Tennessee-based Greenfield Products has developed a container dumping spreader for tipping loose bulk materials out of a standard ISO container.
Anthony Calomino, Greenfield’s general manager of sales, explained that the company was approached by a customer looking for a cost-effective way to tip bulk materials out of a standard ISO container using a single hook crane. The market has provided other solutions to handle bulk in containers, but this customer did not want to have to invest in special open-top boxes.
Developing a method for tilting a container under a single hook crane presented a challenge, as there is no fixed component to resist any tilting force. The application also required a fully self contained and powered dumping spreader that could be used under a Manitowoc or similar construction crane with a single rope hoist system.
What Greenfield has developed is an electronic/remote-controlled container spreader with a diesel-powered headblock power unit driving a pocket wheel chain system that adjusts the centre of gravity using heavy-duty chains to tilt the spreader and slowly dump the load.
The chain pocket wheel is an engineered product usually found in mining applications. For the container dumping spreader, it is mounted on a frame that pulls the chain links over the wheel. The resulting application can tilt a loaded container up to 50 degrees in either direction.
To secure the container, the container dumping spreader has four twistlocks that are powered by a standard 12V automotive battery. All motions are activated by remote control, so no electrical connection to the crane is required. This allows the operator to maintain a safe distance while handling the suspended load.
The container dumping spreader can be operated under virtually any crane with a hook, or integrated into a 20ft ISO spreader bar mounted to any container handling crane. The pocket wheel system can tilt the container in both directions, and gravity is used to open the container doors to start the materials flowing.
Calomino said the tilting system allows the operator to control the angle of the container and, therefore, the flow rate of materials, very carefully, which is required for unloading and positioning materials such as frac sand in a flexitank. With the container on the ground, an operator can open the flexitank and control the container tilt angle precisely as the box is positioned.
The container dumping spreader has a tare weight of 16,000 lbs and is rated for containers up to 80,000 lbs. Greenfield Products believes this will offer the market a more economical solution for unloading containers in a non-fixed location compared with the current industry standards.