Log Barge Unloads Like a Boss
So what exactly is going on here? What you are looking at is a log barge. Specifically, this vessel is known as the Sea Span Phoenix. It was designed to dump a massive load of logs into the river for them to be floated to the local mill and processed. Though it looks a bit clumsy, it is anything but.
At first glance, it appears to be one of those epic fails. It looks like this ship loses its load a couple of times, and almost capsizes in the process. However, you will notice a few common denominators are strikingly absent. Usually, in most fails people are screaming or waving frantically. There is none of that here. Also, in epic fails you can sense the tension and anxiety of the situation. That does not appear to be the case here. In fact, I hear cheering in the background if my ears are being honest with me. More on that in a minute.
What if I told you this is safer and more efficient than traditional methods of moving logs down river? Typically, they would be towed to the site by smaller vessels like tugboats. However, this is much more difficult to accomplish in rough weather. Little boats with long log ponytails are not good friends on rough water. Having a barge like the Sea Span Phoenix makes weather a non-issue.
Plus, moving massive amounts of logs from forest to mill has become a money game. There is a great need for moving larger load volumes of timber to mill in order to maintain a hea
Plus, moving massive amounts of logs from forest to mill has become a money game. There is a great need for moving larger load volumes of timber to mill in order to maintain a healthy bottom line. In the mid-80s, log trucks were the order of the day. In fact, they are still widely used throughout the United States. If you live in the south, or any heavily forested area where logging is predominate, you have no doubt seen these trucks moving in and out of harvesting areas. Well, that is all fine and wonderful for accessible forested regions like those found in the United States. However, in places like British Columbia, where harvesting was occurring in more remote areas, a new solution was needed. Log trucks were inefficient. There were not enough roadways to get them from the remote island locations to the mill.
Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention
The waterways, however, are prolific. This gave rise to log barges like the Phoenix you see here. It only took a couple of revisions for it to be perfected. The beauty of this vessel is that it is self loading and self dumping. The two cranes mounted top side, help load logs onto the barge, along with three dozier boats assigned to the vessel. Most of the time, these huge vessels are not seen by the public sense harvesting occurs in areas that are very remote. However, when ever the chance for offloading occurs, you can always expect to find a pretty sizable crowd present. The is all you need to see the reason why. The Phoenix unloads thousands of pounds of logs in a matter of seconds. The boat itself weighs about 5,000 pounds. It is designed to carry a load of 15,000 pounds. That equals the load capacity of about 700 or so logging trucks. So, if you could watch something unload the capacity load of somewhere around 700 logging trucks in just a few seconds, you would be sure to stick around for that sort of thing. That is why you hear cheering in the background. That is also one good reason to book a trip to British Columbia!