PipeLine Machinery Offering New Pipe Handling System

August 2010 Vol. 65 No. 8

PipeLine Machinery International (PLM), Caterpillar’s global pipeline equipment dealer, has recently teamed with LaValley Industries and is the exclusive distributor of the DECKHAND Pipe Handling System, for use in pipeline and directional drilling construction.

The DECKHAND system accomplishes precise pipe handling and placement without requiring ground crew to work near moving pipe. The system can also safely handle pipe in inclement weather and snow and ice conditions.

“We are pleased to offer this new-generation pipe handling system to the industry,” said PipeLine Machinery International Senior Vice President Tony Fernandez. “Precision movement of pipe, until now, necessitated putting ground crew in close proximity to moving pipe in order to line it up, stabilize it and sometimes to clear it of snow or mud debris. Not anymore. The DECKHAND system is one more solution for our customers’ safety and operating challenges in the field.”

The system consists of the main head that mounts to most excavators using the Quick Attach function. Use two quick couplers to quickly connect the excavator’s hydraulics and electrical systems to the DECKHAND.

Interchangeable grab arms are designed for use with directional drilling pipe casing (directional drilling arms), multiple sizes of utility pipe (utility arms) and mainline pipe (pipeline arms).

For precise control, the directional drilling arms for the DECKHAND system securely grip pipe casing and easily maneuver it through various angles and either stack it or securely hold it for connection on the drilling platform. The DECKHAND head has full 360 degrees of controlled movement plus side-to-side and tipping capability. This allows the operator working with directional drilling operations to manipulate, stack and hold the pipe without endangering platform crew. The operator working with pipe stockpiling and stringing uses the tilt function to handle pipe in multiple working angles to allow for grade conditions. The shift function on the DECKHAND main beam allows the pipe to be moved 5.5 inches from side to side for clean, neat stockpiling.

The DECKHAND pipeline arms are designed to securely grip the pipe without
disturbing a stockpile or truckload of pipe. Specially designed pipe protection pads on the pipeline and utility grab arms are easily replaced as needed and with predetermined and preset hydraulic pressures, prevent damage to the pipe and coating. In addition, the grab arms can grip securely from an off-center position on the pipe allowing for more control in areas with tight accessibility.