From land to sea: A shovel adapted to an hourglass boat


Always on hand for complex studies, Soerma TP is taking up the challenge of installing an excavator on a boat!

It was a major challenge:

  • Modify an 85-tonne shovel to install it on a barge.
  • Make the shovel work on rails so that it can unload sand from the boat.
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Shovel on barge

Shovel on barge

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Modification details

The main modification was to manufacture a new chassis so that the machine could travel on rails spaced 8 metres apart above the ship's hold, over a length of 42 metres.

The second major modification was to manufacture a handling-type beam capable of accommodating a 7 m3 clamshell bucket capable of retrieving sand from the bottom of the hold at a depth of -9 metres. This sand will then be dumped into a hopper fitted to the machine's new chassis.

To complete the service, the machine had to be fitted with access gangways around the turret, safety systems had to be integrated to stop the machine moving, and it had to be protected from corrosion by special paint and insulation for the hydraulic and electrical connections.

Installation and tests on the barge

The various components and the machine were loaded onto several lorries bound for Concarneau, where the hourglass was launched.

Installation on the ship was carried out by 2 cranes weighing 250 and 350 tonnes.

2 weeks later, the first dynamic tests were successfully carried out!

1 month later, Setra Caddac, the vessel's owner, began pumping sand into the sea. This sand will then be sent to cement works.

Technical specifications

Hourglass :

  • Length: 85 metres
  • Width: 15.85 metres
  • Engine: 2 x 1150 hp
  • Hold capacity: 2300 m3
  • Dredging pump: reach 40 metres
  • Excavator

Caterpillar 385C

  • Initial weight: 85 tonnes
  • Modified weight: 90 tonnes
  • Chassis width: 8.00 metres
  • Chassis length: 8.00 metres
  • Clamshell bucket: 7 m3