Collett gets innovative to cross Glassford Bridge with 80-tonne transformer
UK’s abnormal loads specialist, Collett was tasked by Fracht UK to move an 80 tonne transformer from Goole, 230 miles away to Harting Rig wind farm in South Lanarkshire.
While the journey from Collett’s Goole heavy lift facility to the County of South Lanarkshire was straightforward, the team faced a major challenge in the shape of Glassford Bridge only three miles from the wind farm site.
Identified in the planning process, weight restrictions were in place on the structure, resulting in limitations to the vehicles and cargoes crossing the bridge. The loaded trailer and truck combination would have exceeded the structure’s maximum permitted weights, therefore a new approach would be required.
Alongside the weight limitations, Collett were also required to observe a maximum speed of 10 mph and ensure that no other traffic or pedestrians would be present on the bridge during the transport operation. In addition, all vehicles must follow a 3 metre strip of the bridge, with a series of cat’s eye markers in place to ensure each vehicle maintained a set alignment throughout.
With all this identified, Collett executed innovative transport arrangements to overcome these obstacles. Arriving at Glassford Bridge the process began, first by uncoupling the loaded trailer from the 8×4 MAN TGX tractor unit. Once disconnected, two 40-metre wire cables were attached, connecting the trailer and primary ballast truck. A secondary 8×4 ballast unit was then connected at the rear of the trailer, again using 40-metre wire cables.
With all other traffic restricted, the secondary ballast tractor reversed and the primary drove forward. This tensioned the cable, removing any slack, then both vehicles began the slow drive forward. Controlling the cable tensioning throughout, the primary tractor unit cleared the structure, followed by the trailer, transformer and Steersman in tow. With the ability to control the trailer steering and breaking, Collett’s Steersman ensured that the trailer and cargo remained within the necessary alignment whilst traversing the structure. Once clear of the bridge, and with the trailer brake applied, the secondary ballast unit took up the cable stack and crossed Glassford Bridge.
With the wire cables removed and the primary tractor unit re-coupled, the 80 tonne transformer completed the remaining 3 miles of the journey to Harting Rig wind farm. On arrival, the cargo was met by Collett’s heavy lift team for jacking and skidding to final position.