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What's Happening at Ellicott® Dredges?

March 2011

New Animations Highlight Dredge Capabilities

Ellicott Dredges has recently created two new informational animations to help educate its clients on the intricate workings of dredges and their outputs.  TheSwinging Dragon® Animation highlights the capabilities of our newest dual-function dredger which can operate in both swinging ladder and conventional dredge modes.  Earlier this year, the Bureau of Reclamation of the US Department of Interior placed the first order for this versatile dredge for use in maintaining settling basins on the lower Colorado River near Yuma, Arizona. 

Our Dredged Material Handling Animation demonstrates the various dredged material handling options available, including dewatering tubes, mechanical dewatering, open discharge, and dredge material placement sites.  These animations, as well as others, can be found on our website,, and YouTube page,

1170 Dragon® Dredge at Work on Everglades Restoration Project

The natural flow of the Everglades is being repaired as part of the Kissimmee River Restoration Project, a partnership between the Army Corps of Engineers and South Florida Water Management District.  The main objective of the project is to restore the Everglades ecosystem to its original integrity prior to the floodplain being drained in the 1960s.  The dredge is being used to widen the bottom of the canal from 70 feet (21m) to 90 feet (27m) in order to maintain protection against flood damage.  This unique reconstruction has been labeled one of the "largest true ecosystem restoration projects in the world."

The 1170 Dragon® Dredge , which is a crucial component in restoring more than 40 square miles of river-floodplain ecosystem, is equipped with fully compliant EPA engines, C-32 main and C-9 auxiliary.  In addition, the dredge was supplied with bio-degradable hydraulic fluid, which is harmless to the environment if spilled.  Ellicott also provided delivery and on-site support to the customer, dredging contractor Cavache, Inc., to ensure complete success in this crucial project.

Ellicott Engineers Design New State-of-the-Art Control System 

Ellicott gives its customers what they want. It's as easy as that.  Whether a customer needs a dredge for a sand and gravel pit in New Jersey, or a river in Mexico, Ellicott's engineers can design and build a dredge that works in any location or climate worldwide.

In response to the needs of our customer, Alcoa World Alumina Brazil Ltda, Ellicott recently designed a fully digital control system featuring PLC-based automation, fingertip controls, data logging capability, and remote control of a booster pump.  This system easily allows the dredge operator to view extensive information on the production of the dredge.  Also included is a state-of-the-art dredge positioning system, allowing the dredge operator to capture the moves of the dredge in real time. The built-in GPS system and inclinometer provide overall dredge positioning information.  The user-friendly system also incorporates extensive alarms for the dredging system, hydraulic system, and engines to ensure all aspects are functioning properly.

3000 Series Super Dragon® Dredger Going Strong after 30 Years

Everyday around the world, Ellicott dredges are working effectively after decades of service in harsh conditions.

One dredge that has been working steadily for over 30 years with no sign of slowing down, is the 3000 Series 24" Super Dragon® Dredger recently purchased by Norfolk Dredging.  It is currently being used to provide coastal protection and beach nourishment in a resort community in Topsail Beach, USA. 

In 1980, a contractor bought this dredge to clean-out the Cowlitz River after the Mount St. Helen's eruption in Washington State, USA.  After the volcanic eruption, the river filled up quickly with ash and sediment, and navigation promptly shut down.  The dredge was then used on various San Francisco Bay area projects by the US Army Corps of Engineers.  After that, the portable Super Dragon ® was moved to the Miami, Florida USA area where it worked nearly around the clock for the next 15 years, digging blasted limestone in a quarry operation.  This tough application was no problem for the Ellicott dredge, and it worked steadily until being purchased by Norfolk Dredging for use on the Topsail Beach coastal protection project. 

Even after 30 years of grueling conditions, this dredge, now known as the Chesapeake,  is still working well with no sign of retirement in sight.

Employee Spotlight: Mark Heimberger

In addition to our quality products, Ellicott staff is unparalleled.  From the engineers to the customer service department, and everyone in between, Ellicott employees make a difference in the overall dredge ownership experience.  

One employee in particular, Mark Heimberger, a Senior Field Service Engineer, consistently goes above and beyond for our customers. He has been with Ellicott for 17 years, and can be found traveling anywhere he's needed, from West Africa to the Middle East.  Mark was directly involved with overseeing the assembly and commissioning of multiple 4170 Super DragonTM Dredgers in Abu Dhabi, in addition to managing on-site operations of retrofitted anchor booms and spud carriages.
In addition to his superior technical abilities, Mark's dedication to building lasting relationships with Ellicott customers is remarkable. Jack Fiddes, Ellicott's Customer Service Manager, said that Mark is "so passionate about his work that he stays until the job is done, even if that means he has to work 16-hour days."  His personal investment in projects and enthusiasm towards his work has encouraged many Ellicott customers to keep coming back.  Technical Superintendent for NMDC, Gehad Ali Salama (pictured above on left with Mark), says "Mark is persistent when completing each job, and he knows how to take care of the customer.  We appreciate his great effort."

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