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What is an amphibious excavator?

Amphibious excavator

Within the canal and river engineer industry, staying at the forefront of technological advancement is essential and amphibious excavators have helped to revolutionise many of the tasks our team complete. In our latest article, we look at the features of amphibious excavators, their advantages over traditional counterparts, and how we strategically incorporate these brilliant machines into our diverse projects across the UK.

The differences between an amphibious excavator and a traditional excavator

While traditional excavators feature tracks or wheels that are brilliant on stable ground, there are limitations within aquatic environments that our team operate in every day. In comparison, amphibious excavators are designed with a specialised undercarriage that features either pontoons or floating tracks. This distinctive design gives them the ability to navigate through canals, rivers, and other water bodies with unparalleled efficiency.

The key features of amphibious excavators

  1. Specialised undercarriage for buoyancy - The floating tracks or pontoons ensure buoyancy, allowing the excavators to float on water surfaces. This feature is crucial for operations in marshy areas and shallow waters. Tasks such as dredging can be completed effortlessly as the machine can navigate through the varying water depths with ease.

  2. Extended reach - Amphibious excavators are equipped with extended booms and arms, enhancing their reach. This makes them ideal for precision work in dredging, vegetation clearing, and other water-related tasks. In comparison, traditional excavators would be limited by their standard arm length and often struggle to reach certain areas within the canals, rivers, and lakes that we work.

  3. Versatile attachments - Amphibious excavators benefit from a variety of attachment options, with various tools designed for specific tasks. Whether it's a bucket for dredging, a grapple for vegetation removal, or a pile driver for construction, these machines offer a range of attachments that can be quickly changed for different tasks. This versatility ensures that a single excavator can perform multiple functions, streamlining project operations.

The advantages of amphibious excavators in canal and river management

  1. Access to inaccessible areas - Canals and rivers often pose challenges for traditional excavators due to uneven terrain and water obstacles. In comparison, amphibious excavators are able to effortlessly navigate through these environments, accessing remote areas for maintenance, dredging, and habitat restoration.

  2. Adaptability - The extended reach and specialised attachments of amphibious excavators make them invaluable for projects which require adaptability. Whether it's clearing debris, maintaining water depth, or enhancing habitat conditions, these machines offer excellent versatility.

  3. Reduced environmental impact - In sensitive aquatic ecosystems preserving the natural landscape is imperative. Amphibious excavators, with their low ground pressure, ensure minimal disturbance to habitats and reduce soil compaction. This is particularly beneficial for sensitive habitats and also contributes to the overall health of the waterway.

  4. Efficient sediment removal - Sediment buildup in canals and rivers can impede water flow and disrupt ecosystems. Amphibious excavators are able to efficiently remove sediments, promoting optimal water quality and supporting the health of aquatic life.

  5. Enhanced habitat restoration - From removing invasive vegetation to sculpting riverbanks, these machines contribute to the enhancement of natural habitats. The extended reach and adaptability of amphibious excavators allows our team to execute habitat restoration projects with a level of precision that traditional excavators struggle to match.

  6. Streamlined operations - Canal and river infrastructure projects, such as the construction of bridges or embankments, benefit from the adaptability of amphibious excavators. Their ability to operate in varying water conditions helps contractors to maintain project timelines and minimises logistical challenges.

The Rothen Group – Investing in a fleet of efficient machines

Our team understands the unique challenges posed by aquatic environments, and through our expertise and excellent fleet of machines we are positioned as pioneers in the field. By incorporating machines such as amphibious excavators into our fleet we are continually evolving to the demands of canal and river management, as we understand how unique every environment can be.

We are committed to leading the way in canal and river management and believe in maintaining a strong relationship between machinery investment and environmental stewardship. By prioritising the use of machines such as amphibious excavators, we ensure that our footprint on aquatic landscapes is a positive one. This commitment to an environmental legacy resonates with communities, regulatory bodies, and environmental advocates, and we are proud to be known across the UK for our responsible canal and river management. To find out more about our fleet of machines, the services we offer or hiring our machinery, please contact our team today


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