BIG FLOAT – amphibious excavators designed for safety,
reliability and performance
Big Float is an innovative and unique tracked pontoon undercarriage that transforms your excavator into an amphibious machine.
Some call it a marsh buggy, swamp excavator or a floating excavator, it’s all the same. With a REMU pontoon undercarriage, your excavator will have access to the most challenging environments.
Where is Big Float used?
On soft ground or in shallow water areas floating excavators on pontoon undercarriage are often the most effective machines. Big Floats can also be driven on solid land and with additional equipment they can safely operate on open water.
Dredging & Silt-removal
Sedimentation is the continuous process of sand and silt washing downstream, gradually filling rivers, lakes, and other water bodies. Debris and trash can accumulate in waterways preventing natural water flow and leading to floods.
Whether it is canal deepening or the restoration of natural water flow, flood prevention work or an after-storm clean-up, reclamation of silted up marinas or dredging boat berths – Big Float has been proven to be an efficient and safe piece of equipment, for operating both in shallow and open water.
Removing aquatic vegetation & Weed control
Vegetation is a natural part of any pond, lake, or other body of water. However, overgrown vegetation or invasive species can be seriously damaging to the health and beauty of water as well as the ecosystem biodiversity. Slower water flow in streams and canals can cause flooding and water stagnation in lakes or ponds can create a hazardous environment.
Aquatic plant management is beneficial for the environment. Big Floats can be equipped with various tools for mechanical removal of unwanted plants, algae and debris, restoring the natural beauty of water bodies.
Restoration of wetland & coast lines
Around the world coastal wetlands are declining, shorelines experience erosion and fragile habitats like floodplains, mangroves, seagrasses, saltmarshes, arctic wetlands, peatlands etc. are under threat.
Big Float amphibious excavators are used in the restoration and creation of wetlands around the world. Designed for ultralow ground pressure Big Floats makes the least possible impact on fragile environments during the construction of levees and dikes, the restoration of natural habitats or land reclamation.
Maintaining waste ponds
Livestock and chemical plant waste ponds, as well as fly-ash ponds and tailing dams are receive a constant flow of waste material and eventually fill up. They need to be emptied, dewatered, or closed to prevent the hazardous content from spilling or seeping and contaminating the surroundings. Reclaiming silted-up tailing dams and managing coal combustion products reservoirs are common applications for Big Floats.
Dredged material placement sites
Dredged material is increasingly being regarded as a resource rather than a waste product. Its beneficial uses include beach nourishment, coastal protection, habitat development and land reclamation. To beneficially re-use dredged material, instead of placing it back into the open water, it is being placed in specially constructed sedimentation basins or lagoons for its dewatering. One of the most efficient methods of rapid dewatering is to drain it using a surface trenching system. Big Float, which has an ultralow ground pressure and positive buoyancy, can access these DMP sites in order to excavate trenches.
How is the Big Float built?
REMU manufactures and supplies the entire undercarriage conversion kit which replaces the standard excavator undercarriage with the REMU built pontoon undercarriage system. Assembly can be performed on site, no modification to the excavator upper body required. All excavator controls and the 360º working radius remain the same as with a conventional excavator.
The Big Float is manufactured with high strength wear resistant steel for the best protection against external stress and impact. Each pontoon has five watertight compartments with manhole access on top of the pontoon. The carefully engineered geometry and dimensions of the undercarriage maximize its stability in all environments.
Utilizing standard excavator track chains and track rollers, provides an unbeatable service life of the wear components. Travel motors, coupled with planetary final drives, deliver high torque through drive sprockets directly to the track chains, eliminating the need for unreliable components.
Big Floats for excavators up to 22t class are designed with a hydraulically adjustable undercarriage width. The minimum width of fully assembled and operational amphibious excavator is only 3.0m – 3.5m (<10ft – <12ft), depending on the model.
An optional system of additional pontoons ensures safety whilst working in open water. Stability analysis and tipping load calculations have been carefully considered to meet the most stringent stability criteria. Hydraulically operated anchoring legs secure floating excavator to the bottom preventing it from drifting during operation.
Why choose big float?
Q&A on our pontoon undercarriage
Yes, Big Float pontoon undercarriage can be assembled with almost any excavator brand upper structure (including Caterpillar, Komatsu, Volvo, Hyundai, Doosan, Hitachi, John Deere, JCB, Liebherr, Yanmar, Takeuchi, and Bobcat amongst others) which gives our customers the freedom to choose the brand they prefer. Customers can also choose to mount Big Float with used upper structures which gives them option to convert excavator from their existing fleet.
Big Float is designed to perform. The most powerful travel motors in its class provide superior tracking power. Different configurations of track cleats provide options ranging from the lowest ground pressure to the strongest grip, depending on the customers’ requirements.
Yes. However, working in open water requires additional pontoons and anchoring legs that are designed to give the extra stability necessary for safe operation on open water.
Big Float is designed to last. We keep Big Float… an excavator! – heavy duty, reliable, dependable, durable, predictable in maintenance costs and schedule. Our customers appreciate the prolonged wear life of Big Float track system, it is a system that has been proven over 100 years by hundreds of thousands of conventional excavators. Standard excavator track chains, heavy duty track rollers, and a standard excavator track tensioning system – years of service life of the wear parts whilst operation in the harshest conditions.
We use standard, off-the-shelf parts. This makes it easy for us to support our customers with parts available in every corner of the world. When taking into consideration the operating costs of amphibious excavators, Big Float turns to be the most affordable. Several smart design features give savings in transportation, maintenance and boost the overall reliability of the machine.
Big Float allows the operator to pull the pontoons together or spread them apart without leaving the cab. Operators may set any width of the undercarriage between its minimum 3.0m – 3.5m (<10ft – <12ft) and maximum 4.6m – 5.5m (15ft – 18ft), depending on model. This allows safe transport whilst fully assembled and operational. The excavator fits in one single truck load and the retractable function is also useful when entering job sites through narrow access points like bridges.
Stability of the Big Float is the best on the market, hands down. We do the design calculations with a “safety first” frame of mind and our instructions explain how to operate the machinery in a safe manner. Each pontoon is divided into several water-tight compartments to minimize any risk in case of accident.
Multiple series for each unique application
Big Float models
Big Float E10
8 – 10 ton excavators
Big Float E15
10 – 15 ton excavators
Big Float E22
16-24 ton excavators
Big Float E35
We deliver all over the world
REMU has 25 years of experience in international trade and logistic processes. Our pontoons are designed to fit into sea containers which facilitates affordable shipping all over the world. When a machine is assembled in customers location, we can offer supervision services to ensure a smooth and safe assembly.
Our sales managers are happy to help you in several languages. We have extensive cooperation networks that help us to be present even in remote locations and we also cooperate with several excavator dealers.