Trenchless equipment supplier TT-UK has been undertaking trials of a new 100-tonne capacity Grundowinch cable and pipe pulling rig.
Currently the biggest unit the company markets has a maximum pull of 40 tonnes, therefore the move represents a significant increase in capacity – which can be used either in pulling longer lengths or larger diameter pipes.
TT-UK managing director David Toms says: “As the length of pipe increases, so does its weight and friction – and with it the power required to do the job.”
The 100-tonne Grundowinch is equipped with 1.5 km of 52 mm-diameter steel winch pulling cable, which opens up the potential to line pipes up to 800 mm in diameter, a kilometre at a time.
The weight of the winch cable means it has to be carried on a separate unit and the two have a combined weigh 43 tonnes. Both are track mounted and come with 140 kW and 74 kW engines respectively, as well as independent remote controls.
A twin capstan winch is used to develop the pulling power and there is an optional deflection boom for use on jobs such as underground pipe renewals.
While the unit can also be used for pipe bursting, Mr Toms tells CN that under such tension the cable will always take the most direct line and there are usually too many offset bends and undulations to be able to substantially increase the pull distances.
It can, however, be used for even bigger diameter pipes over shorter distances (although the maximum capacity is not yet clear) and is ideal for offshore work.
The winch unit is fitted with a cab that houses the operator and all the winching controls (line speed and tonnage), together with a data logger/printer to record information about the installed pipe.
A rear-view camera allows the operator to monitor the operation of the cable carrying winch, which operates at around three per cent of the line pull rating.