Flexible Solutions for Challenging Situations
DOLL is offering specially designed wind blade transport systems based on its proven series of trailers, suitable for all types of blades on the market. A growing numbers of renowned transport companies are being won over by the benefits of these systems, which combine mechanical or hydraulic lifting adapters with special bolsters and trailers.
Bolk Transport B.V. and Universal Transport are recent additions to the roster of companies that have opted for DOLL’s self-steering trailer combinations. Both chose hydraulic lifting adapters on a dolly, giving themselves enough reserve capacity to accommodate the steady increase in rotor blade length and weight that the industry is experiencing. With a dead weight of approximately 7 t (depending on the choice of equipment) and a maximum 5th-wheel load of 30 t, the dolly has a remaining load capacity of around 23 t. Working at the other end of the system, the 4-axle vario self-steering trailers boast a load capacity of around 32 t with a total technical weight of 40 t. Quite simply, these trailer combinations make it easy to plan for an extensive range of rotor blade sizes – even those approaching the 100 m mark.
Based in the Netherlands, Bolk Transport put no fewer than 3 of these systems into operation recently.
“We collected the last 2 before Christmas,” said Joop Savenije, managing director at Bolk Transport B.V. “Wind turbines have 3 blades, but it’s not like you transport one to its destination, then go back for the others,” he added with a touch of dry humor. “So you need 3 vehicles – one for each blade.”
Previously, Bolk had relied solely on telescopic trailers to transport wind power components. As rotor blades began growing to more than 65 m in length, however, it knew it had to find an alternative solution. In mid-January, the Seaport of Brake, Germany, provided the location for the first trial loading operation with project manager Emil Leushuis carefully monitoring progress and taking notes.
“What makes the trailer technology so good is that the rotor blade is self-supporting and there are much more flexible options for navigating obstacles,” said Mr. Leushuis. “There’s also a tiltable lifting adapter at the front, and the equipment is able to get round bends much more smoothly. The extensive slewing angle and attached turntable make it possible to position the dolly and self-steering trailer at an almost entirely transverse angle to the bolster, while the vehicle keeps on going.”
The specialists at Universal Transport in Paderborn, Germany have been making use of their 3 latest DOLL self-steering trailer combinations since August 2020.
“We’re currently using the trailers to carry rotor blades measuring as much as 65 m long, on vehicles with a total length of up to 77 m. The extendable cable and rope systems provide 120 m in length, so there’s practically no limit to how far you can take the system – which isn’t the case with telescopic trailers,” said Ronny Knoblauch, one of the truck drivers. “As there’s no telescopic beam, you’re left with much more room to cross over obstacles underneath the load.”
“The goalposts in the wind energy industry are moving all the time,” added Holger Dechant, managing director of Universal Transport. “We combine the trailers with different dollies to transport other long materials such as concrete parts and bridge girders. If rotor blades do get to the 100 m level, we’ll have what it takes to cope with that.”
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