Crawler carriers are the go-to support vehicles in pipeline construction. Simply put, every process involved requires a crawler carrier.
A crawler is the first machine onsite and the last machine to leave. But what does it do exactly, you might wonder? Because of its sensitive and environmental responsibilities, the oil and gas industry requires its processes to be highly reliable and to safely reach specific areas in the middle of nowhere. Crawler carriers, with their special tracks and undercarriage systems allow contractors to easily move materials to and around a jobsite. Regardless of the topography, the weather or the terrain conditions, these tracked vehicles are able to reach even the worst of areas.
In order for anyone to be able to travel on the jobsite, mats need to be installed along the construction line. Crawler carriers, which come in a variety of sizes to meet job demands, are used in mats and job supplies hauling. For instance, the Panther crawler carriers from Prinoth range from 6- to 16-ton payloads. While most carriers come in many different configurations, the dumpbody (either flat deck or dumpbox) are mostly used in these types of tasks. Hauling of all sorts of material is the main job for these carriers. Carrying dirt and rocks are an obvious given but also materials such as fencing, hay bales, fuel, water and more. With a low ground pressure rating — as low as 4 psi fully loaded for Prinoth’s Panther vehicles — crawler carriers offer minimum impact on the soil and soft ground. When crossing roads, especially in the hot summer months in the southern U.S. states, there is no damage to paved surfaces.
Equipment hauling is also a necessary function for any pipeline construction site and crawler carriers deliver. With a flatbed configuration, crawler carriers offer a heavy-duty and efficient way to transport anything that needs to be moved from sand blasters, compressors, rigs, pipes, to fuel tanks or water pumps … even passengers. The flatbed configuration comes with optional removable aluminum side panels and a hinged tailgate. These support tasks during construction are more easily done with a vehicle that can provide floatability and strength.
For contractors wishing to increase their site preparation efficiency or needing to work in tight and sensitive areas, rotating dumpers come in handy to help save time and increase productivity. At Prinoth, the Panther T14R Rotating Dumper has quickly become the king of the hill for this task. This vehicle will move dirt and rocks at high pace and help contractors complete the job quicker. This model allows the continuous rotation of the upper portion of the vehicle independent from the undercarriage. Prinoth also now has a smaller version, the T7R, which was recently introduced at Bauma and offers unparalleled side visibility for the operator to increase safety for every worker on the jobsite.
Since welding is a large part of pipeline construction, crawler carriers can be specially modified for that task. Prinoth offers some of its Panthers with a welding deck and slewing canopy by Vanguard Inc., a continuously powered welding unit that has revolutionized the quality and efficiency of on-site pipeline welding. This package, which was developed by Caterpillar’s pipeline dealer Pipeline Machinery International (PLM), includes all of the required components for welding and is mounted directly on the deck space.
Once the project is completed, restoring the right-of-way to its original condition poses many challenges, but the low ground pressure tracked vehicles can provide a simple solution when equipped with a hydro-seeder.
Since most tasks on a pipeline right-of-way require accessing far away fields, tracked carriers provide the best solution for traveling off-road in muddy, swampy lands safely.
Marie-Élaine Dion, Marketing Manager PRINOTH Tracked Vehicles.