Dredger Applications

Dredges in Action

We have customers all over the world using our machines.  Dredges have many purposes and below are some of the more common industries we serve.


Marinas need dredging to remove silt and sand sedimentation to allow clearance for boats and other vessels to dock. Either horizontal or cutter suction dredges can be used for this application. Horizontals are preferred for dredging in the boat slips and can also be used to dredge the marina entrances or channels. Cutter suction dredges are preferred for larger volume applications.

VMI MD-1230CS dredger

When rivers and canals become impassable due to sand and silt sedimentation, dredging is used to facilitate boat and barge traffic and to aid in flood control. Typically on large river applications cutter suction dredges are used. They enable higher volumes and the spud mechanism provides more stability in faster moving currents. Horizontal dredges are used when canals or rivers are narrow and space is too limited for the larger cutter suction dredges.

VMI MD-1020CS Hydraulic Cutter Suction Sand Dredge

Dredges can be used to mine sand or gravel in barrow or inland pits and also on rivers. Cutter suction dredges are used primarily in sand and gravel applications. Horizontals are not recommended for dredging sand and gravel due to the abrasive nature of the material, but horizontal models can be used to dredge tailings.

VMI MD-615 Horizontal Cutter Head Dredger Pumping Sludge

Horizontal dredges are used exclusively in municipal waste applications. Most lagoons are lined in some way and cutter suction dredge spuds will puncture the lining. Also, waste water lagoons contain methane gas and horizontal dredges can handle higher amounts of entrained gas without causing cavitational problems.

VMI MD-815 Industrial Chemical Waste Dredge

Horizontal dredges are used primarily for industrial waste applications. Industrial waste often contains chemicals that are toxic or corrosive. Horizontal models can be customized to withstand either acidic or alkaline conditions. For example, stainless steel and polyethylene parts are incorporated to extend the dredge life in high or low ph applications.

VMI MD-815 Mine Tailings Dredger

Dredging is used to mine many minerals and metals, such as gold, silver, coal, and lithium. New technologies have made it profitable to reclaim material from old, abandoned pits. Cutter suction models are used in reclamation projects where materials are hard and compacted. Horizontal dredges are used in applications where the material is more free flowing and softer.

VMI Horizontal Cutter Dredger in Bright Blue Water

Both horizontal and cutter suction dredges are used to facilitate operations in power plants. Dredging is used to remove sedimentation in nuclear power plant water intake structures. Coal fired plants create waste in the form of ash. Dredging is used to remove ash from storage ponds for disposal.