McElroy TracStar® 1200 meeting industry needs

Since its launch in 2015, the TracStar 1200 has been proving its ease of use and efficiency on large-diameter pipeline projects across the country for a variety of industries including sewer, water and industrial.

Fortiline Waterworks was quick to put the machine to work on two projects in the summer of 2016. The first was a HDPE pipe system for a sewer siphon system and the other was the construction of a 4,500 ft. pipeline needed to improve slurry flow at a fossil plant. HDPE pipe systems are often recommended in industrial applications including the transport of fly ash slurry because of their high durability and unique resistance to chemicals, corrosion and abrasion. Installed properly, fusible HDPE pipe systems are leak-free and airtight and will serve the public with little to no maintenance issues for up to 100 years.

The 1200 offers the largest pipe capability in McElroy’s flagship TracStar line, fusing pipe up to 48” OD (1200mm). It is self-propelled by remote control for versatility of movement from joint to joint down the pipeline. A rugged, rubber track system allows it to travel easily on most any terrain and even inclines up to 30 percent.

Group Operations Manager Dennis Barnette of Fortiline said the 1200’s self-contained system which features an on-board generator has saved them a lot of time because they haven’t had to transport additional equipment each time they moved the machine on the jobsite. For the latest industrial application, that has been a big plus. Barnett was able to average 8 to 10 fusions a day of 48” HDPE pipe.

The TracStar 1200 features a 4-jaw carriage that can easily be removed from the vehicle for in-ditch use. Barnette said he will be taking advantage of this feature to make tie-in, butt fusions within the smaller confines of a trench.

New features on the 1200 include an ultra-low-sulfur diesel engine that meets the EPA’s latest Tier 4 standards. The cowling system has also been redesigned with maintenance in mind. The engine has single-side maintenance and the fuel filter and water separator are accessible through a hinged access panel.

Electrical components in the machine control panel and main electrical cabinet are also more readily accessible. Additionally, there are two hydraulic return filters along with in-tank magnetic suction strainers on the reservoir to keep contaminants from entering the system.

Fortiline also uses the McElroy DataLogger® 5 to record data from each fusion joint. This gives them a complete record of each joint that includes heat and cool times and fusion pressures. Other information can be documented through GPS tagging, a built-in 5mp camera and a barcode scanner.

Fusion operators can upload this data to the DataLogger Vault, to provide a safe and permanent record of the job in the cloud. The ability to analyze this data ensures that each joint was fused properly before the pipe is buried and service begins, which demonstrates jobsite accountability and the quality of the pipeline.

“We use it everywhere,” Barnette said. “If a customer sees us using it, nine times out of 10 they end up wanting to use it. When they understand what it is, they want it.”

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