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OLKO Pontoons Provide Unique Solution for Blew Bayou

Thu August 17, 2023 - Southeast Edition #17
Linder


An operator uses a Komatsu PC240LC-11 excavator equipped with a 50-ft. boom and OLKO pontoons to load a barge with dredged material.
(Linder photo)
An operator uses a Komatsu PC240LC-11 excavator equipped with a 50-ft. boom and OLKO pontoons to load a barge with dredged material. (Linder photo)
An operator uses a Komatsu PC240LC-11 excavator equipped with a 50-ft. boom and OLKO pontoons to load a barge with dredged material.
(Linder photo) In a Port St. Lucie, Fla., canal, an operator places slurry into a pile with a Komatsu PC240LC-11 excavator outfitted with OLKO pontoons and a 50-ft. boom.
(Linder photo) An operator dredges a canal in Port St. Lucie, Fla., with a Komatsu PC240LC-11 excavator outfitted with OLKO pontoons and a 50-ft. boom. “On this particular project, the OLKO pontoons provide better maneuverability in the water, propel the machine faster through the water, and provide more stability,” said owner Daryl Nowling.
(Linder photo) Daryl Nowling, owner
(Linder photo) (L-R) Owners Daryl and Deanna Nowling work closely with Linder sales representative Daniel Tafoya.
(Linder photo)

After multiple hurricanes battered Florida's coasts, silt, sand and debris clogged many of the canals running between neighborhoods, limiting boat use for residents. Along the east coast of Florida, Blew Bayou Services LLC recently began dredging a canal system for the city of Port St. Lucie to restore access to the main channel. The project required a unique solution, but Blew Bayou Services is adept at working on job sites other companies shy away from.

"Our company name is a combination of Blew for the wind and Bayou for the swamp," explained owner Daryl Nowling. "As the name implies, we like working in or near the water and prefer the amphibious projects other companies don't like to do."

Nowling continued, "On this job, the storm pushed sand through the culvert pipes and washed in on the banks, which keeps boats from reaching the docks. Our scope of work is dredging around the docks and down the canal to restore access. Because of several factors, we had to work with the city to find a solution that wouldn't disturb the residents but offered access to the canal and a place to dump and remove the dredged material."

OLKO Solution

After eight months of securing residential approval and funding, Blew Bayou Services began work in the fall of 2022. To dredge the canal, the company outfitted a Komatsu PC240LC-11 excavator with a long-reach, 50-ft. boom and OLKO pontoons, which allow the excavator to work in the canal instead of along the banks. After dredging, material is loaded onto a barge and shipped down the canal where it is eventually removed via crane, and the process is repeated.

"The city couldn't use a traditional dredging contractor because the homes lining the canal don't leave enough room for equipment to access the canal or remove the slurry," noted Nowling. "Without the long-reach excavator and the OLKO pontoons, this project couldn't be completed. The residents and city have been impressed with the work that's been done so far."

Blew Bayou Services worked closely with Linder Industrial Machinery Company and sales representative Daniel Tafoya to purchase the pontoons and install them onto the excavator.

"We're pleased with the steel tracks and design of the pontoon, which holds up better than an aluminum frame," stated Nowling. "A lot of our work is in wetlands with stumps and rocks, which are very tough on the tracks. We've found that the reliability and efficiency of the OLKO pontoons outmatches anything we have tried in the past."

Nowling continued, "On this particular project, the OLKO pontoons provide better maneuverability in the water, propel the machine faster through the water, and provide more stability. The excavator has more counterweight than some of the lighter machines, so the extra weight from the steel frame on the pontoons is helpful. The drivetrain on the pontoons also helps tremendously. Overall, the OLKO pontoons allowed us to take on a project that otherwise would not have been possible."

(This story was reprinted with permission from Linder Link Magazine, July 2023 issue.)




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