Planning and Engineering Result in Safe Delivery of Large Load

While one of Barnhart’s specialties is heavy haul, considerable planning and engineering is always required, particularly when large loads are moved. That was the case with a 105-foot-long pressure vessel that was recently hauled.

Barnhart was delivering the vessel from a fabricator in Paramount, California, to a site in Boulder City, Nevada, a distance of 490 miles. The vessel weighed 310,000 pounds. It was hauled by a 10-line Goldhofer and two push trucks, making for a combined total weight of 548,450 pounds and an eventual length of 180 feet.

According to Josh Havelka at Barnhart Crane and Rigging, the size of the transport, both length and weight, was a challenge. “First, you had to find routes that would accommodate the size and make sure the bridges along that route would be able to support the weight of the load.  Plus, with a load height of 22’ tall, that meant finding a route that avoided all structures that cannot be moved such as bridges and overhead signs.”  

In addition, almost all wires had to be lifted along the route, which involved coordination of utility companies and cable companies, along with private bucket trucks for miscellaneous low wires. Coordination with the California and Nevada departments of transportation was also required.

In some instances, the route involved going through communities late at night to avoid traffic like Needles, California, where utilities, cable and internet crews awaited the vessel’s arrival around 11 pm.  According to Fox News, a few people from the community braved the brisk evening air to watch the event.

Utility lines and traffic signals needed to be raised in order for the pressure vessel to pass underneath. Last minute detours also had to be accommodated, as some residential streets could not handle the heavy load. 

The Goldhofer trailer also had to be shortened to allow the convoy to make tight turns, including a turn onto the on-ramp to westbound Interstate 40. Once on the interstate, the California Highway Patrol stopped eastbound traffic so that the vessel could cross the eastbound lanes to exit onto Needles Highway.   

The vessel was delivered successfully due to the combined efforts of Barnhart’s preplanning and field team. All the third parties along the route, including the California and Nevada highway patrol, city and county inspectors and those involved with permitting, were also instrumental in the project’s success.

About Meredith Portman

Meredith Portman is a freelance writer who specializes in heavy industry, healthcare and education.
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