Page 50: of Marine News Magazine (July 2014)

ATB Technical Trends

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downtime associated with overcoming the learning curve. Another advantage to standardizing the YoYo is increased productivity. Because this winch allows workers to make and break a tow in half the time it takes to do it with ratch- ets, operators can ensure that more of their time is spent actually out on the river. The elimination of fouling also saves time and effort while increasing user safety. These enhanced efÞ ciencies can really add up when extrapolated to consider the average number of barges per tow. Beyond North AmericaTaylor Grapes is pleased with the overwhelming success of the YoYo winch in North America, but he is setting his sights higher for the business in the future. ÒAs the South American market continues to modernize and mature, we envision an inß ux of YoYos onto both Hidrovia and Ama- zon barges,Ó he says. ÒThe Hidrovia Waterway is the Mis- sissippi of South America, and everybody is rethinking up their operations right now as these markets grow and ma- ture. It simply stands to reason that our winch could lead to the same sorts of operator savings and success in these markets as weÕve had here in the U.S.Ó Patterson has already begun branching out into South America over the past six yearsÑand business is booming. ÒCombined revenues from the three primary markets in South America (the Parana-Paraguay Hidrovia, the Ama- zon, and the Magdalena) have increased every year since we Þ rst entered these markets, and we expect this to con- tinue,Ó adds Grapes. Eventually, Patterson will move into the shipping mar- ket of the lower Danube River, which is in the process of modernizing and expanding its market for United States shippers. Because of low river levels (and historic but low bridges), self-propelled barges are the norm on the Dan- ube. Patterson believes there is a market there for advanced technology like the YoYo. MARINE COMMUNICATIONS Kerry Connell is a freelance writer based in Pittsburgh. In addition to barge rigging, she has written about healthcare products and procedures, industrial products, arts and architecture, tourism, law, and Þ nance.July 201450 MNMN July14 Layout 50-59.indd 50MN July14 Layout 50-59.indd 506/18/2014 4:03:18 PM6/18/2014 4:03:18 PM

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