Floating Bulldozer

Mastenbroek Environmental has supplied the UK’s first Conver silt-pusher, marking a step-change in watercourse management where organic sediments need to be removed efficiently within increasingly demanding environmental constraints.
Drainage Board representatives and others were among those treated to their first glimpse of the sediment-clearing boat – dubbed the ‘floating bulldozer’ – at Pode Hole pumping station for Welland and Deepings IDB as it worked on a stretch of waterway.
Built by Dutch firm Conver and supplied by Mastenbroek of Boston, Lincolnshire, the machine is the newest acquisition of ADC (East Anglia) Limited, which sees a big market for it on watercourses managed by the Environment Agency, IDBs and other operators. The fully self-contained boat has a bow-mounted, three-piece articulated blade capable of collecting up to 10m3 of material in a single push. Weighing in at 2.8 tonnes, measuring 4m long and with a beam of 1.55m, the silt-pusher has a draught of just 450mm, making it capable of navigating some of the shallowest and most inaccessible inland waterways.
The unit is ‘steered’ by a pair of fore and aft-attached cables, anchored to the bank, which are controlled using auto-spooling winches. In this way the machine may be accurately positioned for maximum engagement with the silt, an operation that is controlled directly from the operator compartment.
The boat may be moved on the UK’s highways without difficulty. With a transportable width of 1.55m (or 1.95m with the blades folded backwards), length of 8.4m (6.15m) and height rising to an easily accommodated 1.6m, the unit comes with its own wheels.
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