Equipped for the Future of Wind Power
The South African heavy-load logistics provider Vanguard has purchased rotor blade transport systems (RotorBlattTransport-System - RBTS) from TII SCHEUERLE. The company is using these to transport wind blades to their respective operation sites. Vanguard chose the RBTS from TII SCHEUERLE primarily because of its flexibility, cost-effectiveness, transport safety and ease of use.
The RBTS from TII SCHEUERLE has already completed the required test loading trials and test drives at Vanguard with flying colors. It had to demonstrate its particular strengths when transporting the almost 83 m long wind blades. These are among the longest rotor blades for use in on-shore systems currently available on the world market. When loaded, the combined vehicle length reached 95 m. TII SCHEUERLE, the industry specialist for heavy-load transport on and off-road from the TII Group, has once again impressively demonstrated the operational performance of the trailing unit concept.
“The tests have shown that the RBTS is even better than we expected,” said Bryan Hodgkinson, director of Vanguard. Vanguard has purchased a total of 6 RBTS from TII SCHEUERLE. The internationally active heavy-load logistics provider Vanguard, with headquarters in Cleveland, South Africa, is currently transporting 2 rotor blades each week from the port of Ngqura near Port Elizabeth (Eastern Cape Province) over a distance of around 500 km to their inland operational sites. The order includes the transport of more than 230 blades for 78 wind turbines. It will take Vanguard around one year to do this. The company has already completed the first tours.
The SCHEUERLE RBTS allows Vanguard to fulfil this order economically and efficiently as well as safely. A key strength of the RBTS is the safe and reliable transportation of even the longest wind blades over long distances. In addition, the trailing unit concept can be used flexibly for components of other lengths and is easy to operate. With the RBTS, Vanguard also has a versatile transport solution for wind blades in the future.
“The SCHEUERLE RBTS has fully met our requirements. The company’s good reputation in the industry also spoke in favor of TII SCHEUERLE,” stated Mr. Hodgkinson.
“We were very pleased when Bryan Hodgkinson, CEO of Vanguard, decided in favor of the SCHEUERLE RBTS,” explained Lars Schoedt, area manager Sales at TII SCHEUERLE. “In our discussions, it became clear that we could provide Vanguard with the best transport solution for meeting their challenges in terms of flexibility, cost-effectiveness, safety and easy handling.”
The SCHEUERLE RBTS consists of a 2-axle jeep dolly together with a free-turning device and a 4-axle trailing unit. It is also possible to mount the free-turning device directly on the truck tractor. The lift of up to 2 m in the free-turning device is also large enough to accommodate obstacles such as surface unevenness and bumps in the road. The trailing unit combination makes an impressive case through its maneuverability and safe driving performance especially over long distances. It can negotiate bends that cannot be mastered with a telescopic semi-trailer without having to remove any infrastructure such as crash barriers. This reduces the time and effort involved in preparing the route, minimizes the approval procedure and is therefore particularly cost-effective in use. Given that the rotor blades of increasingly more powerful wind turbines are becoming ever larger, the RBTS is also a particularly future-proof solution.
Assembly of the wind blade is carried out according to the plug-and-play principle. With the help of a special lifting device, the wing root is picked up from the ground. The quick coupling solution is comprised of the free-turning device along with the root adapter and a root frame that is connected to the blade root. This frame can then be secured to the free-turning device in next to no time with the help of the adapter. A clamping device on the trailing unit is used to fix the tip of the rotor blade into position. It can also be adapted to accommodate rotor blades from other manufacturers.
The RBTS also offers great advantages regarding empty runs, depending on the region of operation. In Europe, for example, it can be shortened to form a semi-trailer combination in line with the European standard dimensions of 2.55 m wide and less than 4 m high. At the same time, the empty tractor-trailer combination weighs no more than 40 t. Thus, for example, driving without a load requires less approval procedure. In South Africa too, there are advantages if the unloaded vehicle has the dimensions used in conventional transport. In such large countries, the high transport speed is also very impressive.
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