Making its maiden trip
By Laura Hatton26 February 2014
Heavy transport company , based in Austria, used a new Doll Panther trailer to transport a 54 tonne generator from Weiz, Austria to a power station in Macedonia
The 8-axle extendible semi-trailer, S8E-S3F_3+5, has a 12 tonne axle load rating, a steering angle of 55 degrees and hydraulic suspension with a lift of 405 mm. In addition, it can travel at up to 80 km/h and has individual wheel suspension with a suspension travel of – 70 to +335 mm. It is also fitted with hydraulic steering and a hydraulically detachable gooseneck.
For the project the truck and trailer combination was driven by heavy-duty carrier driver Andi Prem. Felber Transport used the Doll panther S8E with a Scania R730 8x4 truck. The load consisted of a 54 tonne generator and a 5 tonne supporting frame. The vehicle’s total size was 16.45 metres in un-extended state and the semi-trailer’s size was 12.41 m. In total the vehicle weighed 42.8 tonnes.
For the first part of the journey the cargo travelled by road from Austria to Belgrade, Serbia. On arrival the transport was limited to travel at 65 km/h and accompanied by a police escort. The cargo then continued to the city of Niš, where a second escort took over to accompany the cargo to the Macedonia border.
The second part of the journey was on a four lane road to the mountains of Ohrid. Along the route the transport had to overcome challenges, including rectangular crossroads, bridges and parked cars.
Eventually the cargo pulled up at Brutok, the power station. The hydro-electric power station is different from most power stations in that it has been carved out of the rock. A result of this design meant that the cargo had to be driven several hundred metres down into a tunnel before it could arrive at the unloading point. This section of the tunnel measured 4.5 m wide and had several bends which made the journey difficult.
Christian Manninger, technician of the power station builder Andritz Hydro, said, “After a quarter of an hour we reached the unloading point which was a square opening in the concrete ceiling. The space is only just sufficient so the 54 tonne colossus was lifted slowly above the floor a few centimetres before being then placed into the round hole.”
Andi Prem, the driver for the transport project, said, “I really love my job and the new 8-axle semi-trailer makes the ride a pleasant experience. I appreciate the steering and suspension precision with which height differences, for example on roadwork sites, can be compensated. This is a very important safety factor. From the first moment on, I was also convinced by the steering angle of 55 degrees as well as by the quick and proper response of the Panther’s steering.”
Once the cargo was placed into its final position, the chains, winches and tensioning belts were packed away into the stowage boxes. Following this the shipping documents were signed and the crew was able to make its way back home.