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Brennan’s New Dredge to be Named the Victor Buhr

Bob Wetta, left, Victor Buhr and Tony Binsfeld sign the contract for a 12-inch swinging ladder dredge, to be named the Victor Buhr, which J.F. Brennan is ordering from DSC.

Bob Wetta, left, Victor Buhr and Tony Binsfeld sign the contract for a 12-inch swinging ladder dredge, to be named the Victor Buhr, which J.F. Brennan is ordering from DSC.

Photo By Judith Powers

Dredge manufacturer Dredging Supply Company (DSC) and contractor J.F. Brennan Company, Inc. held a signing ceremony for the order of a 12-inch swinging ladder cutterhead dredge at Conexpo/Con-Agg in March. Employees of Brennan and DSC, customers and friends gathered at the DSC booth to watch the signing.

Victor Buhr, who has been with Brennan for 25 years, is the namesake of the new dredge. He was unaware of this until he saw it in the contract papers during the signing – a surprise set up by Brennan President Tony Binsfeld and DSC President Bob Wetta.

“This is quite an honor,” he told the group. “It was the farthest thing ever from my mind.”

“Vic has been instrumental in designing our equipment since the beginning,” Binsfeld said. “We have been naming dredges after the projects they are designed for. This one is strictly different,” he said.

While not revealing the nature of the project, which is planned for the future, Binsfeld said that the dredge will need special features, which Buhr will be active in designing, working with the engineers at DSC and Brennan.

Buhr started his dredging career in 1980 working for Charles Robers at Robers Dredging in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. When Robers retired, J.F. Brennan, also in LaCrosse, acquired his dredging equipment, and Buhr joined the Brennan team, starting as leverman and rising to superintendent, getting involved in dredge design along the way, and working with Tommy Wetta and his sons Bill and Bob as they graduated from college and joined the company.

In 2007, he was awarded the Western Dredging Association “Dredger of the Year” award for his work with designing equipment for Brennan.

“I like to dream up stuff, and DSC has always been willing to modify things to suit our needs,” he said.

He has a part in two Brennan patents for dredging and capping, including the Vic Vac™, a dredge suction attachment for removing residual sediment from hardpan bottoms, limiting the suspension of small particulates and organic solids, and the Broadcast Capping System (BCS™), which evenly distributes sand and gravel where capping is needed.

Dredging Supply Company listed some of the specifications of the dredge Victor Buhr, which is still in the design stage. It is a swinging ladder dredge with 12-inch by 12-inch slurry piping. Maximum dredging depth is 28 feet, with 24-foot dredging depth in the articulated surgical dredging mode. It will be equipped with a CD38 cutter drive, and had 950hp installed power. It will feature a J.F. Brennan custom positioning system, and will be a low profile design for bridge clearance. The dredge is being designed to be assembled while afloat.

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