• 1 x KMAG 6-Line SPMT
  • 4 x Dollies & 1 x Prime Mover

An engineering and manufacturing firm hadn’t had the best of luck with transporting one of their ship loaders; on a barge trip to British Columbia, it became dislodged from lashing in rough seas, and fell partially overboard. Since it was submerged in water, it needed to return to Vancouver, WA for repair–and on the way, it was damaged again from a collision with a piling at the nearby boat launch.

Needless to say, when it was time to load and lash the ship loader back onto a barge for the return trip, they needed a heavy lift and rigging company who could complete the job without any further incidents. When they got in touch with Omega Morgan, we were confident our team’s expertise in heavy lift, rigging and transportation would be a perfect match for this complicated move.


Once the repairs were complete, Omega Morgan’s Portland-based crew arranged for the ship loader to be moved from land to the barge.

We were met with a few challenges right off the bat. First, the approach to the barge slip was very steep–we needed to transport the loader about 1,000 feet down a gravel path to the barge slip and onto our partner-owned barge.

This steep grade wasn’t the only wrinkle. The water level in the river was much lower than usual. This put the barge deck roughly four feet lower than the bulkhead. Moving the loader safely in these tricky circumstances required extra planning and precise work. We decided to execute the move at night–that would be the point when the tides would be highest, giving us as much height to work with as possible.


Omega Morgan’s heavy lift and rigging crews utilized hydraulic jacks with a hydraulic platform trailer and dollies to load the 530,000 pound ship loader. To accommodate the low water level, we engineered and built a wood ramp to the barge in order to make the transition safely.

We also performed a ballasting operation while we transferred the heavy load from the ground to the barge. This involved pumping water in and out of compartments on the barge to raise and lower the deck, allowing us to keep the deck at proper height with the bulkhead.


Once the ship loader was completely onto the barge, we precisely placed the cargo on predetermined marks so it would be ready for transport. We then jacked the ship loader down, and lashed it securely to the barge.

The barge left Vancouver and arrived safely at its destination, without incident, a week later.

We’re grateful to have supported our client with this complex move. Once again, our Omega Morgan heavy lift and rigging crews leveraged their sound expertise and experience to get the job done for another happy customer.