PIRTEK helps equip barge to walk across bottom of Lake Erie

Being within driving distance of Lake Erie certainly has its advantages when your business specializes in replacing industrial hoses. Lake-going vessels sometimes need heavy-duty hose work.

With its Service & Supply Center in the Cleveland area, PIRTEK Valley View was well-positioned to undertake an especially ambitious job on the lake recently: some comprehensive hose work for a new barge. PIRTEK’s shipbuilding customer installed a powerful hydraulic engine that operates “spuds,” steel pilings that drive down and pierce the lake floor.

That means hoses, a lot of them, to provide all of that heft.

“The customer literally created everything – this entire barge – from scratch,” said Jose Vega, technical inside sales representative for the PIRTEK location in Valley View, Ohio. “They needed us to install all of the hoses that connect to the engine. It required some creative twisting and turning, but we got the job done.”

While a large portion of PIRTEK’s business is in manufacturing, construction and the rental equipment industry, maritime service calls are fairly common in port locations. Hydraulic power has many applications on ships, including control systems, deck equipment, maintenance, steering, and many others.

The barge PIRTEK worked on is called a “walking spud.” These vessels are engaged in a number of heavy jobs on the water, for example, dredging projects. They are often equipped with cranes or excavating shovels.

A regular spud barge uses its pilings to simply moor itself in place as it performs its heavy work. A walking spud has an extra advantage: Its pilings actually provide some locomotion.

“The hydraulic cylinders allow the barge to walk along the bottom while working, right through the mud,” Vega said. “It’s an ingenious concept.”

Here’s how it works: A piling plunges into the lake floor and hydraulic power then pushes on it, laterally. Because the piling is rooted, the barge itself moves over the piling via a cutout section. The walking spud’s prime advantage is the ability to reposition itself and move around without the aid of a tugboat.

“It takes quite a bit of force to move the barge,” Vega said. “We put in a lot of hoses with inch-and-a-half diameters. They deliver the necessary power.”

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PIRTEK USA provides the fastest hydraulic hose replacement and industrial hose repair service with onsite mobile and service centers throughout the United States. Our ETA 1 hour on-site hose service, available 24/7, is a simple solution that minimizes equipment downtime and eliminates the need for our customers to leave their job site or facility to locate new hydraulic hoses and hydraulic fittings.  Call PIRTEK – We’ll Keep You Operating! www.pirtekusa.com