News and information for the worldwide dredging industry

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Biggest-Ever CONEXPO-CONAGG Attracts Optimistic Buyers

Dennis Slater, left, president of AEM; Michael Haberman, chairman of AEM and president of Gradall Industries, and Scott Hazelton, managing director of HIS Markit, which did the economic impact analysis of the off-highway equipment industry in the U.S. and Canada.

Dennis Slater, left, president of AEM; Michael Haberman, chairman of AEM and president of Gradall Industries, and Scott Hazelton, managing director of HIS Markit, which did the economic impact analysis of the off-highway equipment industry in the U.S. and Canada.


Standing behind the table, from left, Rob Kendall, hydraulic engineer; C.J. Jones, vice president; and Cash McCloy, sales & marketing, of CDW, Inc., talking to prospective customers

CONEXPO-CONAGG/IFPE 201drew 128,000 attendees to Las Vegas, Nevada from March 7 to 11. Of those attendees, 20 percent  26,000 were from 150 countries outside the U.S Fifty-two   thousan ticket t education sessions were purchased a 26 percent increase from the 2014 show. Overall contractor and aggregate producer attendance grew by 10 percent over the number attending the 2014 show.

The show concentrates on equipment for the non-residentia construction sector, and for the sand and grave and concret industries. The co-located IFPE show concentrates on hydraulic systems and components.

Vincent de Maat in the exhibit Damen Shipyards shared with Waterking Dredging Equipment, which supplies Damen’s DOP pumps

The Associated General Contractors (AGC) met at the Bellagio during CONEXPO-CONAGG. Here, AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr and his wife Cynthia, seated, visit with Judith Powers of IDR.

With the Eddy dredge pump excavator attachment are Christian Valderrama, Ben Weinrib, Dan Wahlgren and Rebecca Weinrib. Photo by Kurtis Waddell.

From left, Bob Sutton, applications engineer; Jonathan Misch, CAD designer, and Michel Allen, president, of Pioneer Dredge, and Pavel Syrtsov, branch development manager of EIK International Corporation.

Among the equipment Liebherr introduced at the show was their new HS8130 HD duty cycle crawler crane, shown here on a dredging project in Switzerland. Photo courtesy of Liebherr

In the Pearce booth were David Gunter, left, national sales manager, Mike Gomez, senior vp, sales; and Troy Cooper, sales. Cooper, who came to Pearce from the Marine Corps seven years ago, recently joined the Pearce sales force.

Chester Errico in the Portadam display.

In Trimble’s exhibit, experts were on hand to explain the many applications of Trimble’s positioning products for many applications. At the navigation and hydrographic surveying display are, from left, Shea Griffin, Paul Thomas, Lou Nash, and Gary Chisholm.

The exhibi space totaled a record 2.8 million-plus net square feet, occupied by more than 2,80 exhibitor rangin from larg multinational companies, such as the Liebherr Group wit it 50,000 square-foo displa of cranes, excavator and other constructio equipment, to small firms with specialized products, such as Busy Busy Mobile, with its employee time sheet application for smartphones.

The show is owned by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), which presented the results of its Off-Highway Equipment Industry economic impact analysis during a press conference, detailing the industry’s economic footprint in the U.S. and Canada, including the forecast for various equipment manufacturing industry segments in the coming years.

The dredging presence at the show was large enough to warrant three days of visitin from opening to closing of the exhibits. Present were dredge manufacturers, pump manufacturers, hydraulic component in th participatin IFPE show, positioning equipment and related hardware and software, and more.

The National Stone Sand and Gravel Asso ciation (NSSGA), which represents many producers who mine with dredging equipment, was one of th sponsors. Th Associate General Contractor (AGC), whic include dredging contractors among its members, held its annual convention   concurrently   with   CONEXPO-CONAGG. It drew 2,100 members to the event in the Bellagio Hotel, all of whom received com plimentary entry to the CONEXPO-CONAGG exhibits.

Members of the press were granted entry to the exhibit area an hour before opening, which allowed uninterrupted conversatio at the exhibits but whe th sho opened, potential customers dominated the exhibits, many placing orders at the show.

Th Tec Experienc exhibi included the 3-D-printe excavato assembled, painted and digging sand; a large scale 3-D printer creating plastic chairs in 45 minutes each, an industrial drone demonstration area, and other displays describing innovations in construction technology.

Th dredgin exhibit visite b IDR are listed here in alphabetical order.


“This show has been one of the better shows we’ve had, Rob Kendall, hydraulic engineer for CDW, said in the companys booth during a lull in traffic.

“The industry is requiring larger and larger equipment. They want high production and deeper digging. Our customers want custom dredges, he said, “which is CDWs specialty.”

“Everybody (at the show) talks like they’re going to buy something, he said.

CDW sold 10 to 12 dredges in 2016, mostly for sand and gravel companies, and an 18-inch contract dredge to Callan Marine for mainte- nance work in the Galveston area.

In the display was a picture of a CDW dredge that was used to provide hydraulic fill between rock dikes that protect the Diavik Diamond Mine, in Canadas NorthwesTerritories, from the waters of Lac de Gras. It is an example of a purpose-built dredge CDW designed and built, Kendall said. It has since finished that job and was purchased by JJM Construction Ltd. in Vancouver.

