FLEXIBLE - ECONOMICAL - SAFE
In 2020, Goldhofer further perfected the concept of the load functioning as the connecting element between the tractor unit and the trailer with its »BLADES« blade hauler used in combination with a self-tracking trailing dolly. Since then, it has been possible to negotiate narrow passages even with rotor blades in excess of 100 m in length. For the return trip, the combination can be operated as a semitrailer, with the trailer simply coupled to the free-turning device.
In the meantime, more than 30 »BLADES« units and their trailers are in successful operation. Driven by the wind and now optimized for the construction industry, Goldhofer’s engineers have integrated larger tires into the overall concept. The result is a flexible trailing dolly solution that can be used not only for transports to wind farms but also to construction sites. All the know-how gained from special transportation operations with highly sensitive and ultra-long turbine blades is now being applied to shorter loads, too. The concept benefits from the simple operation, high levels of stability and various enhancements developed for the high-performance wind power industry. User-optimized operation and adjustment of the steering at the push of a button are two of the factors that contribute to maximum efficiency and help save resources. This combines the current focus on wind energy with the benefits of planning security in the construction industry. Due to the high level of demand for such transports in the wind power and construction industries, the trailing unit is a multi-talent with a quick ROI that makes it highly popular with customers.
Interview with Robert Steinhauser
Mr. Steinhauser, you are the Vice President of Sales & Service Transport Technology at Goldhofer and have firsthand knowledge of the needs of haulage companies. What is so special about the SXU-L and SN-L combination?
Robert Steinhauser: Thanks to the flexibility of the combination, we offer customers a solution that is extremely attractive in economic terms. In addition to transporting wind turbine blades, the combination can also be quickly and easily adapted to carry precast concrete elements, for example. All that is required is to replace the »BLADES« with a dolly, which many customers already have in their fleets. This greatly simplifies planning, reduces acquisition costs and increases vehicle usage.
How does the concept work?
Robert Steinhauser: Precast concrete parts are often verylong and despite their mass susceptible to damage. With thepositive experience that we and our customers have gathered in transporting highly sensitive turbine blades, the combination can also be used to meet the demanding transportation requirements of prefabricated concrete elements. A special turntable on the tractor unit or dolly ensures that the load is held securely but with the necessary degree of flexibility. On the trailing unit it also rests on a turntable, which ensures that as few stresses as possible are transmitted to the load while traveling. The trailers and dollies are available with 17.5 and 19.5 inch tires, so customers have various options. Our system also offers the best possible path tracking to ensure that even difficult passages are easily mastered.
Talking of path tracking: The loads are all extremely long. What does that mean for drivers when they encounter narrow passages or obstacles?
Robert Steinhauser: Our unique steering system, which can be hydraulically adjusted to different load spans at the push of a button, ensures optimum path tracking performance at all times. In addition, manual rear steering via radio remote control makes it possible to negotiate particularly challenging confined spaces, for example at hairpin bends or at turning points. A unique feature is our master-slave switchover, which allows the driver to transfer authorization to steer to the escort vehicle while traveling – and to call for it to be returned at any time. This means our combination offers maximum safety through unsurpassed flexibility, as the best angle of vision is always available for steering. After all, this type of work often requires millimeter precision.