Go Dual Lane
08 May 2008
The history of the Ohio, US-based company goes back to 1980 when the current president of Diamond Heavy Haul, Inc., Steve Engel, started his company with a single truck. Although still small, and capable of handling limited heavy and oversized loads, he already had different ideas about trailer design and methods to solve the problems of carrying the more extreme loads.
Engel first displayed his talent for engineering during high school and turned it to reality in 1986 when he started building heavy haul trailers. These trailers were built according to his own vision and design, and were different from what was available at the time. In the meantime Diamond Heavy Haul was a well-established company in the market and was ready to take a new step by introducing Diamond Trailers.
The first product from the Diamond Trailer drawing boards to roll out of the manufacturing facilities and hit the road was a 50 US ton (45 tonne) capacity lowboy. Only a year later a 75 ton (68 tonne) step deck followed. Steve Engel felt and responded to the need from the market to move ever heavier and larger equipment.
By 1989 he had produced the first 11 axle lowboy, followed by a 13 axle outfit less than two years later. In 1994 an innovative 19 axle lowboy was introduced. Until then, Diamond Trailers also supplied its products to many specialized carriers in the industry, but with the introduction of more sophisticated concepts and designs, Engel changed company policy. From then on, the more unique trailers would be operated almost exclusively from Diamond Heavy Haul's own fleet to operate in the Super Load league. In the meantime, modern production facilities covered some 80000 ft2 (7400 m2).
A Super Load can, in general, be defined as an oversized and non-divisible load that exceeds the normal routine issue of a given state. Depending on the state or states to be crossed, some generalities are: greater than 120000 pounds (54 tonnes) gross weight, greater than 16 ft (4.9 m) wide, and more than 15 ft (4.6 m) high overall.
1998 marked the start of a transition period in which, as the company says, Diamond reinvented itself. Nowadays, Diamond Heavy Haul's fleet consists of a variety of specialized trailers, which have some unique characteristics. At the light end of the fleet is a seven axle steerable parameter trailer. This 45 ton (41 tonne) capacity unit is an open deck construction with a variable deck, the length of which can be from 26 to 80 feet (8 to 24 m). Width can be between 8 and 18 feet (2.4 and 5.5 m) and the deck height runs at 12 inches (300 mm). The rear three axle group can be steered hydraulically. The deck is suited to vessels and high and wide loads that fit between the two deck beams.
An 11 axle step deck, running from 32 to 65 feet (10 to 20 m), and 70 tons (64 tonnes) maximum capacity, follows in the range. For loads up to 95 tons (86 tonnes) a 13 axle combination, equipped with parameter deck, is available. Deck length runs from 30 to 90 feet (9 to 27 m), while width can be adapted between 10 and 20 feet (3 and 6 m). The flat deck version, with a 26 to 60 foot (8 to 18 m) long, 10 foot wide deck, allows for loads up to 90 tons (82 tonnes). Diamond has a total of four 13 axle units available.
Next comes the 20 axle rig - a giant that runs on 78 tyres. Like its smaller brother, Diamond also runs four of those units. A special feature forms the self propelled rear end of the trailer, which is to allow easy and relatively fast manoeuvring when negotiating, for example, tight corners. No additional push truck is required. A power pack on the last tri-axle unit drives the centre axle. The 20 axle trailer is available with a flat deck, running between 26 and 65 feet (8 and 20 m) long and capable of carrying a maximum of 150 tons (136 tonnes), or a parameter deck variable in length between 34 and 80 feet (10 and 24 m), and in width between 10 and 20 feet (3 and 6 m). Maximum capacity is 160 tons (145 tonnes). The hydraulic towers provide a 2 foot (600 mm) raise and lower capability for the bed.
Diamond's showpiece and latest addition to the fleet is the Dual Lane trailer. The basic trailer consists of a front and rear section, each of which runs on two rows of two axle wheel sets running parallel. The individual wheel sets can be steered hydraulically, and have crab steering.
In addition, the wheel sets can be expanded from 12 ft 6 in to 18 feet (3.8 to 5.5 m) during travel, to create the dual lane concept. In addition, 3+1 conventional axle groups are connected to the rear wheel sets, while the front wheel sets fit either directly to a four axle tractor or a three axle jeep dolly in between. Both front tractor and jeep dolly and rear conventional axle groups can run on one lane while the two axle wheel sets run on the next one, optimising the dual lane capabilities. Standard width for Dual Lane Transport: depending upon what state you are operating in, generally Dual Lane means open axles to maximum width or between 18 and 20 feet (5.5 and 6 m) wide for weight distribution.
Like the 20 axle trailers, the rear end is self-propelled. The dual lane trailer has a maximum capacity of 215 tons (195 tonnes) and a parameter deck that can be extended in sections from 42 to 90 feet (13 to 27 m), while width runs from 10 ft 6 inches to 22 feet (3.2 to 6.7 m) and deck height is 16 inches (400 mm).
The dual lane concept is often an effective method of passing bridges that otherwise would not be capable of carrying the total weight. With its unique market approach Diamond Heavy Haul has become a leader in the field of ultra heavy hauling of so-called Super Loads.