CDW is headquartered in Topeka, Kansas.


Vincen d Maat sale manage fo Da- men Shipyards Gorinchem, the Netherlands, explained the function of the companys DOP dredge pump on display in the booth. It is the companys signature submersible vertical dredge pump, which is hydraulically driven, with an option of a water jet for compacted material.

Waterking Dredging Equipment Holland manufactures the DOP pump for Damen. Jakob Knoop, general director, of Waterking, shared a  booth with Damen at the show. Located in Tynaarlo, in the northeast part of the Netherlands, Waterking focuses on manufacturing dredging equipment for environmental remediation.


Headquartered in Northern Italy, Dragflow produces submersible dredge pumps for sand and gravel reclamation as well as harbor and navigation channel dredging, land reclamation, offshore high depth applications, dam cleaning, environmental dredging, and geotextile filling. Maurice Freivokh, director of North American Sales in Vancouver BC sponsored the CONEXPO booth, aided by staff members Paola Breanza and Maria Novella Masotti.

Maria Novella Masotti, left, and Paola Breanza flank the Dragflow pump on display.



Vice President William Wetta spent the show describing the company’s new automation software to visitors. A simulator was available to give visitors a hands-on tour of the software’s capabilities, which have been several years in the making. The first installation of the software is on a dredge ordered by West Coast aggregate producer CalPortland, launched on March 8 in Portland, Oregon. (See story on page 43.)

Monitors in the booth showed a stream of pictures of the dredges and components DSC supplies. Representatives from the company’s engineering and sales departments were kept busy talking to a steady stream of existing and potential customers.


Ben Weinrib had three new products in his display: an excavator pump attachment, a new cutterhead design and a modified submersible remotely operated sub dredge (subsea dredging system). Traffic at his booth included aggregate producers, as well as representatives of the mining industry, irrigation companies, and drilling companies looking for pumps to handle drilling mud.

The Eddy Pump design uses a rotor to create an eddy that moves bottom material up and into a discharge pipe. A video of the process can be seen at

At DSC Dredge, from left, Charles Sinunu, Charles Johnson, customer Rafael Rodriguez of San Salvador, El Salvador, and David Miller. Rodriguez was looking for parts for some DSC dredges his company, Hydraulic Parts, is refurbishing.

Ryan Horton, left, vice president of auger dredge sales for IMS; Rafet Bouallegue, international sales manager for IMS; and Paul Quinn, vice president of sales for Ellicott Dredge Technologies.

Stan Ekren, left, and Steve Lane of Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company spent time at the dredging exhibits.

Maxie McGuire: Dredging contractor Maxie McGuire of Callan Marine in Galveston uses smaller dredges for maintaining berths on the Texas Gulf Coast, and has DSC and CDW dredges in his fleet.

Poolside reception: Trimble held a poolside reception for its employees and customers at the nearby Renaissance Hotel on March 8 after the show closed. Here, guests and Trimble users Ken Quinones, left, survey manager at Manson Construction Co., John Tamplin, president of Seafloor Systems, and Josh Grava, vice president sales of Seafloor Systems, socialize at the event.

An illustration of three specialty cutters Twinkle offers. Top: this sand and gravel basket excludes oversize. Center, the Claymator excludes clay balls. Bottom: a more aggressive cutter for consolidated deposits.

From left, Randy Maitlen and Henry Baschon listen in as Tony Maitlen describes the company’s dredging equipment to a customer..


Dredge manufacturer Pioneer Dredge and excavator parts manufacturer and distributor EIK shared a booth, following signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to share sales information.

Michel Allen, president of Pioneer said, “This is a good cooperation. We have sold an EIK unit into Nigeria, and Pavel (Syrtsov, EIK U.S. manager) is working on a couple of projects in Asia for Pioneer.”

Syrtsov, who established EIK’s facility in the Houston area in 2016, reported that he had expanded the Houston facility, which provides spare parts and service for the company’s swamp buggies, and synchronous hydraulic drives for excavator tracks.

EIK Engineering is a Singapore company, with subsidiary EIK International in Cypress, Texas. Pioneer Dredge manufactures cutter dredges up to 24-inches in its Nashville, Tennessee, plant, and has executive offices in Jacksonville, Florida.


Representatives of the company’s numerous subsidiaries, including Ellicott Dredges, Rohr/IDRECO’s vertical clamshell dredges; and IMS and LWT small, self-propelled machines were kept busy describing equipment to potential customers and visiting with existing customers throughout the show.

Paul Quinn, vice president of International Sales, described Ellicott’s newest dredge model, the 2070, a 20-inch machine that is designed for fuel efficiency and ease of transport. The hull consists of three pontoons as opposed to five, with a simpler A-frame bow gantry. It has an electronic control system, with graphic, accurate displays designed to make the operator’s job easier, along with a control area that eliminates fatigue and improves productivity, Quinn said.

The company has built three 2070s, with others under construction at the company’s Baltimore facility.

