LAST SUMMER, WITH THE HELP OF GOLDHOFER HEAVY-DUTY MODULES (SUPPLIED BY TRANS ADM), UNIVERSAL TRANSPORT HANDLED THE DELIVERY OF HUGE REPLACEMENT COMPONENTS FOR THE VATTENFALL F60 OPENCAST MINING CONVEYOR BRIDGE IN NOCHTEN. ANDY ADAMS REPORTS
In Nochten, Lausitz, Saxony, one of the world’s biggest self-propelled industrial machines – an F60 conveyor bridge, aka ‘horizontal Eiffel Tower’ – has been in almost daily operation since 1976. During that period, the 500-metre-long colossus has moved an impressive 3.6 billion cubic meters of overburden to give access to some 800 million tonnes of lignite.
But sooner or later, even giants start to feel their age and, to ensure many more years of trouble free operation, work started in 2007 on a general inspection of the F60 for wear and tear. That was followed, three years ago, by the planning work for the replacement of two of the F60’s main components, the equaliser and the roller table.
The four journeys required for removal and delivery of the components were handled by the heavy haul experts at Universal Transport using Goldhofer modules supplied by Trans ADM. They were preceded by extensive preparations and calculations. For example, in order to create enough space to manoeuvre with such huge components over four kilometres of haul roads on the grounds of the opencast mine had to be upgraded, including widening and levelling work. Weighing 193 tonnes and measuring 12.70 x 12.20 x 2.71 meters, the old roller table was the least daunting of the four components to be moved, and Universal Transport handled the job with a four-axle tractor and a 14-axle Goldhofer THP/UT heavy-duty module. The much bigger equaliser (39.63 x 13.12 x 4.99 meters and 228 tonnes plus 23 tonnes for the transport frame) and the replacement components were moved using a self-propelled 20-axle modular vehicle.
The configuration for the self-propelled combination selected by Universal Transport comprised a six-axle PST-SL, four-axle THP-SL and 10-axle THP-LTSO. For load safety, a 24-tonne convertible transport frame was developed for bolting to both the cargo and the transport modules.
The thorough planning work performed by the heavy haul experts, involving countless drawings, wheel load calculations and precise definition of the anchor points, paid off especially at the installation point on the ‘horizontal Eiffel Tower’. Even the new equaliser as the biggest and heaviest item – with its dimensions of 40.10m x 13.12m x 4.99m and a deadweight of 315.6 tonnes plus 24 tonnes for the transport frame – was delivered to the site as planned. The ability of the modular transporter to manoeuvre to within a centimetre ensured precise positioning of the cargo at the unloading point and for installation on the F60. Total down time was 13 weeks, and the F60 has been fully operational with the new components since the end of July 2016.