Barges

Barges

A dry bulk cargo barge is a barge designed to carry freight such as coal, finished steel or its ingredients, grain, sand or gravel, or similar materials. Barges are usually constructed of steel. They have an outer hull, an internal void that is fitted with heavy struts and cross braces or scantlings, and an internal cargo box. The outer hull of a barge can come in one of two configurations. A rake barge has a curved bow to provide less resistance when being pushed and is usually placed at the head of the tow. A box barge is usually placed in the center and rear of the tow and can hold more cargo.

Such barges can be equipped with covers of various types if the cargo is weather-sensitive (finished steel or grain). Generally, these covers are fabricated of fiberglass or steel. They can be lifted or rolled away for access to the barge hold, or cargo box.

Dry bulk cargo barges are typically operated and maintained with efficiency and environmental stewardship in mind. Typically, an informal set of industry best practices are applicable, including:

Barge loading

Barge loading should be conducted in a manner that minimizes the amount of cargo spilled onto the deck. The loading process is the responsibility of the loader operator at the loading facility.

Barge unloading

Barge unloading should be conducted in a manner that minimizes the amount of cargo spilled onto the deck. The unloading process is the responsibility of the unloader operator at the unloading facility. Unloading can be done with a Grab Bucket Barge Unloader or a Continuous Barge Unloader (CBU). The Grab Bucket system employs a clamshell bucket suspended by a set of hoisting cables, with a separate set of control cables that open and close the bucket. The CBU is a series of buckets supported between two strands of roller chain, running in a continuous loop.

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