How is innovation making specialized transport faster and more efficient?

By Niamh Marriott26 August 2022

New developments from the specialized transport industry mean bigger and more complicated loads can be moved faster, and more sustainably. Niamh Marriott reports.

New products are being developed to improve the transport of a variety of equipment for the construction and energy industries.

A vehicle transports turbine towers Uddevalla Specialtransporter used its new Faymonville 3+7 CombiMax vehicle to transport turbine towers across Sweden. (Photo: Uddevalla Specialtransporter)

Faymonville has launched two new products, including the new BladeMax1000 from its Cometto range for the wind industry.

With load ratings of 650, 800 and 1,000 tonne-metres, these blade lifters are designed to move wind turbine rotor blades safely and efficiently in wooded or built-up areas, in narrow streets or in mountainous regions, and are useful for rural locations.

The equipment has two movement axes: rotor blades are raised up to an angle of 60 degrees and can also be rotated through 360 degrees.

Faymonville’s other newest product, the ModulMax AP-M, is said to be a 2-in-1 modular trailer that combines the supporting assist mode with an independent self-propelled mode.

The motorised axles of the modules can be engaged and disengaged at any speed with a maximum of 40 km/h.

Transporting loads weighing hundreds or even thousands of tonnes requires safe, reliable and powerful modular systems, says Faymonville, and its latest invention intends to offer a unique and cost effective solution.

The company says the trailer is one of the strongest on the market, with up to 1,270 kilonewtons of traction force from one Powerpack Unit.

The motorised axles of the modules can be engaged and disengaged on the move, meaning operators don’t need to stop the convoy for this manoeuvre.

G4 rotor blade adapter for the energy sector

New for the wind industry from Scheuerle in Germany is the G4 rotor blade adapter. The newly improved fourth generation model was put through its paces on a project by Steil Kranarbeiten.

The specialized transport and crane rental company transported several rotor blades, each almost 79 metres long, along a short (6 km) but highly congested route. It was from the loading area near Salzgitter to the Flöthe wind farm.

Steil matched the new G4 rotor blade adapter with an InterCombi self propelled transporter. It was configured with two sets of six axle lines.

“The rotor blade adapter G4 made a significant contribution to accomplishing the task,” explains engineer Sebastian Sehl, company secretary at Steil Kranarbeiten and responsible for project management.

Crucial to the success were the equipment’s high load moment and high set up angle, Scheuerle said. The G4 adapter allowed the blades to be elevated sufficiently to swing them over houses and other obstacles.

“We had to erect the rotor blade, which weighs more than 20 tonnes, by up to 45 degrees in order to shorten the transport,” Sehl explains.

At that point the load moment was around 650 tonne-metres. Its maximum load moment is 900 tonne-metres, with the blade at 60 degrees, which accommodates even larger blades.

Cargo is lifted Total Movements moved 60,000 tonnes of cargo to a terminal in Odisha, India. (Photo: Total Movements)

In Sweden Uddevalla Specialtransporter used its fleet of Faymonville WingMax flatbeds to transport long wind turbine blades throughout the country.

Its new 3+7 CombiMax vehicle is now being used to transport the tower segments of turbines to various farms, too.

The company says the vehicle is extendable, which allows flexibility for different lengths.

It also includes the PA-X technology – the low pendular axle – which offers a low driving height and a 60 degree steering angle.

Flexible heavy load transportation

Some new trailers are on their way for launch later this year. Along with its Stepstar semi lowloader, Goldhofer will be presenting its new Trailstar air-suspension trailer at this year’s IAA Transportation show in Hannover, Germany, in September.

The company says its three to five axle air-suspension trailer offers transportation companies maximum flexibility combined with minimum deadweight.

The new design allows optimal use of loading area length and loading centre of gravity.

The new trailer comes with a practical load securing system, form-fit pocket stakes and a ramp system for a low approach angle to accommodate low-floor vehicles.

