Walvis Bay Stevedoring received a new custom designed hopper yesterday morning (24 November 2015). The hopper is the first of its kind in the port of Walvis Bay and was designed by the WBS team and manufactured in South Africa. This innovative design is aimed at improving the efficiency of grain and other granular transfers from vessels to trucks and trains.
The old hoppers that are used in Walvis Bay port still date from the 1970s and were very difficult and unsafe to maneuver. The new hopper design comprises a square funnel mounted on a push frame with enhanced safety features. Built to the tune of N$750,000, the hopper is the most modern of its kind in the port with a six meter by six meter wide intake funnel and additional outflow chutes that allow for the flow of grains and other granular substances to a truck and train wagons simultaneously. The hopper sports walk ramps, safer and comfortable access for operators, easier access to valves and improved flow control.
“The most significant improvement on this hopper is the ease at which it can be handled and moved. The older hoppers were very cumbersome to move around and one had to use a number of forklifts and clever maneuvering to get in place. This was a very time consuming process. With the new frame mounted hopper it’s like pushing a wheelbarrow. We use one 10 ton forklift to lift the one side and simply push it in position. Easy, and in no time at all,” said Ian Foster, the WBS operations manager.
The hopper will be used for the current grain imports to transfer grain from ships’ hulls to trucks and trains, and will greatly improve efficiency of the this type of loading. “The hopper also comes with an extended mouth-frame to provide for a wider intake and less spillage. Apart from that, the chute for truck loading, is telescopic! Which means less spillage. By far the most advanced hopper we’ve seen to date, and proudly designed by Walvis Bay Stevedoring,” added Ian.
The hopper was shipped on the Macs vessel, Green Mountain. A few years ago Walvis Bay Stevedoring also acquired a much needed gooseneck, while its modern fleet of forklifts, cranes and other lifting equipment are highly sought after for rental purposes.