What are the latest North American trailer innovations?


Successful transportation of wind turbine components or other specialized cargo often begins with the trailer. They can range from mass-produced trailers and transportation systems to one-off parts specifically designed for a particular transportation challenge. LAW brought together some of the latest innovations in trailers.

K25 brand in the wind

When developing the new K25 L modular platform vehicle, Scheuerle focused on safety and the transport of loads with a high center of gravity, which is necessary for the transport of wind turbine components.

Optimized to meet the needs of wind energy carriers, Scheuerle’s K25 L is a modular platform vehicle that has been designed for transporting loads with a high center of gravity.

With newer designed taller and heavier wind turbines, the high center of gravity of the load requires an extremely stable means of transportation. Scheuerle, a subsidiary of the TII Group, developed the modular platform vehicles of the K25 L series to ensure the maximum stable and flexible transport of these products. The L (Low) indicates the particularly low platform height as well as the use of larger tires. The track width of the K25 L is 2,100 millimeters with an external width of 3,000 millimeters.

The axle load of the K25 L can reach 23 tons or up to 13.9 tons at 49 mph. The tires are bigger and more robust: 285/70 R 19.5. Despite bigger tires, the lowered platform height is 875 millimeters (loaded) or 910 millimeters (unloaded). The high axle offset of 680 millimeters also makes driving on uneven surfaces safer. The maximum steering angle of +/- 60 degrees ensures optimal manoeuvrability. Raising and lowering is done using a Power Pack Unit (PPU) of the Z19 series. This is low emission and Stage V compliant.

The highest negative and positive bending moment on the market creates economic flexibility for the operator through additional loading options. This offers particular advantages for products such as tower segments or nacelles which have high point loads in combination with a high center of gravity, and those whose center of gravity lies far outside the center of support, such as this is the case when transporting long blades. For cornering safety, the K25 L has 30% more torsional rigidity than similar products. EBS guarantees improved braking performance and a shorter braking distance. Depending on the tractor truck, recovery is possible from the driver’s cab. The K25 L series model range meets the requirements of two to six axle platform vehicles. The vehicles can be combined with goosenecks, pull-up bars, swivel bolsters, bridges and tower adapters and can be used in ambient temperatures down to minus 25 degrees.

Blade transportation

The Trail King EFX Extendable Trailer will accommodate a variety of wind turbine blade sizes, styles and lengths. The narrow mono-frame, double telescopic, extendable

main gooseneck and low profile keep overall dimensions to a minimum. Extra-long blades can be maneuvered during transport or on the jobsite with turntable-type hydraulic steering.

BladeMate Flip Extension

XL Specialized Trailers produces the BladeMate Flip extension to carry longer wind turbine blades. The 27-foot-long XL Flip Extension can be added to the back of the XL BladeMate trailer or any blade haul trailer. The length of the trailer depends on the model the Flip extension is associated with. By adding the Flip extension, the BladeMate XL reaches a length of 211 feet. When moving the empty trailer, a driver can flip the extension, retract the trailer, and complete a 53-foot round trip with reduced permit costs.

The XL BladeMate Flip Extension provides operator benefits even when carrying shorter blades.

The XL Blademate Flip Extension is user-friendly. By moving the lever at the front of the trailer, six-inch hydraulic cylinders swing the extension up or down in minutes. The cylinder linkage can be detached and lowered flat to allow for more cargo space.

The rear bolster, at the end of the Flip extension, has a capacity of 20,000 pounds, making it suitable as a rear cargo platform for the common two-point cargo configuration. The Flip Extension is secured with a lug and pin system, allowing the tail to be fully removed when not needed.

Feeding the network with Energieanlagen Ramonat

Getting the electricity produced by solar panels or wind turbines to where it is needed requires cables – very long cables. With a team of more than 100 specialists, Energieanlagen Ramonat transports and installs cable trays all over the world – from planning to installation and maintenance to dismantling and disposal.

The Goldhofer THP/SL-L is ideal for transporting cable reels from wind farms to the power grid.

Depending on the design and the length of the cable, which can be up to 1.25 miles, the weight of the cable drums ranges from 55 tons currently to around 100 tons in the future. In addition to the high load weight, the dimensions of the drum must also be taken into account – both during transport to the construction site and during subsequent maneuvers on different construction site topographies when unrolling.

The company mainly uses heavy Goldhofer THP/SL-L modules with ship decks. These systems offer an optimal deadweight-to-payload ratio and numerous combinations, as well as high torsional rigidity and good off-road capability.

In addition, the use of self-propelled units (»ADDRIVE«) is possible, which increases operational flexibility at lower investment costs. To cope with increasingly bulky cable loads, Goldhofer is developing a ship deck optimized to accommodate a reel unwinding device weighing up to 100 tons.

“The combination of the THP/SL-L modules with the ship decks, which are only 450, 500 or 650 millimeters high and up to 13 meters long, is the optimal heavy transport solution for our cable reels. It is flexible to use and has already saved us many time-consuming detours,” said Energieanlagen Ramonat, Managing Director, Stefan Ramonat.

Make the right choice

When purchasing a low bed trailer, there are many considerations in selecting the best trailer for your business. Buying the wrong one can not only cost you in the long run, but it can also have an immediate impact if you are unable to use it to carry the necessary equipment. It is important to research low bed trailers thoroughly beforehand to help you avoid trailer failures in the future.

Ensuring safe distribution of weight, axle loads and load positioning, hydraulic and mechanical gooseneck trailers enable safe and efficient transportation of heavy loads.

Talbert Manufacturing offers a wide range of heavy haul solutions, including a series of low loader trailer models with a removable gooseneck that is available in hydraulic or mechanical configuration. While most contractors choose hydraulic goosenecks for their ease of use, there may be situations where a mechanical gooseneck is preferable.

One of the main advantages of a hydraulic gooseneck trailer is its ability to attach and detach quickly to save on downtime and labor costs. Hydraulic goosenecks also use a series of hydraulic cylinders to lower and raise the deck safely and easily when the trailer is attached to the truck while maintaining a low center of gravity when loaded equipment is particularly high. Additionally, if an operator knows there will be rough terrain or overhead clearances during transport, the height of the hydraulic gooseneck front deck can be adjusted to suit their environment. Hydraulic gooseneck trailers also provide increased operator safety, as the neck can be raised to allow the truck’s fifth wheel to attach without requiring lifting of the main deck.

Variable capacities

Operations can further optimize their hydraulic gooseneck trailer by adding additional chocks for weight distribution.

Hydraulic goosenecks are available in Talbert Manufacturing’s double drop series, which are available with a loaded deck height of 18 inches to ensure sufficient clearance and stability for tall loads and air suspension to provide maximum control on the load, as well as the lowboy series, which has a weight capacity of up to 110,000 pounds.

Mechanical goosenecks are lighter than hydraulic goosenecks, however, they take longer to attach and detach. They are also less expensive than hydraulic goosenecks and require less maintenance. Mechanical goosenecks use front rollers and truck ramps to connect and disconnect. These are best suited for longer haul trucking companies, where the load will be on the truck for several days and unloading will take place on smooth, hard surfaces.

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