North America's first Semi Autonomous long reach…350G
Segment 1 – TO THE SHIPYARD
This series tells a unique story of North America’s first Auto long reach excavator.
During it’s 1800km journey across Western Canada on a 65 ton trailer manufactured by Brandt Tractor, I caught up with it in Abbotsford BC. This is where I begin to tell its story.
The excavator has already travelled 1500kms, but the last leg of the journey is where all of the fun begins. It still has to get to the shipyard and board a commercial barge that will float it across the Pacific, then travel through a rain forest.
In this video the excavator travels from Abbotsford to the Sea Span shipyard on the Vancouver coast.
Segment 2 – CROSSING THE PACIFIC
There was only one way to get the auto excavator to Vancouver island, and that’s with a commercial barge that specializes in floating heavy truck cargo.
Traveling from Vancouver to the port of Nanaimo was only around 80kms, but it took the barge roughly 4 hours to cross this stretch of the Canadian Pacific ocean with the auto excavator as it’s precious cargo.
The journey of this excavator took me on one heck a wild story telling adventure.
Segment 3 – THE ISLAND
The excavator has landed at the Port of Nanaimo British Columbia right on schedule, but we’re not done yet.
The sun is going down and we still have to make it to the job site in Port Alberni before it gets too late…With @nathandjk behind the wheel, we drive through the rain forest deep into a red wood territory. The trees tower over 100 feet high in places, and the highway is narrow with sharp corners and lots of car traffic.
This is where the Brandt manufactured heavy haul trailer makes a name for its self. The hills and corners are a breeze with this trailer as it’s equipped with all wheel DISK BRAKES.
Segment 4 – LATE NIGHT DELIVERY
Welcome to Port Alberni and 1800kms later…This where Kelsey pipelines just received their one of a kind long reach auto excavator from @brandtgroupofcompanies
There’s more than just fog in the air, there is also excitement and anticipation to get this machine out to sea and digging blind underwater… But first we need to unload it in the dark.
Segment 5 – WALKING OUT TO SEA
Welcome to Port Alberni, it’s 7am and it’s time to walk the excavator through the rain forest and to it’s barge, the one it will work from… With camera in hand, I walked with it the whole way, a few kms. Snapping pictures, trying filming it, posting Instagram stories, trying to plan what shots I need, and how the heck I am going to put this whole story together for this video, plus a full chasing dirt episode…Thats actually quite hard to do all at once, but after all this is what I do full time so I’ve learned how to multi task efficiently… When we arrived at the shoreline with the excavator, it didn’t take long before Justin Ermel gave the executive orders to load it on the barge and get it digging ASAP. (Justin is one of the owners of Kelsey Pipelines.)
Segment 6 – THE AUTO EXCAVATOR
Well folks, after 1800kms from a Brandt manufacturing facility in Regina, all the way to Port Alberni British Columbia. This first of its kind excavator has been delivered to the customer, Kelsey Pipelines.
The reason why this excavator is so special is because it’s Semi Autonomous. Equipped with Topcon’s latest Auto excavator GPS system, it also has Topcon’s state of the art adaptive joystick controls. Meaning this machine has the ability to calculate and make its own decisions based on changing real world conditions. Like what type of digging the machine is doing. From light trimming to aggressive bucket fill. Yep, you heard that right, this machine adapts through the GPS system.
During this storytelling journey, I learned alot about Brandt tractor. What I learned was, they are basically the definition of a one stop shop. A dealer that also thinks like a manufacturer, because they are one. Where else can you go and have your dealer do the following: Sale, service and repair of the excavator. Built a custom long reach configuration along with a custom bucket, all from scratch so it specifically meets the needs of the customer. They also Sold and installed the whole GPS system. Plus building 3D models for the jobsite, and even training to go along with it. Let me add that all of that comes with 24 hour technical support for every part on the machine including the GPS system. On top of all of that, it got delivered on a Brandt built lowbed trailer.
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