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Introduction to Marsh Equipment

Marsh Equipment meets the challenge of wetlands and soft-terrain by combining buoyancy with the maneuverability of a tracked vehicle.

Originally developed for the oil and gas industry during the 1950's, Marsh Equipment combined a drag-line top with a pontoon-based undercarriage. These machines were commonly called "Marsh Buggies," which is a term still used today. The Marsh Excavator and Slide Pontoon have been added to the original Marsh Buggy excavator.

The undercarriage of a Marsh Buggy is the key to its unique capabilities. On a conventional tracked vehicle, the tracks run on wheels and exert a high ground pressure. Without buoyancy, the machines will not operate in conditions that are unable to support the weight of the machine.

The Marsh Buggy undercarriage is built on two large pontoons, with the tracks mounted around the pontoons. The pontoons are custom fabricated for a particular machine to provide the correct displacement and balance to allow the machine to safely float on water.

The tracks of a Marsh Buggy are longer and wider which provides the maximum surface area for ground contact. Here it is necessary for the Marsh Buggy manufacturer to balance the requirement for large surface area for reduced ground pressure, with a compact design that maximizes the maneuverability of the machine. Special attention should be paid to the profile of the bottom of the pontoons to ensure the machine turns efficiently.

  • Line drawing of a Bobcat E80 Marsh Buggy
    Wilson Marsh Buggy Excavator Schematic

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