Backhoe Dredgers

“Facts About Backhoe Dredgers” describes how modern backhoes work to excavate a dredging site and when and where they are the appropriate equipment choice.

A backhoe is a hydraulic excavator with a single digging bucket positioned on the end of a two-part articulated arm. The water-based backhoe dredger is a stationary, hydraulic crane mounted on a dedicated dredging pontoon that often has a rotating table. To ensure stability and counter the large digging forces of the backhoe at work, the pontoon is anchored and its position maintained by three spud poles. A spud is a large pole that can anchor a ship while allowing a rotating movement around the point of anchorage. Although backhoe dredgers have always been used, in the past they were rather small compared to other dredging vessels. Recently, as dredging operations and projects have expanded, bigger backhoe excavators were needed and new large, dedicated backhoes have been developed. These custom-built backhoes can dig at greater depths. They have greater total installed power and therefore can be utilised more extensively and cost-effectively for major maritime projects. The electronic controls of these backhoes are now centralised with hi-tech automation such as electronic positioning and bucket location systems. This has greatly improved the control, efficiency and accuracy of the buckets. The production rate of a backhoe is dependent on the work methods, the working conditions and the materials to be dredged. Hard soil, boulders, rock, vegetation or debris removal and other obstructions as well as the size of the bucket also influence the production rate. Presently, backhoes come in a wide variety of sizes and are selected based on the particular task at hand. Backhoes can dredge with precision and do not require ancillary equipment like boosters and pipelines to transport dredged material to a disposal area, which makes them quite cost-effective and efficient. “Facts About Backhoe Dredger” answers essential questions such as:
  • What is a backhoe dredger?
  • What characterises a backhoe dredger?
  • How popular are backhoe dredgers?
  • When are backhoe dredgers suitable?
  • How does a backhoe dredger work?
  • How does the bucket work?
  • Where are backhoe dredgers used?
  • How have backhoe dredgers improved?
  • What factors influence the production rate?
  • Do backhoe dredgers have limitations?
  • How do backhoe dredgers discharge dredged material?
  • How big are backhoe dredgers?
  • What safety factors should be considered?
  • What are the advantages of a backhoe dredger?