Tug-Barge Couplers – Advantages

The favorable economics of the Intercon Coupler System result from several factors, but essentially center on speed. This Coupler can produce speed advantages of 35% compared to towed units in average conditions. The ability to pitch maintains propeller and steering efficiency in any sea direction and condition so the tug can stay safely in the notch – pushing – while other units are towing or weatherbound.

The Intercon Tug-Barge Coupler is the result of thorough analysis of today’s tug-barge operations. The demands of the application, as well as the limitations of alternate linkage technology, were all considered in the development of this System.

A summary of the Intercon advantages:

  • Permits pushing in a wide range of sea conditions
  • Increases speeds 35-40% over towed units
  • Fuel savings enhanced by wheel and rudder efficiencies
  • Fully eliminates hull contact between tug and barge
  • Fail-safe mechanical connection with force monitoring
  • Engagement allowed regardless of draft or trim
  • Fabricated construction allows retrofit on existing conventional tugs and barges
  • Mechanical drive with engagement safeguards – not vulnerable to hydraulic or pneumatic system failures
  • Engaged and disengaged without crew on deck
  • Eliminates expense and hazards of hawsers, headlines, and cables
  • Comfortable ride resulting in less crew fatigue
  • Fleet interchangeability due to flush mounted components
  • Unmatched maneuverability at sea, and in port
  • USCG approved for Dual Mode under NAVIC 2-81
  • Worldwide product support from Intercon’s service facilities
  • Designed and manufactured in America by one of the leading names in marine equipment

The Intercon Coupler not only provides the economies of pushing, but offers flexibility, speed capabilities, improved transit predictability, and a degree of safety in operation not found in traditional tug-barge operations.