The typical model for unloading bulk materials is a 20- to 30-foot-deep pit with a hopper that moves product onto a feeder conveyor coming out of the ground. But for facilities near water and with soggy soils, the pit’s excavating, dewatering, and waterproofing costs alone can be prohibitive.
The good news is that there are other options, two of which are discussed here:
- Systems are available for unloading at grade or into a shallow pit. For instance, a rail car might pull directly over one of the Ashross RUM models, which provide either shallow in-ground or above-grade conveyance via a walking floor. Facility managers have to allow time for the system to unload the product, rather than just dropping it and advancing the cars, so logistically it may be slower, but customers can save on pit size.
- For truck delivery, Superior’s RazerTail Truck Unloader utilizes an unloader hopper that feeds product onto a transfer conveyor right at grade, but this system also requires customers to wait until the product is entirely unloaded—no drop and go.
Alternative systems like these can be expensive, but considering the cost of excavations, dewatering, sheet piling, and dealing with nuisance water, the investment might be justified. For information on how our custom engineering services can help you decide on the best model for unloading bulk materials, click here.