Getting to the Site

Camera transporters do the bull work of delivering inspection technology to the pipe defects that need assessment and correction
Getting to the Site

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In pipeline inspection technology, most of the credit goes to the cameras that enable viewing of the pipe wall, the vans that house the video equipment, and the software that enables complete survey reporting. But none of it would be possible without quality camera transporters. Here is a look at some of the newest and most capable carriers offered by industry manufacturers.

Six-wheel drive

The Prowler from UEMSI is a six-wheel-drive transporter with a two-speed transmission designed for use in 8-inch lined pipes up to 48-inch pipes with heavy debris and sand. Standard are three sizes of wheels and tires for maximum traction, and a lift to center the camera in large pipe. 

The internal all-wheel-drive system is sealed. The unit has six 4.35-inch tires, six 5-inch tires and four 10.5-inch balloon tires. With the balloon tires installed, it can still use two smaller center-drive wheels to maneuver over large obstacles. The standard Roto-Lok quick-change wheel system allows users to lock the wheel and spacer onto the hub by twisting the wheel clockwise. It is then secured with only one setscrew. 800/666-0766; www.uemsi.com.

One-piece platform

The main crawler body of the TV Ferret 6-inch steerable crawler is a one-piece mono-tube stainless steel platform. It has a stainless steel articulating cable receptor to alleviate stress on the main cable for longer cable life and fewer cable reterminations. The tracks are a one-piece continuous loop made of reinforced urethane. The steerable crawler uses skid-steering, allowing it to rotate about its own axis. For inspecting pipe up to 36 inches, a modular liftwheel system attaches to the outside of the crawler without removal of the tracks. 518/399-2211; www.tvferret.com.

Nickel-plated brass body

The KV-421 HD from Cyclops Electronics has forward/neutral/reverse capabilities; a heavy-duty, high-torque motor; nickel-plated, solid brass body; and stainless steel accessories. The unit can pull 1,000 feet of cable through 6-inch and larger lines. Bolt-on large-line wheels and auxiliary lights increase its capabilities and productivity. 830/249-9756; www.cyclopstv.com.

Versatile unit

The Gopher Crawler from Image Inspection Services can be used for pipes from 6 inches to 24 inches with various sizes of solid or pneumatic wheels and spacers. Features include a solid, anodized aluminum or brass body, stainless steel wheel hubs and axles, high-torque 48 V motor, O-ring sealed drive axles and bearings, all-wheel drive, and forward and reverse variable speed.

Three sizes of storm sewer and sanitary sewer tires are available. The unit is adaptable to multi-conductor systems and can make up to 500-foot pulls on mini camera cable. It is available with a desktop or 12-inch rack-mounted controller. 403/287-1053; www.image-inspect.com.

Hardened gearing

The Cobra 150 crawler from Cobra Technologies is a six-wheeled transporter for use in 6-inch lined pipe that also fits into pipe measuring 5.5 inches. Running on standard multi-conductor cable, it requires no special lightweight cable specially designed for small crawlers. Hardened steel gearing provides minimum maintenance and maximum longevity.

The device has a 90-degree stainless steel swivel and a 150-watt motor. It is 12 inches long, 5.2 inches in diameter and weighs 54 pounds. It uses multiple types of wheels for different pipe applications and conditions. The crawler will run on any American-made multi-conductor system. 800/443-3761; www.cobratec.com.

Proportional steering

The Compact Pipe Ranger from CUES is a lightweight, compact, and steerable transporter used to inspect sanitary and storm sewers. The unit, designed to inspect 6-inch lined pipe through 30-inch pipe, includes full proportional steering to traverse meandering pipe and 45- and 90-degree turns. 800/327-7791; www.cuesinc.com.

Water resistant

The P356 crawler, part of the Pearpoint Flexitrax P350 system, can operate fully submersed and is water resistant to depths of up to 100 meters. Constructed from brass and stainless steel, it uses two 50-watt motors. The integrated, sensitive inclinometer, offering ± 0.2 degree accuracy, and the multi-frequency sonde, allow for efficient mapping of pipeline topography. The steerable unit allows access in a typical manhole and in pipes from 6 inches to 24 inches. It weighs 31.5 pounds and has quick-release wheels and a choice of hard or soft tires. 800/688-8094; www.radiodetection.com.

Autonomous inspection

The Solo crawler from RedZone Robotics is an autonomous inspection crawler. Onboard intelligence managed by mini computers built into the platform allows the robot to drive itself and conduct inspections without an operator present. Crews can initiate up to four inspections simultaneously. Designed for 8- to 12-inch pipe, the unit can be deployed anywhere it can be carried by hand and requires no special vehicle. Its full-coverage tracks allow it to climb over obstacles without high centering, and the flexible rubber material provides the grip of tracks without debris issues. 412/476-8980; www.redzone.com.

Brushless motors

The Pathfinder tractor from Aries Industries is a 6-wheel-drive, steerable unit that can go into virtually any lined 6-inch pipe and is the only U.S.-made pipeline inspection tractor with brushless motors, according to the manufacturer. Brushless motors provide 50 percent more power than brush-type motors. The unit has a built-in camera lift and a rear-viewing camera as standard equipment. Various wheel sets can be changed in seconds. 800/234-7205; www.ariesindustries.com.

Lateral launch system

The SuperVision SAT lateral launch system from Envirosight crawls 500 feet down mainlines 6 inches and larger and then inserts its camera as far as 100 feet into laterals 3.5 inches and larger. The auto-leveling color camera with shadowless illumination pans 360 degrees and tilts 90 degrees to view sidewall detail and distant targets.

The crawler’s steerable 6-wheel drive helps it maneuver to troublesome launch points. Auxiliary lamps and a backward-viewing camera enhance visibility in both directions. An integral sonde transmits at multiple frequencies, enabling location of the camera from above ground. The unit is available as a complete system or as an add-on package that works with an existing SuperVision system. The crawler and camera are constructed of stainless steel and maintain a 1 bar pressure rating. 973/252-6700; www.envirosight.com.



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