The harvester is a pontoon vessel (3metre x 7.2metres), which has a 3L Hatz Diesel engine which runs a hydraulic pump that feeds a valve bank, off that valve bank all of the controls to operate the different components that make up the harvester operation.
The vessel is propelled by paddle wheels either side of the pontoon which can be hydraulically raised and lowered for road transport but are locked in place when we are weed harvesting.
The paddle wheels are operated by 2 main levers directly in front to the driver and are simply pushed forward for forward motion and pulled back for a reverse motion. The controls can be put in opposite directions to make the vessel spin around something like a bulldozer!
The front scoop has 2 horizontal and 1 vertical cutter bars lined with a sical blade cutting system, it has a conveyor that can be lowered and raised as required to collect the weed, the weed travels up to the end of the conveyor, where it drops on the second conveyor called a travel cage. This travel cage can be filled right to the back and can hold 12 cubic metres.
After transporting to the shoreline, the travel cage can then be raised to deposit the weed where it is collected by the digger or loaded on to a conveyor trailer or shore conveyor. The harvester then travels back to the weed bed to continue the harvesting process.
The daily tasks of the harvester operator is to cut the weed and load it onto the travel cage on the harvester and deliver it to the shore. The operator works under strict standard operating procedures to ensure maximum weed is harvested on each day and that health and safety protocols are followed, these are recorded within the in the Safe Ship Management framework
The weed is loaded onto a dump truck by the digger and transported to a designated dump site for storage. In many cases a sealed road truck is then loaded to transport the weed to a worm farm and turned into a fertiliser.
In the past our customers had to set up and run their own Health and Safety prequalification scheme to satisfy themselves that we were operating safely when undertaking their job. This is not core business for most of them and is time consuming, inefficient and costly.
We have outsourced this task to a specialist company (Impac Prequal). They improve the efficiency and effectiveness of this important process and give you as our customers assurance that our processes are up to standard meaning there is NO RISK OF LOSS OR DAMAGE to your company when dealing with us.
We have used Howard and his team on several occasions to assist us with weed removal at various locations around the lake including each of our marinas, Nukuhau, Taupo Boat Harbour, Motuoapa and Tokaanu. Howard also worked on behalf of the Acacia Bay Ratepayers Association in the Acacia Bay area.
He has always been efficient, maintained good communications with both myself and various stakeholders throughout the process and has given accurate data and invoicing when required. We appreciate the work done by Howard and his team and I am happy to back this verbally if required.
Harbourmaster, Taupo Moana
Since harvesting first commenced in 2008 approximately 3,250 to 4,300 tonnes of weed have been removed annually. This harvesting has resulted in the amount of Nitrogen removed from the lake exceeding initial targets set for harvesting within the Lake Rotoehu Action Plan and meeting the entire Nitrogen target for this lake; the end result is a dramatic improvement in water quality for Lake Rotoehu.
Senior Land Management Officer
ACACIA BAY RESIDENTS ASS'N. (INC)
ACACIA BAY TAUPO NEW ZEALAND
The project was very successful. Nearly 200 cubic metres of weed was removed, which has made swimming much more of a quality experience for the summer. The weed was removed each day by our contractor and delivered to the Waitahanui Trust's Worm Farm, where is was gratefully received.
Howard and his staff from Lake Weed Harvesting Services were very helpful and made strenuous efforts to do the best possible job over the three days they were here.
Chairman Acacia Bay Residents Association