4 min read

Hydraulic VS Mechanical Dredgers

Featured Image

You’ve got a major dredging project coming up, and you’re not sure which dredging system to use. After all, there’s a myriad of options out there, and some might serve your needs better than others. Don’t stress over this decision anymore than you need to. We at U.S. Aqua Services have assembled this quick guide to help you figure out which system is going to meet your needs.

When you’re looking for a dredge rental company, work with the best. Work with U.S. Aqua Services. Read on to learn more.

Hydraulic Dredgers

Hydraulic dredgers act as a giant, underwater vacuum cleaner to clean and remove sediments. By sucking up a combination of sediment and water, hydraulic dredgers create what is called a “slurry.” This slurry is moved from the surface and then onto the surface via a pipeline or tube.

This is widely considered the most effective method of dredging when the environment and the ecosystem of the dredging site is of major concern. It is preferred because it prevents most of the contaminated sediments from being dispersed or released into the nearby water source. While this is a major advantage to hydraulic dredgers, they do have their limitations. Because of their design, hydraulic dredgers are excellent for moving loose soils, sands. Silt, gravel, or rocks can cause undue wear and tear on the hydraulic system.

Mechanical Dredgers

Mechanical dredging necessitates the use of heavy equipment to dig up the bottom of a water source, and move it. This equipment can be moved to the job site by a barge, or the body of water can be drained, allowing the equipment to move to the site on its own. Some specialized mechanical dredging equipment can drill or dig up the dirt.

While mechanical dredging is the most commonly rented form of dredging machinery, that does not mean it is always the most effective. Because this form of dredging requires a bucket or digger to impact and shovel away the sediment, there is a higher chance of contaminated materials within the sediment to be dispersed into the water surrounding it. The contaminated soil can fall out of, or through the bucket, and spread further into the water.

Which Is Best?

Both forms of dredgers have their benefits. While hydraulic dredgers are precise, and fast, they aren’t able to take on heavier materials. Mechanical dredgers are cumbersome and imprecise, but they can move fast quantities of heavy materials with minimal effort. One might be better suited to your dredging job than the other, but often using a combination of the two leads to the best outcomes.

Dredgers are ideal for a variety of projects because of their ability to move, and remove materials like trash, gravel, and sediment. Dredging can help keep waterways, like rivers and streams clean and help restore their beaches and land from the effects of erosion. Additionally, they can be used to maintain the stability of harbors, ports and marinas.

At U.S. Aqua Services, we offer both hydraulic and mechanical dredge rentals. Our unique, in-house hydraulic dredger is suited for tough jobs that most other hydraulic dredges can’t handle. Used for offshore and inland dredging, our system works faster and more efficiently than others by combining mechanical cutters with a series of hydraulic pumps. This means we can dredge 300-600 cubic yards of material per hour, all with precise spoil control, meaning we minimize the amount of contaminated sediments that are released into the surrounding waters. We also offer mechanical dredgers to meet the needs of your projects.

Whatever project you’re working on, U.S. Aqua Services is here to help. Call us today to schedule your free consultation. Our commitment to environmentally-friendly dredging is only matched by our commitment to top-notch customer service.

dredging equipment and rentals


About U.S. Aqua Services

U.S. Aqua Services was created to support the dredging process in advancing commerce and responding to its many challenges. To accomplish this, our dredging company assembled an exceptional group of experienced individuals and a diverse inventory of dredge equipment.

We offer dredging equipment rental services so you can have access to the latest and greatest in dredging technology without having to pay to maintain it, transport, and store it

With an emphasis on mobility, dependability, durability, diversity, efficiency, and safety, our dredging rental company can ensure that our different types of dredging systems are easy to move through any terrain and can work in the most rugged and remote environments. Our multi-function hydraulic systems are built with jetting and mechanical options that can efficiently move loose sediment or stiff layers of clay.

US Aqua services also and maintains a ready fleet of Amphibious Marsh Equipment capable of completing projects in some of the harshest and most remote environments. U.S Aqua is also the dealer for Louisiana of the amphibious vehicle Fat Truck. No matter the size or scope of the job or the remoteness of your work location, you can rely on Fat Truck’s industrial off-road utility vehicles to get the job done right.