The new trailer also features 10 tonne lashing points on the full length of the loading deck. As an optional extra, a wide and long excavator boom recess is available for transporting excavators with large dipper arms.

“Like all vehicles in the Star range, it has an optimum payload-to-deadweight ratio. Plus, the 4 and 5 axle versions feature self-tracking steering for greater manoeuvrability,” says Markus Albrecht, product line manager for the Star range at Goldhofer.

“We have developed a straightforward, robust and economical product line that offers our customers meaningful advantages in terms of the versatility of their fleets,” adds Robert Steinhauser, sales manager for Europe and North Africa at Goldhofer.

Worldwide Project Consortium projects

Members of the Worldwide Project Consortium (WWPC) around the world have been moving a wide range of equipment.

Airland Logistics, member of the WWPC for Denmark, assisted a client with a complex move of oversized cargo from Gdansk, Poland. This involved a barge into Hamburg, Germany, followed by shipping to Port Hedland and subsequent delivery to Kalgoorlie in Australia.

The cargo included two boilers each weighing 53 tonnes and more than 11 metres long.

A large piece of cargo that Airland Logistics helped to transport Airland Logistics assisted with a complex move of oversized cargo from Gdansk in Poland. (Photo: Airland Logistics)

Another member, Cosmatos Group, member of the WWPC for Greece, moved three transformers and 94 accessories from the Port of Eleusis in Greece, where they had arrived from Shanghai, China.

EXG works on biggest heavy transport move

The biggest move from a WWPC member, however, was in India.

Express Global Logistics (EXG), along with its partner, transported one of 30 orthotropic steel decks for the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) project.

MTHL will be the longest sea bridge in India connecting Mumbai to Navi Mumbai near Nhava Sheva.

EXG moved the heaviest OSD among the 30, weighing 2,405 tonnes, making it the longest ever cargo moved on land in India.

The steel deck was moved to the Heavy Civil Infrastructure IC site in Sewri, Mumbai.

Moving cargo this large within the stipulated deadlines, required meticulous planning by the EXG engineering team mapping the entire route.

A spokesperson for EXG explains, “The team’s hard work and relentless planning to organise and prepare at the site before the movement took place, allowed for a smooth execution of the project and the team ensured the highest safety standards.

“EXG kept the pace and completed the challenging OSD transport and is proud to be part of the prestigious MTHL movement.”

How does weather impact heavy transport projects?

Elsewhere in India, fellow WWPC member Total Movements, moved five units of power plant equipment and accessories, with the widest piece being 8 metres wide and the heaviest weighing 100 tonnes, from a manufacturing site in India to an export port.

The company says, “With the execution of the project coinciding with the end of the monsoon, detailed planning was carried out by our team. All the parameters on-road as well as on sea for cargo safety and stability were taken into consideration.”

The three loads moved by road were placed on suitable vehicles, lashed properly and moved out from the supplier’s plant to the load port.

The remaining two pieces of critical-shaped equipment (neck) required extreme supervision as they were to be loaded on the barge by a LOLO operation that required a high-capacity crane.

It’s been a busy time for Total Movements, as the company also recently handled and delivered almost 60,000 tonnes of cargo to the 5MTPA LNG regasification terminal in Odisha, India. The cargo varied in size with the heaviest piece weighing 136 tonnes.

Worker stands in front of a Laso Transportes vehicle Portuguese transport specialist Laso Transportes has expanded its fleet. (Photo: Laso Transportes)

For a single project, there were multiple shipments at different ports and each with a distinct work scope and its own set of challenges, says the company.

Fossil-free transportation trucks

New developments occasionally mean environmentally friendly solutions and green alternatives, as the transport industry looks to decrease its carbon emissions.

Sweden-based manufacturer Volvo is introducing the use of fossil-free steel in its trucks.

As previously reported by ICST, the steel is produced by the Swedish steel company SSAB and the heavy-duty electric Volvo trucks will be the first to include it.

Volvo Group has been collaborating with SSAB since 2021.

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