Hindon’s customer is one of the largest agricultural processing companies in the world. With sales of $60+ billion annually, the customer has amassed a global processing and distribution footprint with locations worldwide.

The customer’s in the Southeastern U.S. loads processed grain onto barges in the Mississippi River where the barges are moved through the loading process using barge haul winches. The braking system on these winches, which used a competitor’s electrohydraulic brake for emergency and holding applications, proved unreliable due to persistent issues with leaking seals in the brake’s electrohydraulic brake release thruster, requiring costly maintenance, repairs, and downtime.

In search of a solution for this unreliable braking system, the customer contacted Hindon regarding an upgrade of the braking system on the barge haul winches. The company requested that the new system use an electromagnetic brake and was interested in an overall braking system upgrade that would provide a more maintenance free solution that would hold up over time in the challenging marine environment.

Barge haul winch, Mississippi River, Port

A Mississippi River port active with barges and ships.

Application Challenges:

  • Retrofit application with desire for a bolt-in replacement and reuse of existing brake wheels
  • Challenging environmental conditions including marine environment and high temperatures (100°F+ ambient temperature)


After understanding the customer’s requirements for the new barge haul winch braking system, Hindon designed and supplied a bolt-in replacement electromagnetic drum braking system with an economical, lift-off, drip proof enclosure.

The new electromagnetic drum braking system was equipped with automatic wear adjustment, a limit switch for indication “brake released,” and a field-mounted control panel provided complete with an enclosure. With the drip proof enclosure for the brake, the system was fully protected from the harsh and varied environmental conditions seen on the Mississippi River.

This thoughtfully designed and manufactured braking system was the ideal solution for the customer as it is robust, reliable, and virtually maintenance free. Commissioning Hindon’s new braking system was simple and pain-free due to its design as a bolt-in replacement and the ability to reuse the customer’s existing brake wheel.  In the end, the solution was so successful that the customer continues to replace their failing thruster brakes with Hindon’s electromagnetic braking system, as allowed by the operation’s busy schedule.