GE Energy contacted Edwards Moving & Rigging to transport two gas turbine generators to a power plant in rural Kentucky, USA. It would involve some 2 million pounds (907 tonnes) of freight winding through 150 miles (241 km) of narrow, rolling hills with aggressive 90 degree turns.
The first of the three barges carrying the components arrived at port in mid to late January 2009. Weight restrictions meant Edwards would have to reposition the large components on the barge to be within the 550 tonne crane's lifting radius. This required the use of Edward's hydraulic lock and slide system as well as precision engineering and barge ballasting.
Edwards also needed to design a way to handle the dozens of bridges, guardrails and varying road grades along the route. The company worked with Goldhofer to design a custom transporter specifically for the job. The 32-axle dual lane transporter would be pushed and pulled by two prime movers, making 38 axles on the road. The design called for a dual-lane configuration and strategically placed axles to maximise load distribution.
Edwards also worked with Goldhofer and Trail King to develop a trailer and beam combination. Due to the customer's concern about the stress the cargo would be under while in transit, a three-point hydraulic loading system was selected. This system ensured that fragile cargo did not encounter any unnecessary stress due to its large length.
Due to the ground clearance being so low on parts of the route, the US football field length trailer would be able to elevate over inclines along the route, and then lower for passing under overpasses. In addition, the design of the axles allowed for Edwards to move over dozens of bridges without shoring or bridge jumpers.
With no slack in the schedule, the transport design allowed for maximum flexibility along the route which enabled Edwards to be time efficient and cost effective, said the company.