Capabilities & Applications

Clamshell Suction Contract Gravel Dredging Excavation Services MNCapabilities


  • Efficient from 0′ to 200′ depths
  • Spans up to 1500′
  • 3000 + ton a day
  • Effective for, Gravel, Gold, Sand, & Rock.


  • Up hill
  • Down hill
  • Unstable ground
  • Steep or rough terrain


  • Fly materials
  • Fly your equipment into remote locations

Clamshell Excavation Company MontanaApplications

  • Dredging & Excavating Gravel
  • Dredging & Mining Gold
  • Sand & Frac Sand – View Video
  • Rock
  • Sediment ponds
  • Unstable ground
  • Flood cleanup, and prevention
  • Dam/Reservoir cleanout of sediment build up also build up of timber, brush, and debris
  • Ports and shipping channels
  • River clean out
  • Pond/Lake deepening
  • Swamp
  • Can build man made lakes, ponds, and irrigation ponds, as well as clean outs
  • Flying
  • Erosion clean up
  • Mining applications
  • Pulling leach lines in copper mines
  • Reclamation
  • Potential savings in mining of Ore due to eliminating the expense of road building

About Skyline Dredging

Clamshell Excavation Company MinnesotaSkyline Dredges have come a long way since the days of using draglines and the old type “sauerman dredges” and scraper systems. In addition to these improvements, today’s Skyline Dredges are more versatile and have far less limitations than the widely used suction dredges of today. As a leading company in the industry, our knowledge, experience and forward thinking will help you to maximize your profits and minimize your costs. Give us a call for a free consultation, and we will help you to determine which options are the most effective for your mining operation.

Every dredging system has its positives and negatives, and every pit has its own obstacles from pit layout to material types. This is why a Skyline Dredge is such a unique machine, because of how it adapts to the various obstacles that everyone faces when dredging or excavating the different types of materials.

The most common dredging systems out there today are the suction dredge, the clamshell, and every once in awhile you run across a drag line. These various dredging systems, while effective, are extremely limited to their specific application, such as depth, span, materials extracted and so on. If you don’t have all of your obstacles accounted for, like that layer of clay, or those big boulders that pop up from time to time, or if you expand your pits to a location with a deeper aggregate depth, you now have a very expensive piece of equipment that possibly can’t even retrieve your aggregates.

The Skyline Dredge’s only limitation is extremely hard material, and by that I mean material that an excavator has trouble with. If any of the other three types of dredges can dig it, the Skyline Dredge can too. I have talked to some people who say they have seen, or worked around “Sauerman” type systems, which are similar to the Skyline Dredge system, and they have issues with them flipping their buckets over, digging the material, they are slow, or half the bucket dumps in the water. All of these issues are from bad set ups, layouts, slow drums, or poor bucket designs. Skyline Dredges have come a long way from the old “Sauerman” days, and we have really adapted these machines to be extremely efficient in most any application.

The other benefits of a Skyline Dredge is that you don’t have to worry about clay layers, the depths of your deposits, what size your aggregates are (to an extent like over a 14′ bolder), expenses going up because of the distance from your plant so you have to add pumps, those high dollar repairs, or having to worry about contaminating the water with an oil leak. You won’t have under mining, or people out on the water, which limits MSHA issues. Something else to consider is the fact that the other systems, besides the drag line, are only good for dredging. This is not the case with the Skyline Dredge. Most people don’t realize how effective a Skyline Dredge is on dry land, excavating material, or doing reclamation jobs for example.

There is no doubt that there is a place for every system, in fact I am even looking at acquiring a suction dredge myself for certain scenarios, (mainly for rivers or lakes that I cannot get my machine into), but in most mining applications that I have seen, the Skyline Dredge, out of all the systems out there, is the most adaptable, effective and affordable application available on the market today.

Why Contract J.D. Dredging

Why might contracting out your dredging be a good option for YOU?

Clamshell Excavation Company MinnesotaThe ability to control where you focus your time matters to your bottom line.

  • Dredging can bring a lot of obstacles, and when you have a lot of other things to deal with it can be nice to eliminate one thing off your plate, so that you can focus more on production and sales, while letting us worry about how to get you your material.

Maintain your cash flow and debt ratios by not investing in more heavy equipment.

