Contractor Discovers Custom Solutions With DSC Dredge


The company required full customization capabilities with its dredges to accommodate the unique challenges encountered by working in a wide variety of jobsites.


DSC provided J.F. Brennan with a number of customized dredging solutions, and also modified its existing equipment.

J.F. Brennan Company, Inc., is a specialist in marine construction and environmental remediation for inland waterways throughout the United States. Founded in 1919, the company has worked with government agencies, as well as providing services for private owners, including dredging, diving, dam repairs, pile driving, railroad bridge repairs, in-situ capping and more.   

As one of only three dredging companies in the nation on contract to complete remediation dredging for the Great Lakes National Project Office (GLNPO), J.F. Brennan is responsible for restoring and protecting the entire Great Lakes Basin. The company also completes a variety of other projects that consist of underwater inspection, millwrighting and structural construction on hydro dams and bridges, the building of harbors and even dredging for cranberry marshes.

Given the large variety of worksites, in 1993, J.F. Brennan realized it needed to work with a dredging manufacturer that could customize a dredge to accommodate its needs throughout different environments. Traditionally, the company had worked with conventional dredges, but it found that dredge style had limitations in certain jobsite conditions.

The company began working with DSC Dredge – which specializes in outfitting custom dredges to meet the exact specifications of its customers. In order to meet the needs of J.F. Brennan’s typical jobsite, DSC customized its dredges to feature high-viscosity cutterheads, boosters and a larger cab. In order to ensure extreme accuracy, which is required for remediation dredging, DSC developed a special articulated ladder that would allow the cutterhead to be parallel with the bottom surface. To increase buoyancy, especially helpful for shallow water projects, DSC increased the size of the dredges’ wing tanks. In addition to these upgrades, J.F. Brennan also wanted the hydraulic systems relocated from their standard position in the hull’s wing tanks to the deck of the dredge.

After consulting DSC to build and modify dredges to fit its needs, J.F. Brennan was able to sell its conventional dredges and operate with a fleet composed of eight DSC dredges – six Moray Class dredges with 8-inch (200-mm) discharges and two larger Barracuda Class dredges. Both models are designed by DSC to be convertible from swinging ladder to conventional design.

“DSC hasn’t just built new dredges for us; they have actually helped us modify current dredges that we have, as well. The first dredge we bought from DSC Dredge was a 12-inch swing ladder cutterhead dredge; we call it our ‘Michael.’ It’s been around for about 20 years, and is still operating with a few modifications and improvements over the years,” says Glenn Green, J.F. Brennan’s director of marketing and sales.

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