Pusher Barge Systems
 
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Pusher Barge Systems

      7/8/2002

Pusher Barge Systems

When many barges are operated in a short service route, the conventional rope-towing is used as a common practice in most cases. But, in such a service, introduction of the pushing system can improve the operational efficiency through raising the running speed and saving the time needed for berthing, unberthing and exchanging barges. The safety of operation is also improved. Taisei Engineering, a Japanese engineering company, offers mechanical couplers for sea-going pusher-barge systems in two main categories: 2-Pin supported articulate connection Series ARTICOUPLE permitting free relative pitching, and 3-Pin supported rigid connection, Series TRIOFIX, not permitting any relative motion.

The seaworthiness in wavy sea of the rope-connected pusher-barge combination with the most advanced method of connection has an absolute limit, while the mechanically connected pusher-barge combination can be designed and constructed for unrestricted service, if so desired. In sheltered waters a fairly simple method of mechanical connection can be applied to assure a satisfactory performance. The ARTICOUPLE coupler for 2-point supported articulate connection is simple in construction and the wave-excited load acting on the coupler is generally small. It permits free pitching of the pusher relative to the barge and, accordingly, needs some wider clearance between their hulls to avoid hitting of the pusher's stem against the wall of the stern notch of the barge. The TRIOFIX coupler system is particularly suitable for large sizes and services in rough sea.


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