It’s half Cat … half conveyor. It used to be a 365CL hydraulic excavator, but now it is a custom delivery system built for the renovation of the 15.5 billion-gallon C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir southeast of Tampa.
The machine will deliver “soil cement” mixture that is used to construct a stepped erosion barrier protecting the reservoir’s earthen berm retaining walls. However, getting the wet cement mix up to the top of the nearly 20-degree incline is only part of the payoff.
Ring Power worked with Kiewit Infrastructure group to modify several links in a chain of pieces required to deliver the material precisely. And as far as supply lines go, this one’s a doosy.
First, the wet soil cement mixture – produced at a plant built on the floor of the emptied reservoir — will be loaded into one of six Cat 740B Ejector Trucks that Kiewit purchased for the project. The trucks transport the material to a Gomaco 9500 Placer with a receiving hopper that has been modified (by Ring Power) to lock the ejector truck to the hopper for controlled transfer of the cement mix.
The placer then deposits the cement (via its own 40-foot conveyor) into a Maxon hopper affixed to a trailer towed 80 feet behind the Cat 365CL. The Maxon hopper provides a constant stream of cement on to an 80-foot conveyor that is linked to a “chute” atop the Cat 365CL’s 150-foot-extendable RCC Conveyor. All the while, all of these machines are in motion, progressing along the 5 miles of retaining wall.
Got all that?
The beauty of the system is that the Cat 365CL can travel along the flat base of the berm and use the articulation of the conveyor to deliver the cement to the precise location on the inclined berm that the crews are forming the stepped barrier. As the crews progress, the conveyor can extend, retract, rotate or elevate to match their position.
Ring Power made several additions to the Cat 365CL that Kiewit provided; pumps and motors to drive the 24-inch wide conveyor belt; rubber pads to the tracks for stability and to protect cement on the skirt of the erosion barrier. However the core components and drive mechanisms of the Cat 365CL are unchanged.
RCC Conveyors provided much of the engineering support for this unique project. While this is the first time this type of project has been undertaken on a Cat 365, RCC Conveyors has done smaller systems mounted on Cat 345s.