On 15 September, the IADC Board bestowed the IADC Safety Award 2017 to Jan De Nul Group which produced the nomination Transport of Pipelines Optimisation. Maarten Tronckoe accepted the award on behalf of the project’s team.
The transport of dredging pipes with trucks is an industry-wide task and common activity on reclamation sites and logistics yards. Jan De Nul Group optimised and enhanced the handling and transport of dredge pipes by means of three techniques: the use of Dhatec cradles, modular spreaders and C-pipe hooks in combination with soft slings. The combination of all three changes improves efficiency of the job, safety during the handling and transport, and both the safety and ergonomics for riggers.
The collective use of Dhatec cradles, modular spreaders and C-pipe hooks in combination with soft slings improves safety during handling and transport, efficiency of the job, and both the safety and ergonomics for riggers.
Why improve the process of transporting pipelines?
According to Maarten Tronckoe, ‘dredging is our core business and the most important fact in our project is the vessel, so the handling and transportation of pipelines is a side line activity. In our business, it’s not the most difficult or risky operation, it’s really common practice.’ Therefore, the reasons which led to improving the pipeline transportation process were more proactive in nature. He explains ‘when loading four pipes in two layers on a flatbed trailer, the lower layer on the truck is secure in between the supporting poles at the side of the truck, but as you go upwards to the second layer of pipes, the leverage on the poles is increased and they can therefore start to bend outwards. We can start timbering with beams and wedges, but how much force can a wooden wedge really take? To be 100 per cent sure, we were advised to have an engineer monitor each truck and calculate it, but cost-wise, this was not possible. So we started looking into how we could change the process ourselves to do it more safely.’
In the optimised process, Dhatec cradles are mounted on the truck platform – adjustable to the pipeline diameter – and with lashing straps, the load is secured on the truck. The C-pipe hooks are attached to a soft sling which makes it safer and ergonomically easier for the rigger to handle. And thanks to the use of the spreader beam, the soft slings with attached C-pipe hooks are positioned optimally by using taglines so that the riggers can easily attach the load from the ground. The revised method is being implemented across Jan De Nul’s global activities as it has proven to be beneficial to all parties associated with pipeline transport.
The IADC Board concludes the winning nomination addresses one of the industry’s major safety issues, successfully combining a series of proven strategies. Through the combined use of flexible blocks on the lorry, a spreader and flexible slings as well as the development of C-pipe hooks, these individual elements come together to form a safety solution which can be used throughout the entire industry.