Because of continued demand, the previous 1870 model continues to be produced at Ellicott’s Wisconsin manufacturing facility.

A virtual tour of the 2070 can be seen at


Liebherr held its traditional press conference at 7:30 a.m. the first day of the show.

Daniel Pitzer, managing director of Liebherr Cranes, Inc., Newport News, Virginia, told reporters “a lot has changed in three years. Liebherr is presenting eight world premieres at this show, all on display in Liebherr’s 50,000 square foot exhibit area,” he said. For dredging, the HS8130 HD duty cycle crawler crane was on display. This model replaces the HS 885 HD. The HS series is designed for special dynamic tasks, including dredging. The new model, with a load capacity of 130 tonnes, has an updated hydraulic system for more material handling capacity.

Liebherr is known in dredging for its 900-series backhoe excavators, in addition to its crawler cranes. The Liebherr Group, based in Switzerland, is organized into 10 divisions, and has 42,000 employees at 130 companies in locations on every continent. The divisions are: Earthmoving, Mining, Mobile Cranes, Tower Cranes, Concrete Technology, Maritime Cranes, Machine Tools and Automation, Aerospace and Transportation Systems, and Components and Domestic Appliances. The Group also operates six hotels in Ireland, Austria and Germany.


CEO and founder Jim Doan was exhibiting the jobsite coffee maker he developed for construction jobsites, to provide workers with freshly-brewed coffee throughout the day. Visitors to the booth were treated to a sample cup of coffee. Doan reported on Thursday that he had already given away 700 cups of coffee, with two days to go in the show.


“We ended last year well, and went into this year positively,” Senior Vice President of Sales Michael Gomez at Pearce said.

Pearce pours and machines its own line of dredge pumps, and also produces spare parts for pumps made by other manufacturers in discharge sizes from four to 24 inches. The foundry is in Prairieville, Louisiana.

On display was a pump bound for a customer in Ohio. It was a 52-inch, three vane, left hand manganese impeller, 24-inch suction by 22-inch discharge, mounted on a base made for the show.

Also, in the booth was an installation that illustrated the direction of flow and turbulence created in a pump and discharge line. Using colored, small plastic balls, the machine could be manipulated to create a plug in the line, high density flow, and show how wear patterns are created.

Gomez reported that the company’s new direction is to build booster packages consisting of the pump with an engine or motor.


Gerry Mann, national sales manager, and Chester Errico, sales representative, described the company’s cofferdams and water control structures. A reinforced fabric liner, supported by a steel supporting structure, protects dewatered work areas, provides flood control, and contains large amounts of water, among many other applications. The display included a photo montage of past projects, including a Portadam surrounding the Fitzgerald Casino in Tunica, Mississippi, during the 2016 flood. An interesting application was the use of a Portadam system to create a pond holding 2.5 million gallons of water, for use in filming the movie “Deepwater Horizons,” about the explosion on the offshore rig in the Gulf of Mexico.


Global Positioning System (GPS) pioneer Trimble paired an exhibit with construction machinery equipped with Trimble GPS receivers and software – an application that, along with agricultural applications, has been the company’s main endeavor in past years. Playing a smaller but important role is the marine navigation positioning systems and its HYDROpro hydrographic survey software. This year, Trimble signed an agreement with Teledyne to re-brand Teledyne’s software for on-water positioning with the Trimble name. (See article on page 28.) Representatives from Trimble’s New Zealand office, which manages HYDROpro, joined personnel from the U.S. and were on hand to describe that and other marine hardware and software applications in the company’s two-story exhibit.


President Scott Salemink described the company’s “Swing” dredge, now in the design stage. It consists of a stationary spud barge connected to a swinging dredge component that contains the control room, pumps and ladder, moved by hydraulic cylinders. With this configuration, the dredge has a 710-foot cut. There are no anchors, he explained, because the four spuds provide stability and a 10-foot advance. It lends itself to automation, since there are only spuds and cylinders on the swing and forward movement.

Also, in the exhibit were photos of some of the dredges the company has built for the aggregate industry since its inception in 1983 in West Liberty, Iowa. Twinkle manufactures its own instruments, including a pressure relief valve, velocity meter, magnetic flow meter, density meter and others for maximizing production. Its line of specialty aggregate cutter baskets includes a sand and gravel basket that excludes oversize; the Claymator that surrounds the cutter and excludes all but the smallest clay balls, and an “aggressive” cutter for a more consolidated deposit.

With Salemink in the exhibit was Bryce Leggins, director of dredge services, who manages installations and repairs.


Cushing, Oklahoma, dredge manufacturer VMI was represented by owners Randy and Tony Maitlen, who are president and vice president, respectively, of the company, along with Henry Baschon, international sales manager.

The greatest demand recently is for its remotely controlled units, Tony told IDR. Companies that want to keep their staff onshore for safety reasons opt for VMI’s shore control of the small dredging equipment in small operations such as settling ponds and municipal water treatment plants. The remote operation has all the functions of a manned vessel, with cameras transmitting images of the operation for a visual reference.

As the brothers approach retirement age, Randy’s sons Cash and Mason are preparing to take over the company in the coming years, making them the third generation of the family running the business.

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