Vanguard transports Gautrain components

By Alex Dahm17 April 2009

The modular trailer, separated into two ten-axle configurations, gave the flexibility required to mo

The modular trailer, separated into two ten-axle configurations, gave the flexibility required to move the long girders

In South Africa Vanguard has completed a series of specialized transport projects for the Gautrain infrastructure project.

Vanguard did the work for Bombela Civils Joint Venture which is responsible for the civils infrastructure development on the Gautrain project. The Gautrain is a project of the Gauteng Provincial Government and, at the time of writing, was the largest infrastructure project in Africa.

Vanguard's involvement included the on-site manoeuvring, rigging and transportation of girders for the construction of bridges and viaducts. According to James Robinson, Vanguard project engineer, the company made good use of its extensive experience and its modular trailer system.

"The main challenge was manoeuvring the trailer on-site during loading. The girders, measuring between 75 and 60 metres in length and weighing up to 140 tonnes were resting on plinths. To cope with the space constraints, we set up the trailer system in such a way that the two ten axle trailers were parallel to one another," Robinson said.

"Using the trailer's hydraulics, it was lowered, slid beneath the girder and then raised again to lift the girder onto turntables on the trailer. We then carefully manoeuvred the two sets of axles into an inline configuration for transport," continued Robinson.

The girders were transported to different construction sites and offloaded onto temporary bridge structures.

"A further challenge was analysing traffic flows and co-ordinating with Metro Police to obtain escorts along major traffic routes. Bridges along the routes also had to be evaluated in terms of their ability to cope with these kinds of abnormal loads," explained Robinson.

The three completed jobs each involved rigging and transporting two girders, one at a time and each took between three and five days to complete.

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