Lee’s Transport

Heavy and challenging Cross-continental Hauls

We take a look at four of the most complicated heavy haulage projects in recent history

We take massive structures for granted. It is completely overwhelming standing right next to The Statue of Liberty, an oilrig or a wind turbine, and it’s almost unnatural for you not to be in awe of the sheer size of the structure. Have you ever stopped to think how the various components got to that location if it was not built there? It takes a lot of hard work, clever engineering and smart logistics to get these structures to their destinations.

Whether it is moving to a different state, a different country or into the sea, it takes a powerful force to transport things that weigh thousands of tonnes. Let’s take a look at some of the world largest cross-continental hauls.

Demethanizer: 535 600 pounds

Don’t question your entire life if you didn’t know what a demethanizer is; fact: many people don’t know what it is, but it’s huge! A demethanizer is a component that extracts hydrocarbon liquids from natural gas, and a trucking company based in Oklahoma took on the task of moving this 186-foot long, tubular component to a gas processing plant in Colorado. The approximately 800-mile drive was strategically planned to only drive on certain roads where the infrastructure was able to withstand the total load of 1.2 million pounds, which includes the four massive trucks needed to transport the demethanizer.

This was not a quick journey by any means; the drivers were instructed to drive no faster than 30 miles an hour. By closing down highways and the assistance from the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Colorado State Patrol, the company delivered and offloaded the demethanizer at its destination safely.

Four generators: 800 000 pounds each

Where do you start the planning process to move four generators weighing a total of 3.2 million pounds? A transport company was commissioned with hauling these objects from California to Utah, an 850-mile long journey. Regular trailers were not an option; the company had to outsource the manufacturing of custom-made trailers measuring 300 feet long with 192 wheels in total.

The truck for the job was the mighty Mack Titan, one of the most powerful types of truck in the world with 600hp, known for transporting heavy material such as timber logs and construction machinery.

Saturn V rocket: 3100 tonnes

Saturn V Rocket Display

The Saturn V Rocket on display – Huntsville, Alabama 2007

When you’re dealing with things that are literally out of this world, you can expect it to be a mammoth task. Rocket scientists are widely known for their incredible intellect. These aeronautical engineers are faced with the challenge of building rockets and space-related structures that weigh thousands of tonnes. This is hard enough, which is why the services of specialised transport companies are required to move these machines into place.

The Saturn V rocket that was built in the 1950s stood 110.6 meters tall and weighed 3100 tonnes when loaded with fuel and ready for lift off. To move this rocket onto the launching pad, NASA developed a customised 2750 tonne, 40-meter truck they call the crawler-transporter. Given the amount of pressure due to the weight of the rocket, the crawler-transporter could not even have wheels; instead, it crawled on tank treads on a specially designed and constructed road, coated with Tennessee river rock to reduce the friction. T-minus 10, and before you know it, the rocket was safely moved approximately 5 kilometres, ready to take off.

Troll A gas drilling platform: 1.2 million tonnes

A gas-drilling platform built in Norway is known as one of the largest and heaviest drilling rigs in the world. We only see the top half once it is in operation, so we often forget that drilling platforms stand on extremely long legs that need to balance out the entire structures weight while it is in the ocean.

Troll A weighs a colossal 1.2 million tons and stands 471.8 meters high. Once built, this structure had to be hauled 280 kilometres to its location off the coast of Norway. Moving at a slow one knot per hour, it required the assistance of 10 tugboats to move it into place.

For any heavy haulage challenge, contact Lee’s Transport to assist you.