General Use Guidelines

A minimum 100 ton crane is required to off load the barges from the truck to the water. Each barge has a single lifting clevis or shackle in the top of the barge for easy loading and unloading. Poseidon® 1 -10’ x 40’ x 5’ barges weigh 23,500 lbs. Poseidon® 2 -10’ x 40’ x 5’ Sectional Barges weigh 23,700 lbs.  each and Poseidon® 3 Barges weigh 23,700 lbs. each.  Tag lines should be attached to the ends of the barges to control the movement of the equipment while in the air.  After pulling the barges together, have a couple of men stand on the outside of the barges in order to cause the barge to come together at the bottom.  An alternate method is to thread a small choker through the rope thimbles on both barges and lift up slightly with the crane.  Once the bottom is together, carefully drop the 55 lb. pin in place being careful not to pinch your fingers.

The Poseidon® 1

barge has a Rendrag® compatible connection system. Hairpin connectors are dropped into position. The 40’ x 10’ x 5’ barges are equipped with 8 connection points on the sides and 2 connection points on the end. Each 40’ x 10’ x 5’ barge can support 35,000 lbs at a 2’6” draft.  Rope thimbles on the sides and ends of the barges are used to assist in pulling the barges together prior to pinning.

The Poseidon® 2

barge has a Flexifloat® compatible connection system. The internal locking clasp is pried up with a lifting bar. The barges are pulled together using ropes in the rope thimbles.  An alternative method would be to run a small choker through both rope thimbles and lift up slightly with the crane. This will draw the bottom of the barges together. The barges need to be near touching before the locking bar will drop down at the top or the bottom. The locking clasp may be tapped into the locked position with a small hammer.

The Poseidon® 3

barge is Shugart® compatible.  The P3 barge has a set of upper and lower angles on the sides and ends of the barge.  There are 32 pin holes on the 41’4″ length and 8 pin holes on the 10’4″ end.  The P3 barges must be assembled so that the narrow side angles fit above and below the wider side angles on he opposing barge.  Line up and secure the pin on the end of the barge, then fold the barge together against the opposing barge, drop the pins into the angles beginning at the opposite end.

Use of Hardwood Mats on Poseidon Barges

The contractor must supply and use oak or yellow pine 8" - 12" crane mats when using cranes, excavators or any other pieces of equipment with steel crawler tracks or rubber tire equipment. Below are examples of damage that has occured to barges when they are not used properly. The sides, ends & bottom skin surface of the barge is made of A-36 1/4” steel plating. The tops are covered with a skid resistant 11 gauge patented roll form material.  Damage to the barges on the project will be repaired and invoiced back to the contractor. Pictures of the damages will be taken along with an estimate of the repairs prior to the work being completed for the contractor’s review. Below is a sampling of pictures from damaged equipment returned after the project.


Any defect that structurally impairs or degrades the equipment in its ability to perform the intended function and duty including, but not limited to, providing flotation for construction equipment. Or, any defect that materially degrades the commercial resale value of the equipment, beyond an amount typically expected based upon the duration, duty cycle, and type of work performed during the rental period.

Specific Damage Criteria for Equipment Sides, Ends, Decks, or Bottoms:

  • Any structural member deformed by ¼” or greater. (Angle, channel, formed pocket, casting, rope thimble)
  • Any plate section deformed by ½” or greater, regardless of size of defect
  • Any plate section deformed by ¼” or greater when defect distribution is 20% or more of panel square area. (See illustration below).
  • Any hole or tear where steel material is punctured is considered damage.



Rolled tops or wash-boarding occurs as a result of not using wood mats. Damaged corners and end panels occurred when the sides and ends of the barge were hit with an excavator bucket or with the push knees of the tug boat. The tops, sides and ends of these barges were replaced and costs were passed on to the contractor. The exterior plate is cut out and removed along with interior damaged angles and structure. Replacement parts are welded in place, coated with bio-float rust inhibitor on the interior and the exterior is blasted and painted with a Baril Zinc Rich Urethane primer and a low gloss Aliphatic Polyuria finish.  As soon as your operator hits the side of the barge with the excavator bucket or a rock or other heavy debris falls on the barge deck causing a dent, stop immediately, take pictures of the damage, document the date and time the incident occurred and report the damage to your insurance company.  You must supply a specific date of occurrence to the insurance provider in order for the damage to be covered. The operator should be coached on the proper use of the equipment so as to not repeat the damage again.  Also notify Poseidon® Barge of the damage.

The contractor may weld additional angle iron, clamps, etc. to secure any equipment on the barges. Poseidon® Barge requires that these items be removed and remaining fragments ground down to the original surface prior to returning the barge at the end of the rental period.  Spray paint the ground area with Red / Brown Rustoleum Paint.

Spuds and pockets are available to secure the barge in position on the water. Spuds should be supported by two chokers or nylon straps rated to lift 10,000 pounds or more prior to the truck driver removing the chains or straps securing the spuds to the truck bed. This will insure that they do not roll off or slide off the truck expectantly. Spuds are lowered into the bottom surface of the lake, pond or river and pushed into the mud below. The barges can also by tied off by rope or cable through the thimbles on the sides or ends of the barges or by using the cleats supplied by Poseidon® Barge.

