Woman Uses Crawler Inspection Tech To Launch 2nd Career

November 2008 Vol. 63 No. 11

After viewing side by side performance demos, Placht selected the Envirosight ROVVER125, a compact crawler, and WinCan V8 as her primary inspection documentation software. The 12 inch long crawler was well suited to the typical 8 to 48 inch concrete and PVC pipe that Pipe Peepers would encounter. Well armed with the new system, she and her operator took on a job for the Foresight Development Group of St. Charles in the nearby city of St. Peters. Placht found the easy to navigate WinCan software easily synced up with the city’s GIS system and she was impressed with the crawler’s versatility. The powerful illumination, lightweight design and ability to traverse debris and pipe taps were important to meeting the city’s expectations. A top consideration, due to occasional slippery pipe surfaces, was the crawler’s steerable six wheel drive, which can quickly be configured with various wheels (including abrasive ones) for any combination of pipe size, material and condition. Because it maintains an aggressive grip, she found the crawler works very well in steep pipelines and in high water flows.

Placht and her team noted the way that the ROVVER’s lower center of gravity prevented it from flipping over. “We saw that the short, steerable wheelbase would provide maneuverability through the tight bend of a curved invert without flipping or wedging,” she said.

“The compact crawler truly represents the latest technology,” she added. “We also needed a crawler that’s waterproof and submersible in high water flows. And, my operator can use the handheld pendant for convenient control of lighting, focus, speed, zoom and steering at the manhole.”

According to Placht, weather conditions in Missouri dictate the need for a mobile system. “We need to get to manholes in muddy and snowy situations,” she said. “If you were in a van, you would be sitting at home – but we can outfit a Kawasaki mule and get into tight spaces.” She quickly learned WinCan V8 software and the ability of WinCan personnel to commandeer the software remotely to be extremely helpful. “The pictures are so clear. It’s amazing to think how deep in the ground you are and how plainly you can see a spider crawling or a pencil lying on the side of the manhole – the clarity is unbelievable.”

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