All That's Trucking

Super-load gives a new definition to the term "big rig"

April 20, 2012

How do you move a nearly million-pound load? Design your own trailer, with 192 wheels, and big power from Mack trucks -- three of them.

It took three Mack titans, one in front and two in back, to move the load.



Huge oversize specialized loads are always fascinating, and the project from Perkins Specialized highlighted in this Mack video is no exception.

The Northfield, Minn, company specializes in super loads - the biggest, longest, heaviest cargo allowed on the nation's highways. Over 40 years the firm has grown from a dozen workers and trucks to 65 employees and 22 heavy-duty rigs. It hauls everything from steam turbines and bridge beams to dryers for ethanol plants and gun mounts for destroyers.

For this project, its biggest ever, four decommissioned 46-foot-long generator vessels had to be moved 950 miles from a San Onofre, Calif., nuclear generating station to a Clive, Utah, disposal site. The route included a 15-mile trip up a 7% grade of Interstate 15 through California's Cajon Pass.

The project required the development of the "Road Train" transporter, a TK800 suspension system with 48 dual lane loading hydraulic/gas bogies. Conceived and initially designed by Perkins project managers and engineers, "Road Train" was professionally built by a major U.S. trailer manufacturer for the project. It's made up of multiple units, four (4) 6-line 20-foot-wide "dollies" to move its payloads. Each pair of dollies is linked by spanner beams on which the suspension system is mounted with the payload hanging in between each pair.

An Allison automatic transmission made smooth work of the upgrades and the Mack PowerLeash engine brake helped on the downhills.



And here's some video from Perkins showing the massive dolly system negotiating corners:



Read more about the load in this PDF version of Perkins' newsletter and in this Mack Success Story PDF.