Do not pound on the top of the spud with an excavator bucket as this will damage the spud. Repairs to the spud due to such activity will be charged back to the contractor. Spuds can be raised and lowered by a crane line or by a hydraulic winch. Poseidon® Barge offers double drum winch units for sale or for rent. 5/8” Steel cable is tied off on the outside of the spud pocket on the lifting eye, threaded through the 20” sheave at the bottom of the spud and then brought up through the spud pocket and attached to the winch. If you run steel cable from the barge or winch across the body of water you are working on to the shore, bright orange vinyl ribbons should be hung from the cable, making it visible to any water craft that is operating in the vicinity.

Rental Rates do not include insurance on the barges. A Certificate of Insurance naming Poseidon Barge, Ltd as “Additional Insured” under your general liability policy, plus listing us as a “Loss Payee” under your equipment floater policy for dual protection against physical damage must be supplied, prior to shipping the barges to your job site. Additional details and requirements are included with our quote and lease agreement.

Adequate training for operating the equipment, transported and used on the barges is the contractor’s responsibility. Poseidon® Barge, Ltd are not liable for any accidents due to operation of equipment on the barges under any circumstances including unsafe weather conditions, such as high winds, thunder storms, heavy rains, high wake, and icy or heavy snow conditions or any other hazardous weather conditions.  Normal loading, unloading, dredging processes, and high humidity in the air may cause water to pool on all working surfaces on the barges. Care must be taken by equipment operators and workers to ensure the safety of the workers and equipment. Life vests should be worn at all times when working around the water. In sub-freezing air temperatures, ice will form on the barges and crane mats. It is the contractors responsibility to take any and all precautions in safe guarding their employees as well as the general public.

Minimum width necessary to float equipment.  Poseidon® does not recommend floating a 25-30 ton excavator on a platform less than 30′ wide (3 sections 40′ x 10′  x 5′ wide).  Additionally, if you are performing dredging work in hard digging conditions, Poseidon® also recommends a minimum of 4 spuds and pockets to minimize possible damage to the spuds & pockets as a result of the pulling energy caused by the bucket in hard soil conditions.  If the contractor observes that Poseidon® equipment is getting dented up, spud pockets are being pulled apart, and or spuds are getting bent as a result of the excavator being too large for the platform, soil conditions are too hard or the operator is using the equipment in a careless manner, it is the contractors responsibility to change the parameters of the project and find an alternative method to complete the project.  The contractor is responsible for all damages to the equipment.  Just because our barges will float your equipment does not mean they can withstand the additional abuse as a result of difficult & hard digging conditions.

Poseidon® Barge offers static stability analysis for the use of floating cranes.  Our analysis is only as good as the information provided.  Knowing the make and model of the crane, the length of the boom, the radius you will working with the crane, the pick weight and the weight and type of additional equipment that will be floating on the barge will help our staff to make proper recommendations.

Prior to returning the equipment, all marine growth and dirt must be cleaned off the barges. Marine growth includes barnacles, bryozoans, mollusks, polychaete and other tube worms, zebra mussels, seaweed, algae & any other dirt or slime on the barge surface. You may have to scrape the barges and steam clean them afterward to kill any remaining material on the barge.  If Poseidon® has to re-clean the equipment, the cleaning charges will be invoiced back to the contractor.

All ballast water and water accumulated due to condensation must be removed from the barges before lifting them out of the water and loading them on the truck. Water inside the barge will cause the load to be overweight. The barge will not lift evenly out of the water since there is a single lifting point in the top center of the barge. Also, shifting water inside the barge may cause the barge to shift on the truck if the driver has to stop quickly. Water can be blown out using an air compressor and the water ballast plugs on the top corners of the barge. It can also be pumped out or if necessary, cut a 2” hole on the sides of the barge towards the end approximately 3” from the bottom to drain the water out prior to shipping. Please notify us when doing this, so that we can anticipate the repairs. The Poseidon® Barge system is designed for easy handling and economical transportation to and from your project.

Poseidon® Double Drum Winch: Daily maintenance and inspections should be done to assure safe operation.  Oil levels should be checked daily.  The key is located on the dip stick when you first receive the unit.  The engine should be started and allowed to idle for a minimum 30 minutes to allow the hydraulic oil to heat up.  Operating hydraulic equipment with cold hydraulic oil could cause seals to break resulting in hydraulic oil spills.  We use 46 weight Clarity Oil in our equipment to minimize environmental impact.  Wire cable is not supplied by Poseidon® with the winch.  All cable is to be removed prior to returning the winch and the fuel tank should be filled up.  Tape the wedges to the drums using duct tape.

Poseidon Sea Bees: Daily maintenance and inspections should be done to assure safe operation.  Oil levels should be checked daily.   The units should be started and allowed to idle for a minimum of 30 to 90 minutes to allow the hydraulic oil to heat up depending on the air temperature.  Oil levels should be checked on a daily bases.  Hoses should be visually check to assure that there are no kinks or leaks in the hoses.  If you hit the propeller on a rock or tree, stop the unit immediately and inspect the prop for any damage.  This may cause the seal in the hydraulic motor in the prop housing to break or bend the shaft on the propeller.  If this occurs, the 8″ steel tube shaft will fill up with hydraulic oil.  If you notice oil leaking out of the top of the steel shaft, shut down the unit immediately and call Poseidon® to make arrangements for a repair.

Winch Units & Barge Pusher Units should be secured with four long chokers attached to the brackets on the frames of the units and supported by the crane line prior to the truck driver removing the chains or straps securing the units to the truck. This will insure that the units do not shift or fall off the truck expectantly causing damage to the equipment or injury to ground personnel. The units must remain level as they are being lifted off of the truck.