Wouldn’t it be nice to have one piece of equipment capable of handling every step of the pipeline process? I think back to my high school days when my backpack was weighted down with all the latest in technology, and how great it felt to receive my first iPhone. That one item allowed me to roll my camera, cell phone, MP3 player and GPS into one, so in this day of age, isn’t there a piece of equipment that can be used for multiple functions in the pipeline industry?
The answer is YES!
That piece of equipment is best known as the crawler carrier. The crawler carrier is considered an off-road utility vehicle with rubber tracks, and manufacturers such as Terramac LLC have developed these units to be insanely versatile. The ability and ease of adding an array of specialty attachment features to the back of these units is what gives them the capability to handle every step of the pipeline process (excluding the initial surveying and pressure testing upon completion).
Crawler Carriers Place in the Pipeline Installation Process
- Right-of-Way Clearing: Crawler carriers with dump beds are used in this step to help remove trees and vegetation from the right-of-way. Bark blower attachments can also be used to help install silt fences along water ways to prevent erosion and protect the natural environment.
- Trenching: Digger Derrick’s may be placed on the back of a crawler carrier unit to both dig the trench and lift the soil. Dump beds also serve for the purpose of hauling the lifted soil for later use.
- Stringing: The flat bed option (which the Terramac® crawler carrier comes standard with a convertible dump/flatbed) can be utilized when pipe is being brought in and laid out end to end along the right-of-way.
- Joining: This particular step involves use of the crawler carrier’s dumb bed, but more importantly a tack welder attachment to join the pipe together.
- Coating: Crawler carriers can also carry epoxy coating machines that will coat the pipe to prevent it from corrosion or rusting.
- Lowering: Crane attachments allow crawler carriers to be utilized when lowering pipe into the trenches.
- Backfilling: For this step, the standard dump bed is used to haul dirt to fill the trenches after the pipe is laid.
- Cleanup: Crawler carrier’s role in cleanup efforts is huge. Not only can a dump bed or flatbed but bark blowers and hydro seeders also become useful for restoring the land back to its natural environment.
So the next time your company receives the bid for a new pipeline project, consider using a crawler carrier. They clearly offer the maximum benefit in a single package!