08 May 2019

Project 'DNF'  - No.5 Refit.

Sometimes, wonderful things happen when your back is turned.  On arrival at Western Depot today, we found that the hull of the dredger and both of the buoyancy tanks had received a visit from the paint fairies and a covering of black paint applied - a nice surprise.  It was later in the day when we eventually discovered who the fairy was!

The rain overnight was still in its final throws when we unlock the compound this morning.  Everything was very soggy, so not the time to get on and finish the painting of the deck and other odd bits.

Our attention turned to completing the electrics and hydraulics.  The electrics related to mainly the lights around the cab and the horn.  Now that the hydraulic systems could be operated, the final connections to the rotator and clam bucket could be exercised for the first time and checked for polarity of operation.  Since there is a 50/50 chance of getting it right, it comes as no surprise that hose swaps were in order.
Some time was spent testing the rate of movement for the various controls and adjustments were made to the system pressure to optimise their behaviour and match it to the available power from the engine.  There is more to do as the testing continues.  Most of the dredger operators have had their first experience of the new controls - their feedback is essential.
The hose lengths and positions are almost all determined, however, we spotted that there was a problem with the connections to the main boom cylinder when the boom is taken to its lowest point and slewed across.  It potentially fouled a large locating lug in the forward deck.  The pipes will need to be relocated.
Oh, we also have a new single piece floor below the controls, replacing the fragile and much modified crusty old one.
   The seat mounting is not ideal.  We will need to strengthen that.