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Norfolk boat builder launches pioneering dredging tool

PUBLISHED: 07:53 04 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:03 04 October 2017

A revolutionary new dredging tool has been  launched by an innovative Norfolk boat builder. Picture TMS Media

A revolutionary new dredging tool has been launched by an innovative Norfolk boat builder. Picture TMS Media

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A revolutionary new dredging tool has been launched by an innovative Norfolk boat builder.

Alan Goodchild. Picture: TMS Media Alan Goodchild. Picture: TMS Media

The dredging head, believed to be a world first, has been developed in collaboration between Goodchild Marine, based at Burgh Castle near Great Yarmouth, and Italian manufacturers Italdraghe.

Named La Benna Dragante, the head was developed over a three-year period and can be attached to any hydraulic excavator.

It combines cutting with suction allowing it to tackle the most stubborn material using land or water based excavators.

It is also easily transportable and can be used in a variety of operations such as dredging in harbours, reservoirs and canals and removing debris from flood water.

Goodchild MD Alan Goodchild said the idea for the tool had resulted from the company experiencing difficulties with the pump on their own dredger.

“When we built our own dredger, the Rufford, there were a few technical difficulties with the pump, especially when priming, so when we received an order to build a similar one we wanted to use a more efficient pump.

“After extensive research we discovered Italdraghe, who specialise in building dredgers and together we worked on the MarinaMaster dredger, which was built in Italy to the Goodchild Marine design.

“It naturally led us to develop this product with a view to it being used by the likes of councils, government bodies, environment agencies and companies that provide flooding services and dredging equipment.”

He said there was nothing else in the world like it.

“The design and production is a world first.”

La Benna Dragante is easy to install, has low running costs and is suitable for hard-to-access stretches of water.

It is powered by the excavators own hydraulic system and incorporates a pump that is capable of being used both on land and floating.

A range of dredging heads are available. The smallest can move 380 cu m/hr of mixed material and water and the largest 1,400 cu m/hr.

The attachment was shown off last month at Flood Expo, the world’s biggest flood prevention exhibition and conference in London. Mr Goodchild said it had been well received.

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