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06. 2014

580-ton load in the sweltering heat

It was a mega haulage challenge for the Turkish Hareket Heavy Lifting & Project Transportation Co. of Samandira. They mastered it with the help of innovative transport equipment from Goldhofer Aktiengesellschaft. To transport a 580-ton pressurized gas tank to a mine over a distance of 176 km, Hareket – one of Turkey’s biggest haulage companies – used 22 axles from the Goldhofer heavy-duty self-propelled module system PST/SL-E with electronic steering. In view of the limited width of the roads and the 7 m diameter of the tank, the haulage team at Hareket decided to employ a split combination (1+1/2). That means the heavy-duty modules are divided lengthwise to improve the distribution of the load, a feature that is available with only a few module brands. The drive for the 22-axle combination was provided with two 490 hp Powerpacks.

The route from the port in Izmir to the final destination, the Zorlu Meta Nickel Mine in Manisa in the interior of the country, was daunting: The 35 m long and 8 m high colossus had to be carried over eleven bridges and then into the mountains, on twisting roads with very narrow bends and gradients of up to 12%. In order to reach their destination, the Hareket transport specialists had not only to raise 250 power and telephone cables and remove sixteen sets of traffic lights but also to dismantle and then re-erect two pedestrian bridges.

“Getting out of the port was difficult enough; everything was very cramped, and we had hardly any room. However, we were able to take full advantage of the outstanding maneuverability of Goldhofer’s self-propelled modules,” says Samet Gürsut, Operations Manager at Hareket. With their two 490 hp Powerpacks, the modules permitted optimum handling in the tightest space. “With the PST/SL-E, you have the fantastic advantage of being able to move the heaviest load in any direction in a single maneuver,” Gürsut adds.

Goldhofer’s self-propelled modules in the PST/SL-E series are fitted with electronic multiway steering with a steering angle of +/- 135°. Apart from the various standard steering programs like normal, 90° transverse, diagonal and carousel, a number of special steering modes are also available, which can be selected by pushbutton on the remote control.

As the Turkish highway code prohibits heavy goods vehicles with a laden weight of more than 150 tons from crossing bridges, temporary river crossings had to be constructed to avoid eleven bridges. “It was a continuous process of placement and removal; as soon as we were on the other side of the river, the crossing was removed and built again at the next bridge,” the Operations Manager explains.

One big problem for the crews was the hot weather, with temperatures up to 35°C. To avoid the worst of the heat, the daily journey began at 4.30 every morning and usually continued until 12 noon. That was definitely necessary: With the modules moving at a travel speed of between 1 km/h and 4 km/h, the crews covered most of the 176 km on foot. To cool the asphalt, the Hareket team had a water trailer up front containing cooled water, which was used to spray the road surface.

On the last stage of the journey, the 40 km of mountain roads, progress was particularly slow. Not only were gradients of up to 12% to be climbed and multiple narrow bends negotiated; a 2 km stretch of road also had to be widened in order to get round the tight bends at an elevation of 1,500 m.

At the destination, the pressurized gas tank was placed on steel supports and the self-propelled module combination reconfigured to provide two 6-axle parallel modules (1+1) for final positioning of the tank.

“Thanks to Goldhofer’s innovative transport equipment, everything went really smoothly, and we delivered the gas tank to the mine in Manisa 65 days after the start of the journey,” Samet Gürsut explains.

For Stefan Fuchs, CEO of Goldhofer Aktiengesellschaft, the operation is a further reference project for the reliability of quality products from Goldhofer. “However big the challenge, customers can always rely on Goldhofer axles – in even the most extreme situations.”

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