Disaster Leads to New Application for Pipeline Padder

Wed November 23, 2005 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Ozzies Pipeline Padders Inc. of Phoenix, AZ, originally designed the Pipeline Padder to be a self-propelled screening machine to screen the spoil–pile material left by trenchers on pipeline construction projects.

The fines that are screened from the spoil material are precisely placed on and around the pipe to protect it during construction. Since the Pipeline Padder precisely places the fines on the pipe in the trench, workers are not needed in the trench, thus enhancing the safety element of the project.

Pipeline padding also has environmental benefits by reducing exposure to soil contamination by eliminating the need to truck in screened material.

During the development of the Pipeline Padder, the last thought in anyone’s mind was to use the machine to clean/recycle sand on a beach.

In 1997, Ozzies was approached with the question of whether or not its self-propelled screening machine would be capable of screening multiple types of debris left on the beaches of Santa Rosa County, FL, in the aftermath of Hurricanes Erin and Opal.

According to Ozzies, its engineers had a meeting and determined the project to be totally feasible. Ozzies realized the process was really not much different than the normal process that takes place on a pipeline trenching job.

To make the project feasible and efficient, a few factors had to be determined. One was the size of the gradient screen to capture the debris while allowing the cleaned sand to fall back on the beach. Once that was determined, a method to collecting the debris from the screening device was established.

Even though the Pipeline Padder is self-propelled and will pick up the sand from the beach, it was necessary to have the sand placed into a pyramid shaped windrow for pick up. It also was determined that a machine such as a motorgrader or bulldozer would be appropriate to grade the surface level of the beach and leave the sand in a pyramid shaped windrow.

Due to its mobility, a wheel loader was chosen to be the appropriate machine to follow along behind the Pipeline Padder to catch the separated debris in its bucket.

When all the engineering and customization was completed, the padder was put to work. The windrows were established by a motorgrader and as the self-propelled screening machine moved along the berm it picked up the sand and transporting it to the shaker where the debris was captured on the gradient screen and dumped into the waiting bucket of the trailing wheel loader as the clean sand fell back on the beach.

According to one account, within the first 1,000 ft. of screening the berm, the padder had captured more than 46 gal. of broken glass, pea-sized rocks, shells and pieces of a broken plate and other unidentifiable items.

According to Tom Sarauskas, COO, and Greg Charney, manager of business development, both of Ozzie’s Pipeline Padders, since 1997, the machines have been developed to handle this type need to a finer degree.

“Our main business is in the pipeline industry, but with the aftermath of all the destruction caused by the hurricanes in 2005, we are trying to do our part to fill a need that will at least facilitate in getting our beaches back to normal,” said Charney.

“With all the talk about recycling and reclamation in the world today, being able to rehabilitate our beaches in a timely and cost-effective manner is a worthwhile effort,” said Sarauskas. “Ozzie’s is in the business of providing screening solutions. We pride ourselves in adapting our machines and/or developing applications to fulfill a need that will help to mend and restore the natural environment,”

For more information, call 623/889-7949 or 281/702-6360.

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