Application —  17th Jul 2017

Small, but packed with performance - tugboats and push boats in the US rely on Geislinger technology

On US waterways, tug- and push boats are essential for transporting bulk and over-sized goods on large barges from point to point. These powerful boats have to be available 24/7. Therefore, reliability and uptime are crucial factors. To fulfil their tasks, many of these vessels rely on the long-lasting Geislinger couplings.

The marine waterway system in the United States is extremely diverse and stretches all across the continent. Included are not only the coastal waterway routes, but also the vast inland waterway system. They are used to transport various bulk and over-sized goods to terminals across the country.

Tug- and push boats are essential for transporting these goods on large barges from point to point and they have to fulfil herculean tasks in challenging conditions. For example, push boats can transport over 40 barges with the capacity of over 2.400 highway trucks. Furthermore, tugboats assist in harbours and at locks to ensure the safe transit of the huge Aframax and Panamax ships.

These powerful boats have to be available 24/7. Therefore, reliability and uptime are crucial factors. During operation, the heavy forces cause tremendous strain on the propulsion system. The lifetime of the engine and its drivetrain components can be largely extended by using a Geislinger coupling.

Figure 1 shows a typical example of a tug- or push boat driveline with a Geislinger coupling (shown in red).

Figure 1: Application Example of a Geislinger System Driveline
Figure 1: Application Example of a Geislinger System Driveline

A Geislinger product often used for such applications is the Geislinger GED coupling. It can be combined with an SAE Coupling and provides the ability to design and independently optimize stiffness and damping. Recently, Geislinger was the only coupling manufacturer that was able to provide a solution to the pre-existing parameters that were set for several vessels. The combination of superior damping with high misalignment compensation of our coupling was an essential component for the success of this project.

Figure 2 shows the engine and drivetrain of such a tug boat with the Geislinger GED coupling in white. Figure 3: Engine and drivetrain of a tugboat with a Geislinger coupling (white).
Figure 2 shows the engine and drivetrain of such a tug boat with the Geislinger GED coupling in white. Figure 3: Engine and drivetrain of a tugboat with a Geislinger coupling (white).

Geislinger has developed and optimized crankshaft dampers for various engine platforms in the US market, meeting the latest EPA Tier IV regulations. With this successful implementation, owners and operators can verify the quality of the products and understand the Geislinger slogan “Built to last”.