Water Knifing Rootballs


Qld Department of Main Roads




Tallebudgera, Gold Coast

Cyclone Debbie in 2017 caused severe damage around Tallebudgera. PowerClear crews cleared roads and remote walking tracks. They had to uncover them with manual winching and get all the rootballs, rocks and trees out of the way. A lot of the work was over cliffs and through some hard-to-access and heavy terrain.

The PowerClear crews had to remove 4-ton rootballs of trees overhanging off the slippery slope of the batters. They had to work out how to get them down without damaging the the surroundings or getting things more tangled. They decided to use a DenJet water knife unit (4-cylinder diesel engine that can go up to 9000 psi) to actually cut the rootballs off the batters. Roped up, 20 to 30 meters on the batters, and they had to cut the rootballs out and then winch them down to the road below.

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