Ellicott International announced a new type of dredge, which actually walks by itself. The dredge moves on three moving spuds or traveling carriages enabling it to remain in exact position at all times because there are always two spuds firmly anchored in the bottom. It walks with the spuds while floating on the surface. This positioning allows the cutter to move forward into the next cut without losing position. This same technology also enables the dredge to move backwards to pick up contaminated material which dredging may have missed yet still remains in the same exact position to continue the forward dredging.
The new dredge lends itself to precise dredging and positioning especially in rivers where there are currents. There are no cables to operate the dredge and so no cables to engage contaminated sediments causing undesirable turbidity. Even the stern spud has a power down feature, which enables a firm grip into the bottom. Both functions of the ladder - swinging and raising/lowering - are controlled by hydraulic rams.
Because the ram which raises and lowers the ladder can apply a downward force on the cutter, it ensures that the cutter is in full contact with the contaminated sediment at all times and not bouncing over, which would cause undesirable turbidity.
The dredge is available in discharge flows of 1,500 to 6,000 gallons/minute (5,700 to 22,700 liters/minute). It is compatible with contaminated sediment treatment systems because of the accurate percentage of slurry in the pipeline system on a consistent basis. The dredge is so mobile that it can make right and left turns, back up, and even parallel park itself much like parking a car. The dredge can be either diesel of electric powered and its propulsion functions are linked to a global positioning system.