Suction solves ballast removal problem

When contractors were asked to complete a ballast removal job on an old redundant railway bridge, access proved a big obstacle.

The old railway bridge had been unused for some time, meaning it was no longer strong and stable enough to hold any heavy weight. Contractors needed to remove the ballast from the bridge though, but it was unable to withstand the weight of any machines. Faced with a long manual labour task of removing the debris by hand estimated to take 15 days, contractors wanted to explore other potential solutions.

extension pipework assists vacuum excavator with ballast removal

Suction powered excavation

Looking for a solution to provide a safer, and quicker alternative to hand balling the ballast, contractors challenged Pier (UK) to use their vacuum excavator without parking up on the bridge.

Using the extendable arm on the back of the machine, operators were able to park the vacuum excavator on the road below the bridge and position the excavator’s boom up towards the bridge. 20 metres of flexible 10 inch extension pipework was then added to gain access to the ballast, allowing the machine’s suction power to quickly remove the debris in a safe and controlled way.

Thanks to the extension pipework, the vacuum excavator was able to reduce the expected 15 days, successfully completing the job in just 4 days – heavily reducing the labour cost required for the project.

Have you seen our vacuum excavators in action?

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