Trends in transport

25 April 2008

Barnhart in the US is adding 108 axle lines of Goldhofer self-propelled heavy duty transport modules

Barnhart in the US is adding 108 axle lines of Goldhofer self-propelled heavy duty transport modules to its fleet that already includes transport equipment from the German manufacturer

Demand for new heavy and specialized transport equipment is such that the growing number of orders is affecting delivery times. Order backlogs for relatively standard specialized trailers are up to a year and even longer for some specific types. Pressure on production capacity and a shortage of components are primary factors.

A trend in trailers is clear in that there is growing demand for more sophisticated trailers and trailer systems, especially self-propelled hydraulic modular trailers. German manufacturer Goldhofer, for example, has received two major orders for its PST/SL-E self-propelled modular trailers with electronic multi-way steering.

The first order, from Barnhart Crane & Rigging Co. in the US and valued at about US$11.3 million, comprises 108 axle lines of PST/SL-E. Delivery will start later this year and will continue over the next two to three years. Barnhart ordered four- and six- line modules, including some split-type modules to enable coupling 1.5-wide trailers.

Barnhart already owns 150 lines of Goldhofer THP/SL, including two self-propelled modules with mechanical steering. Commenting on the order, Alan Barnhart said, “With a payload of 40 tonnes per axle line this delivery will allow over 4,000 tonnes to be transported. Coupling up with the non-propelled THP/SL can even further increase that capacity.”

The second major Goldhofer order, for 104 lines of PST/SL-E, is from Havator in Finland. Earlier this year Havator acquired Kuljetusneliö Oy, a leading heavy transport company. Founded in 1956, Havator celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and has plans to continue expanding, for example, in Russia. Adding the 104 new axle lines to the 64 Kuljetusneliö already had brings the total to 168 and takes the company's transportation capacity to more than 5,000 tonnes.

The Electronic-Multiway-Steering (EMS) offers, in addition to standard counter steering, carousel, diagonal crab, transverse and combinations with non-coupled trailer modules. The steering angle range is +/-135 degrees. Goldhofer says that the PST/SL-E and THP/SL can be coupled without any height difference between them.

Another large order for high-tech trailers was received by fellow German manufacturer Scheuerle, part of the Transporters Industry International (TII) Group owned by Otto Rettenmaier. Japanese specialist heavy transport and rigging company Sankyu ordered 102 axle lines of the latest generation of self propelled modular transporter (SPMT).

Sankyu was one of the first companies to buy self-propelled modular transporters some 20 years ago and since then the company has acquired container-sized SPMTs and now adds another 3,700 tonnes of payload to its existing fleet. The trailers are three-, four- and six-line modules with power packs and operator cabs. The STEPS 3 (Scheuerle Transporters Electronic Processor System) program controls and synchronizes all drive and steer movements and can synchronise the latest SPMT with earlier types.

Another member of the TII Group, Kamag, also based in Germany, has recently delivered two ship section transporters to China. The 432 tonne capacity units went to a shipyard in Jiangsu province. Each 48-wheel transporter, which has a tare weight of 72 tonnes, is 18 m long and 6 m wide. Kamag also supplies SPMTs and the steering and hydrostatic propulsion are identical.

Again from Germany, manufacturer Greiner Fahrzeugtechnik, specialises in special low beds, beams and transformer bridges and special trailers for heavy load handling on site. For machinery moving and installation Greiner developed ultra low hydraulic modular trailers on solid tyres. From this experience a special version aimed at the nuclear industry was developed.

Greiner says it is particularly successful with this type of trailer in the US where it has recently delivered trailer units 10 and 11 to handle nuclear casks. Features of the HPI 120.8, designed for a combined gross weight of 150 tonnes, include electro-hydraulic steering on all axles, height adjustment and remote control.

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