Great Lakes Dock & Material LLC (GLDM) is one of the leading dredging and marine construction contractors in the Great Lakes region. The company primarily takes on projects that involve heavy lifting, from building docks and breakwalls to dredging and environmental remediation.
Not long ago, the company was in need of new equipment to bolster its material-handling capabilities.
“Our fleet contains some of the largest equipment of its type found on the Great Lakes,” said Mike Russell, senior project manager for GLDM. “We have in-house engineering and survey capabilities to support a vast array of projects. We were looking for an efficient machine that can keep pace with our production dredging plant as well as provide versatility for unique projects.”
After surveying the market for excavators and material handlers, GLDM acquired a pair of Sennebogen material handlers in late 2018 and mid-2019. The first was a pre-owned Sennebogen 835 R-HD, while the second was a new Sennebogen 840 R-HD material handler.
“I had previously managed projects with the Sennebogen 835 R-HD and Sennebogen 840 R-HD at work in other marine applications,” Russell said. “They all have full load capacity through their 360-degree working radius. Being on barges or improvised platforms, we felt this capability was essential for our machines to have. Crawler-mounted undercarriages provide capabilities in unimproved sites as well as safety benefits when walking machines onto and off of barges.”
The 840 R-HD is a 130,000-pound machine with 305 hp. and a hydraulically elevating Maxcab. The specific machine delivered to GLDM is outfitted with a “banana boom” that can be equipped with either a clamshell bucket, a four-tine grappy or a hook. With the boom fully extended, the Sennebogen 840 R-HD can lift more than 8,800 pounds with a full 360-degree range of swing. Sennebogen notes the 840 can be shipped without the tracks attached, which improves portability.
“We were looking for the biggest machine we could get that was economically transportable, that we did not have to break down to ship,” Russell said. “You can save a lot of costs if you can keep the track width under 12 feet. You typically don’t need any escort vehicles, no special lanes or superload permits.”
GLDM provides services within about 500 miles of its base of operations in Muskegon, Mich., on Lake Michigan.
Russell said the range of the Sennebogen material handlers—especially their ability to dig below grade and their wide reach—was a strong selling point for GLDM.
“On a barge, your work is often in front of you and the material barge is at the side,” he said. “You want as much reach as you can. We aren’t normally making big stockpiles, but you want to spread the material as far as you can so you’re working at maximum radius most of the time. Barges require the deck loading to be relatively evenly distributed. This prevents overstressing structural members as well as aiding in stability.
“And when you’re dredging, a critical component is how far down from the barge deck you can reach,” he added. “The arch in the banana boom allows us to reach over the coaming of the material barges alongside. It can also reach deeper depths than the normal straight boom and stick configuration. It can work over the coaming, reach down 20 feet below the tracks and lift it up.”
Sennebogen has been designing and building material handlers for more than 65 years. The company expanded operations to the United States in 2000 with Sennebogen LLC, which is based in Stanley, N.C.
Caption for photo: GLDM’s Sennebogen 840 R-HD is outfitted with a banana boom that can be equipped with either a clamshell bucket, a four-tine grappy or a hook.