Since 1956, Midwestern Manufacturing has been an active participant in the pipeline industry and is considered a pioneer.
The Tulsa, OK-based company recently completed its new M583CH hydraulic sideboom conversion attachment for a Caterpillar D8N “high drive” track-type tractor.
The attachment converts a high drive track-type tractor to a pipelayer capable of lifting 140,000 lbs. (63,503 kg) at a 4-ft. (1.2 m) boom extension.
This is equivalent to the lift capacity of a 583K and 583R Caterpillar pipelayer.
The new features of the Midwestern sideboom attachment include:
• Increased visibility of the front of tracks and load hook.
• Pilot controls for simultaneous control of hydraulic operations.
• Free fall, vertical boom stop and kick out.
• Multi-axis hydraulic joystick combined with a rebalanced weight distribution for optimum control and performance.
• Planetary winches with high-efficiency motors and brake valves for smooth load control.
• Rebalancing of the weight distribution counters the higher center of gravity of the high track machine.
• Track gauge measures 82 in. (208 cm) and the shoe width is 28 in. (71.1 cm).
The mounting of the sideboom attachment can be completed in approximately 250 man hours.
The resulting machines are then available for work in a short time frame at essentially one-half of the cost of a new pipelayer which, if available, might take a year or more for delivery, according to Midwestern.
In the United States, pipelayers are primarily used along side the open trench to support the pipe while it is welded, coated and lowered.
Since the pipelayer spends most operating hours idling alongside the trench and moving slowly forward, it is subject to much less operating stress than a dozer that moves all day long.
In addition, pipelayers generally work in tandem. If one fails, it can be removed without affecting the entire pipelaying operation.