Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Survey hovercraft Gateway Services
To my knowledge Gateway Services Group are the first to utilize a hovercraft for survey purposes in the US. While the USGS has operated two Hovertechnics hovercraft for several years, Gateway Services Group has taken a bold step into the future by purchasing a hovercraft for use in their surveys for the pipeline industry. According to team member CB the situations they find themselves in requires a piece of equipment that can operate on a variety of surfaces and they believe the hovercraft will be the machine that will allow them to easily reach areas that previously they could not reach. On October 30th 2012 Gateway launched into a new era by purchasing and training their team as hover pilots. With a group of about 12 team members present on training day, we realized there are a lot of items that need to be ironed out with regard to use of the hover in the pipeline survey industry. According to SM a manager for Gateway Services Group the fact that the unit is registered as a boat but can be used as an ATV raises some interesting issues when it comes to regulations and safety requirements. The hovercraft is a crossover vehicle that operates as easily on water as it does on land, mud, and ice. While the Texas based company is doubtful they will see much ice they have had great concerns over reaching remote areas and moving people and equipment in and out of these areas.
Thank you, Gateway for choosing TLS WindSled as your supplier and for having the future vision to use a hovercraft in your industry. In future articles we will discuss some lessons we learned from partnering with Gateway and some innovative ideas it has spawned.