Skookum was invited by GBC to inspect and report on a troublesome Silo in the port of Taranaki (New Plymouth). After our inspection it was discovered that the silo had a few major issues. The main being approximately 2200 ton of dead cement powder. This reducing the silos capacity and storage. A lot of the powder was suspended on the walls and celling making it two risky to be manually removed. After doing a lot of investigation we discovered a company in the USA named Mole Master who specialized and the cleaning of silos with mechanical machinery. The great thing about their equipment is it could be lowered into the silo from any roof sounding port and could reach out and clean the full circumference of the silo. By doing so eliminated the need for people to enter the silo.
It took a few months and a lot of planning and a few conference calls with the guys from Mole Master, but we were able to get them down under to assist.
Once Mole Master had removed all the hang ups and dropped the level down far enough using their specialized equipment, we had a doorway cut into the side of the silo through the 300mm thick silo wall. The Skookum team then entered and vacuumed out the final 50 ton of cement powder using a vacuum truck.
Once the silo was completely emptied the aeration was inspected as it had not been working for several years. It was discovered the whole system was completely solid with concrete. It was decided that all the pipe work was to be replaced. We had to send additional staff from our Christchurch branch to assist with this mammoth job.
GBC had already had another door cut in similar silo so were able to use a similar design for the new door that was fabricated and cast in under the careful eye of a structural engineer.
After the silo was re sealed the silo was filled and commissioned.
We were so impressed with the Mole Master equipment and service that Skookum is now the New Zealand service agent for Mole Master USA.