Pipeline construction is not for the weak. Like the crews, the equipment needed to meet pipeline demand must be powerful and efficient. When equipment meets those requirements and offers versatility and reliability in the field, that’s the golden ticket. Low ground pressure and good traction are essential for traversing the expansive terrain variation on challenging pipeline right-of-ways (ROWs). Terramac rubber-tracked crawler carriers possess each of these elements making them an adaptable equipment solution for tackling pipeline projects.
Traditionally, wheeled trucks and steel-track carriers have been the go-to equipment option for many pipeline applications, but contractors discovered that productivity can suffer when these heavy-duty haulers get stuck in wet and muddy terrain. Terramac rubber track crawler carriers are specifically designed for operating on steep grades and working angles where standard trucks and wheeled vehicles can’t. Loaded, they exert minimal ground pressure between 5.3 – 8.3 psi which allows for greater weight distribution and flotation to traverse poor ground conditions. Furthermore, when compared to traditional equipment, the smaller footprint of Terramac carriers creates less soil disturbance and need for remedial repair work which helps protect project budgets.
Support equipment and the interchangeability of attachments has also become an incentive for utilising crawler carriers on pipeline projects. Terramac’s are multi-purpose in that they are built with a frame that easily accommodates a variety of specialised pipeline equipment. Anything that can be seen on the back of a truck can be outfitted onto one of Terramac’s carrier models. With carrier sizes ranging between 6 - 14 t there is an equipment combination suitable for every step of the pipeline.
Clearing vegetation along the pipeline ROW creates a path for the pipeline and establishes the ROW for transporting materials and equipment during the construction process. Customising Terramac carriers with cranes helps to accomplish this task with more flexibility while maneuvering in and out of densely thick terrains and provides the strength and dexterity to lift, drag, and haul brush.
Identifying existing utility lines before trenching and laying pipe is done though potholing, and Terramac equips track units with a variety of vacuum excavation products. One partner, Vacuum X-Traction Products, offers a variety of vacuum excavation systems for precisely this. Terramac’s RT6 carrier with VXS-240-4 is a small and compact version that applies 2400 CFM’s and has a 4 yd waste tank making it agile on pipeline right of way. The RT14 carrier with VXS-500-6 is large and durable allowing it to utilise 5200 CFM’s with a 6 yd waste tank for potholing in more dense ground conditions. Regardless of size, the vacuum excavator paired with a crawler carrier improves the potholing process by providing contractors a safer, faster and more cost-efficient exposure of the pipelines. “Crawler carriers are widely used for potholing along the pipeline for their nimble movement on all terrain types. They simply don’t get stuck like wheeled semi-trucks that were previously used,” says Chris Holomon, Enviro Services.
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