THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY OF THE SUCCESS OF
This saga of Steep Rock Lake might never have materialized. People said the risk was too great installing a clutch apparatus on the great dredge and guaranteeing its operation in the removal of 60-million cu. yds. of overburden from the lake bottom so one of North America’s greatest ore bodies could be mined.
Twice the 10” forges steel shaft had broken on the job causing costly delays. Time was vital and replacement parts were thousands of miles away. Summoned to the scene, BLM Automatic Clutch engineers designed and installed size 30, SRC-50 type clutch.
Set up to limit the drive AUTOMATICALLY at 586 h.p., ruling out danger of overload on the 500 h.p. motor operating at 514 rpm, the clutch assembly connects the motor shaft to the input shaft of a speed reducer which cuts the rotations of the slicer to 19 rpm. When the slicer, which churns up the mud and clay covering the lake bottom contacts solid rock, the clutch disengages INSTANTLY, preventing damage to drive shaft and eliminating danger of “burnout” to the costly motor.
Since its installation there has been no mishap. The performance of the BLM Automatic Clutch has resulted in the installation of a similar clutch on a second dredging unit being used to speed up the tremendous project called “Operation Mudpack.”