While the vast majority of machines can be shipped in parts, and assembled at their final destination, there are a few which must be transported in one piece. As you can imagine, moving an item as long as a football field across state lines requires an incredible amount of logistical planning and transportation machinery—which is what makes these historical heavy haul jobs so impressive. Keep reading to learn about some of the heaviest cargos to ever hold up the highway.
The space shuttle Endeavor completed 25 missions in space, but its final trip—to its resting place at the California Science Center—might have been its most difficult. At 78 feet wide, 57 feet high, and 122 feet long, the shuttle required more than 100 people to help move it down just 12 miles’ worth of road. Their efforts didn’t go unnoticed, however; approximately 1.5 million people lined the streets to watch as the shuttle passed by.
The biggest load ever transported on wheels in Britain was a power station transformer weighing about 640 tons. It took a team of six heavy-hauling experts nine months to plan the moving strategy, which ended up involving 20 technicians, a police escort, and a 328-foot megatruck that took up two lanes of the highway. The load was so huge and heavy that it took the team two days to travel 80 miles, a journey which would ordinarily take just over an hour. Commuters traveling at that time may have been more frustrated than impressed, as the convoy could only crawl at a speed of 4 mph, causing a 13-mile traffic backup behind it.
What makes this heavy haul job remarkable isn’t just the size of the load, but the length of the journey—about 850 miles across multiple state lines. To get the job done, hauling company Perkins Specialized Transportation created a 300-foot-long trailer with 48 dual-lane hydraulic bogies a whopping 192 wheels. The “Road Train,” as it was called, successfully hauled four steam generator parts, each weighing about 760,000 lbs., from California to Utah. You can see photos and video of the incredible journey on the Perkins website.
By 2012, artist Michael Heizer had already accomplished several impressive feats, including digging two enormous trenches in the Nevada desert, dropping white lime powder and dyes over the landscape by air, and planting four granite boulders into lid-less concrete boxes in the earth. He then turned his attention to a new projecL moving a 340-ton boulder 105 miles to a museum, then bolting it over a trench to allow visitors to pass underneath it.
Hauling company Emmert International custom-built a 295-foot long, 196-wheel transporter to carry the granite megalith through 22 cities. The museum states that, at 340 tons, the boulder was one of the largest megaliths to have been moved since ancient times.
These gargantuan loads show just how far the heavy haul industry can go to transport items from point A to point B. If you need heavy hauling services in the Raleigh, Apex, Cary, or Durham areas, call Active Machinery Sales—and see just how far we will go for our clients!
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