  • One of the biggest reason that I have found why some companies prefer contract dredging with us is that if you buy your own machine (one of the three main systems) the upfront costs of these machines are very high. The problem here is once you make this investment, if it doesn’t dig as good as expected, or if for some reason the market drops like it did during the Great Recession, then you are still stuck with a machine that theoretically needs to produce a certain amount of material to pay for itself.
  • By contracting our company to dredge your material, all of the pressures from that expensive upfront purchase and ongoing yearly debt is eliminated. This allows you the flexibility necessary to control your cash flow by having the freedom to increase or decrease your expenditures accordingly. And that puts you in the driver seat, because you only purchase the material you need for that given year. By being able to do that you can stay competitive with your prices no matter the market.

Allows you to invest in an Asset that appreciates in value instead of equipment with limited capabilities.

  • J.D. Dredging gives you the ability to invest your money directly into an asset that makes you money — your gravel.
  • Why invest in a machine that is just going to cost you money in the end, especially when the three main styles of dredging equipment are so limited with their capabilities. A high cost investment, with limited outcome equals high risk.
  • On average, to purchase a suction dredge that can dig 42ft and can produce upwards of 3000 tons a day costs around 1.5 million dollars, and that is not factoring in the additional costs of the support equipment that will be needed as well. If you went with J.D. Dredging instead of spending that money on a depreciating machine, you would instead be investing your money into nearly 900,000 tons of profitable material! Factoring in the initial cost of purchasing a dredge, along with the cost to operate that dredge, it would take you nearly another 9 million ton to make up the difference created with initially investing with J.D. Dredging.
  • The other big plus is you get a 100% tax write off going with J.D. Dredging, instead of just being able to depreciate your machine.
  • So I guess the question is do you want the headache of keeping a machine up and running, or would it be more cost effective to deal with one person year after year, so that all of your focus can be directed towards your true business goals.

Less employees means less paid out in training expense and wages.

  • In addition to the costs associated with the machine itself there is also the issue of operators to run the machine. As we all know, a good dredging operator is worth his weight in gold, and a bad or inexperienced operator can cost you all of your gold.
  • With J.D. Dredging, you never have to worry about losing your experienced operator, or having to hire more staff just to have to train them in this specialized field. We will always be there with dedicated employees that have been trained to perform at a high level. This allows you to not have fluctuating costs, as well as not having to mess with timely and costly training process.

Maximize your pit locations, and the costs associated with their operation.

  • Another benefit to you is that our machines transport easily and affordably for as much material as they can produce. This capability is a definite plus for companies who have several pits, or a road construction company that needs to extract the gravel close to their road project so they can eliminate those costly long truck hauls.
  • Also, if you do have multiple pits, our style of dredging allows you the option of eliminating the need to own multiple big stationary screen plants and crushers that are associated with suction dredges and clamshell systems, and allows you instead to have one or two mobile plants.

Utilize the pit locations you are already permitted for.

  • With permitting as hard as it is these days for starting new gravel pits and other mines, being able to obtain the material under the water table is becoming a must, and by working with J.D. Dredging as a contractor, it allows you the option of not having to go through that long permitting process to acquire a new pit, as well as not have to make that big investment in one of the other systems.

Thank you for your time. I hope this information was helpful in helping you to make your decision on whether or not to contract out your dredging. Please feel free to call for your free consultation.

About Us

A Family-Owned Dredging and Excavation Company

Clamshell Excavation Company MinnesotaJ.D. Dredging is a Family based business specializing in dredging and excavation. We believe in putting your faith and your family first and that this will allow you to be successful in life, as well as in business. We are an ambitious company who wants to make a long lasting footprint in the mining industry, and we are confident that we can help your mining company accomplish your dredging, excavating, & reclamation needs, and allow you to accomplish this in the most affordable and efficient way as possible.

We believe in the old school mentality – if you are man enough to shake on it, then you better be willing to do what it takes to take care of your half of the agreement. We also know that talk is sometimes cheap, so we are here as a company to show you that being straightforward, truthful, and a solid hand shake is the way we handle our business.

Our goal is to make long lasting business relationships, as well as friendships, as we grow our company. So please feel free to call or e-mail us, because we are very interested in figuring out ways to make a Skyline Dredge work for you!

Again, thank you for taking the time to check us out, and I look forward to doing business with you.

-Jake Hoon