Midwestern Manufacturing Co. of Tulsa, Okla., recently completed field testing its newly engineered 200,000 lbs. (90,720 kg) sideboom attachment for a Caterpillar D9H tractor body.
The new M594C attachment is the largest ever produced by Midwestern in its 50 year history. The use of older/used crawler tractors for conversion into pipelayers by retrofitting with a Midwestern sideboom contributes to material re-use and resource efficiency.
In 2005, Midwestern commenced the development of its new big inch hydraulic sideboom using experience in design and manufacture of smaller size sideboom attachments. Earlier this year, the company completed the design and installed the attachments on three Caterpillar D9H tractors.
With the assistance of two major U.S. pipeline contractors, Midwestern field tested this big pipe laying machine.
In 2006, Midwestern introduced its sideboom attachment for a D8N and D8R Caterpillar tractor and later that year its new sideboom attachments for a John Deere 750J and 850J. These units have been tested and accepted as an alternative to a purpose built pipelayer.
The result performed at or above industry standards with a maximum lift of 200,000 lbs. and a maximum working load of 117,600 lbs. (63,343 kg).
Midwestern design process included consideration of all factors to produce a pipe laying machine that would match up as close as possible to the overall operation of a purpose-built pipelayer of equivalent size. The company scrutinized the modifications to the D9H tractor platform body as well as the sideboom, counter weights and draw works.
The Midwestern M594C includes hydraulic pilot controls, an upgraded hydraulic system with load-sense pressure compensated piston pump, an off-set 35-in. (89 cm) track shoes and 9,240 sq. in. (59.659 sq cm) of ground contact area), a gross machine weight of 128,300 lbs. (58,196 kg), a good weight to hp ratio and a 132 in. (335 cm) track length.
Modifications also were made to the D9H case and frame by the addition of rear “track to frame” supports, a stiff bar and the addition of fish plates to strengthen the sideboom mounting structure.
Winches are planetary with two-speed high efficiency piston motor and dual brake system. The load winch has free fall function. The result of this process is a comparable machine with high performance for the big inch pipeline construction industry.
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