LWT Relies on John Deere Power for Dredging Toxic Materials


LWT Pit HogWith a name like Pit Hog™, it’s easy to imagine the environmental conditions where John Deere-powered dredges work. Needless to say, it’s not pretty. Nor necessarily very environmentally sound. Yet cleaning the environment is exactly what the Pit Hog™ is designed to do.

Pit Hogs™ often work in areas that most people avoid; radio-active nuclear waste dumps, arsenic plants, ammunition dumps, and sewage-treatment lagoons. LWT designs and manufactures the equipment to endure the most toxic byproducts that industry can generate. This is a company that got its start two decades ago pumping animal waste from farm lagoons. They know their toxic waste.

Think of the Pit Hog™ as a catamaran pontoon boat equipped with a giant industrial vacuum cleaner that recovers sludge, sediment, and silt from the bottom of ponds and lagoons.

Although LWT markets several basic standard Pit Hog™ models, most are built to very specific customer specifications. Most float. Some crawl. Some have operators onboard. And some are totally automated. However, one component that’s remained an integral part of the diesel-powered Pit Hogs™ for the past 20 years is the John Deere engine.

John Deere engines are standard on several models, including the PH7MAU, a 27 foot Pit Hog™ Manned Auger Unit (MAU). The John Deere PowerTech 6068H engine powers a John Deere-manufactured Funk dual-pump circuit-hydraulic system. One pump powers the slurry pump and the other serves the auger as well as up to two or three auxiliary functions. The engine also direct drives a pressure-compensated hydraulic piston pump.

“The John Deere engine earns its keep because it’s responsible for powering several functions,” explains LWT general manager Jim Pflueger. “The engines do their job – and do it well.”

And that job is to be reliable. “Downtime for our clientele is very costly.” says Pflueger. “Engine reliability is important in this business. If a dredge fails, it creates problems all of the way down the line.”

The fact is, nobody wants to deal with an engine problem while managing sewage or hazardous materials. These environments are often undesirable or unsafe for humans to work near. Not exactly a choice place for performing engine repairs.

When a situation calls for working in a highly toxic or dangerous environments, LWT offers the option of a remote controlled Pit Hog™, says Pflueger. This is where the Pit Hog™ really has something to squeal about because LWT is the leader in designing remote-controlled dredging systems.

Among the diesel-powered, remote-controlled models is the Hydraulic Diesel Power Units. These units serve as a power source for submersible pumps and come with the 100-hp PowerTech 4045T. Another popular remote-controlled model is the Pit Hog™ Robotic Crawler, powered by the John Deere 4045T. This submersible, self-propelled dredging unit is ideal for applications in hard-to-access tanks and pits such as nuclear silos, radio-active fields, nuclear plants, and ammunition dumps.

Need to transport a dredge to a very remote area? Consider the Mud Cat™ SP815. It’s a one-truck transportable unit, and because of its portable size, it can be easily hauled to mines or other remote locations for environmental cleanup. LWT manufactures this John Deere-powered unit for Ellicott Division of Baltimore Dredges who at one time powered its Mud Cat SP815 with a competitive diesel but later switched to the John Deere PowerTech 6068T after some convincing by LWT.

While many of the machines built by LWT work the dark, crude corners of the earth, a vast majority can be found in paper mills, power plants, and municipalities. And because they may often work in more populated areas, noise levels must be kept to a minimum. That’s why LWT purchases its engines complete with residential noise-reduction mufflers from its engine distributor, Superior Diesel. The engines are also equipped with dual batteries, a hydraulic cooler and reservoir, and safety shutdown controls.

“We’ve been affiliated with Superior Diesel for a long time,” says Pflueger. “Their engineering staff has been very helpful throughout the years, and they support us very well.”

And the engines? “They’ve performed great,” Pflueger says. “We’ve been using John Deere engines for 20 years, and we haven’t had any desire to use anything else.”

Excerpted from John Deere publication PowerSouce Vol. 4, 2002