3 min read

Hydraulic vs Mechanical Dredgers

Hydraulic vs Mechanical Dredgers

When it comes to dredging, the age-old debate of hydraulic vs. mechanical dredgers has experts and industry insiders divided. These two giants of the dredging world each boast their unique strengths and weaknesses, and choosing the right one for your project can be quite the challenge.

In this post, we'll be comparing hydraulic and mechanical dredgers to help you make an informed decision on the most suitable dredging solution for your needs.

  1. Hydraulic Dredgers
  2. Mechanical Dredgers
  3. Which dredger is the Best?

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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 dredger is the 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.

U.S. Aqua Services Dredging Services and Equipment Rentals

Between mechanical and hydraulic dredges, there is a wide variety and a vast history. Although it’s amazing to recognize the advancements in technology that are available, the sheer amount of information regarding dredging and its methods can be overwhelming.

At U.S. Aqua Services, we’re here to help. We are experts on dredging methods and equipment, which means that regardless of the job, we have the equipment and the know how to ensure that your dredging project is completed effectively and safely. 

We hope this blog taught you something new, and if you’re interested in learning more about dredging, or are in need of dredging equipment rentals and services, contact us today! 

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The Importance Of Dredging -  In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of dredging and some of its benefits.

Dredging For Environmental Remediation - This article will explain the importance of environmental dredging as well its benefits while discussing several different techniques used today.


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 and excavator dredge pumps.

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, along with dewatering services.

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 equipment capable of completing dredging 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.

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