Mini-Postmaster aids canal restoration

Nick Lewis, who is responsible for part of the Kennet and Avon Canal, saw the Autoguide Mini Postmaster on YouTube.

On discovering that our works were only a few miles away, he visited Heddington for a demonstration, liked what he saw and arranged for colleagues to see a demo the next day.

BWB need to drive treated timber stakes next to the canal banks to support a geotextile material to prevent bank erosion. The MPM is designed to work on mini diggers which BWB have, but ideally they needed one to fit on their Palfinger Crane equipped barge.

Using our close association with Palfinger dealer T H White, we were crucially able to determine that it should work. Following a check on the barge, we installed the MPM and awaited the operator’s verdict. Their task is made difficult by the need to allow continuous use of the canal and towpath whilst they are working and avoiding danger to the public.

The operators achieved ten meters of work, driving 20 posts and installing the geotextile – a performance rated as fantastic. With more practice and better methods, BWB expect to more than double this rate of work and are already investigating new tasks for the MPM.

Advantages noted so far:

  • The MPM used on the crane will also fit mini diggers simply by changing a single attachment plate using 4 bolts.
  • The equipment is very quiet in operation.
  • Posts can be repositioned or removed with the vibrator.
  • Operators are not exposed to hazards, as is the case with falling weight post drivers.
  • Posts are loaded into the jaws of the MPM and are then entirely under the control of the crane / excavator driver