Down on the Bayou: Daewoo Dives In to Lend Hand on LA Canals

Mon July 26, 2004 - West Edition

Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government is using a Daewoo 225 excavator to help clean up the canals in the forced drainage areas in Houma, LA. But these are not your ordinary excavators.

Thanks to Wilco Manufacturing LLC of Lafayette, LA, these Daewoo machines, purchased from M & L Industries Inc. in Houma, LA, are able to work in the swamps of the Louisiana Bayou to perform “grassing out,” a process that facilitates the movement of water from the Hanson Canal into the Inter-coastal Canal.

The forced drainage areas and grassing out are part of a program to keep the land from disappearing, keep water flow going and to keep the land dry. The goal is to prevent the erosion of the coastline, which is losing multiple square miles of land each year. The canal is about 7 mi. (11.2 km) long and it will take about six weeks to complete a cleanup.

The Daewoo 225 does not sit on regular tracks, but rather hollow pontoons referred to as an Amphibious Hydraulic Undercarriage, which was custom designed and built by Wilco.

The entire machine floats, and although the draft is about 5 ft. (1.5 m), according to its operators, the modified 225 has great response at the joystick and more than enough power to do the job.

The 4.5 ft. (1.4 m) tracks are made of aluminum and run on guides. The drive chain is powered by two hydraulic submersible motors with three speeds. The unit also features an expanded metal walkway around three sides and a 1 yd. (.9 m) solid bucket. The counterweight was removed and a 265 gallon (1,003 L) fuel tank was installed to enhance the 92 gallon (348.2 L) regular tank, making the total fuel capacity 357 gallons (1,351 L).

For more information on Wilco Manufacturing, visit

For more information on Terrebonne Parish, visit