Spurred by operational challenges that involve responding to spills in the environmentally sensitive regions of Alaska, Elastec/American Marine has developed a highly versatile vacuum system that can be towed by all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).

Elastec recently launched this new range of versatile off-road oil spill response equipment. Almost as soon as the machinery hit the company's Illinois plant, it was called into action.

A spill from a ruptured crude oil pipeline had found its way into a local lake. Oil was concentrated in an earth dam and recovered into Elastec's new 110-gallon tracked vacuum tank.

The company says the all-terrain response equipment exhibits:

  • The capability to reach sites inaccessible to vacuum trucks.

  • A three-cylinder diesel engine powering a pump that can generate over 300 CFM of airflow and 15" of vacuum.

  • The capacity to suck up oils, mud, sludge and other liquids.

  • Inclusion of a safety relief valve, a cyclonic separator and exhaust.

  • Mounting of the vacuum pump unit and tank on all-terrain tires with walking beam suspension, which permits the equipment to traverse rough ground with ease.

  • Components within the towing limits of most ATV or utility vehicles.

  • A low center of gravity-optional tracks can be added for soft ground, snow or sand.

  • The ability to remove the vacuum tank from the chassis, so it can be used as a trailer for other equipment.
According to the company, the resulting system is ideal for working in remote areas, such as oil fields, pipeline routes, railroads and shorelines, or in areas where only smaller quantities of oil need to be recovered.

The primary focus was oil spill response; however, municipalities and industry are already seeing the benefits of this unique package for cleaning out drains, sumps, separators and more.