Deployment of tunnel mucker machine to Caltrans Maintenance operations

Outcome Deployment of tunnel mucker machine to Caltrans Maintenance operations.
Benefit Increases both the safety and efficiency of culvert clearing operations


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MicroTraxx tunnel mucker video

AHMCT tested and evaluated the MicroTraxx tunnel mucker  machine, a radio controlled track loader from ROHMAC, for cleaning culverts in Caltrans operations.

Why We Are Pursuing This Research

  • Increase effectiveness and efficiencies
  • Reduce confined space hazards
  • Reduce physical injuries
  • Avoid exhaust fumes
  • Avoid unstable ground

MicroTraxx Tunnel Mucker

  • Cleans out square box culverts as small as 4ft x 4ft square or round culverts 5ft in diameter
  • Width: 42 in Height: 42 in Length: 120 in
  • Weight: 6000 lb
  • 50 HP Diesel engine with hydraulic drive
  • Bucket capacity: 1/3 cu yd and 1550 lb lift
  • Manufactured by Rohmac Inc. of West Virginia

Basic Package for Culvert Clearing

  • 6 Ton Trailer dedicated to Tunnel Mucker
  • Cone Truck or equivalent to tow Tunnel Mucker
  • Front End Loader or Backhoe
  • 10 Ton Trailer for Loader/ Backhoe
  • Dump Body, 2 axle 4 cu yd
  • Crew with 3 workers

Typical Results

  • Removal rates as fast as 10 cu yd per hr.
  • Actual 26.3 cu yd of dirt a day.  Breakdowns included
  • Crews can clear culverts 4X faster than vacuum truck operations
  • Clearing rates up to 10 cu yd per hour
  • Tunnel mucker digs out in 1 DAY what takes 4 DAYS with VACTOR
  • The tunnel mucker is very popular with crews

Our result show that these machines reduce operational costs, increase speed of the operation, and reduce potential for labor injuries.

Current Status

The Caltrans Statewide Equipment Manager’s office is rotating the tunnel mucker throughout the Caltrans districts.  The machine is assigned to each district about 4 weeks a year depending on need.  AHMCT is continuing to provide technical support and will be finalizing the evaluation.

  • It has been in operation in Districts 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11
  • Operation statistics: 129 Job Days, 601 hours start up to shut down, 456 engine hrs,
    3396 cu yd removed
  • View final report

For Additional Information

Bob Meline
Caltrans Project Manager
bob.meline (at) (916) 227-7031
Steve Velinsky
Principal investigator
savelinsky (at) (530) 752-4166
Wil White
Primary contact
wawhite (at) (530) 752-1455

This document is disseminated in the interest of information exchange. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the AHMCT Research Center, the University of California, the State of California, or the Federal Highway Administration. This document does not constitute a standard, specification, regulation, or imply endorsement of the conclusions or recommendations.

(rev. Sept 2011)