The trend in wind turbines is that they’re becoming increasingly larger. For example, blades are becoming longer and tower sections are growing in diameter. As a result, the base towers of these turbines have become wider, from about 4.5 m a few years ago to over 6 m today.

With the MWT-XL, Nooteboom mainly focuses on the transport of large diameter tower sections for onshore wind farms. Important advantages of the Nooteboom MWT-XL, compared to alternative transport solutions using module trailers, are lower maintenance costs, a more favourable purchase price and it is extremely user-friendly. Additionally, the lighter weight and shorter combination length of the MWT-XL can also offer advantages in obtaining exemptions within Europe. All this contributes to lowering the Total Cost of Ownership for the haulier.

Up to a 6,300 mm diameter

The Nooteboom Mega Windmill Trailer has been the international leading transport solution for transporting tower sections up to a diameter of approx. 5 meters for many years.

As early as 2003, Nooteboom introduced the first MWT for the transport of Vestas turbines and tower parts, of which Nooteboom has sold over 120 units. This groundbreaking transport solution has become the standard within today’s wind turbine transport, and we see that other manufacturers are also embracing this Nooteboom innovation and coming up with a similar solution. An important advantage of the Nooteboom MWT is that tower sections can be loaded and unloaded completely without cranes in a safe and efficient way.

With the new MWT-XL, tower sections with a much larger diameter can now also be transported, such as those from the latest generation of wind turbines. The new MWT-XL is very flexible as it is suitable for tower sections with different diameters up to the largest tower sections with a diameter of approx. 6,300 mm.

The larger diameters of the tower sections create different demands on the chosen transport solution. For example, the centre of gravity of the load is now much higher during transport. Therefore, a greater stability is necessary in order to be able to transport the tower sections, weighing up to 100 tons, safely by road. Even at high speeds up to 80 km/h.

Stability and Safety

The biggest change has been made to the self-steering dolly with air suspension. For example, the width of the 7-axle self-steering dolly has been adjusted to 2,840 mm. Additionally, the turntable control of the self-steering dolly has been adjusted while the operation is now even more user-friendly. The new steering system, based on the steering principle of the Nooteboom Ballast trailer with counter steering, also contributes to greater stability, reliability and ease of operation. The straight-ahead stabilisation on the steering has also been increased by installing extra air bellows. Thanks to the extensive field tests to which the new MWT-XL has been subjected, we can say that Nooteboom has set a new standard for safely transporting tower parts up to a diameter of 6,300mm by road.

Ease of Operation

The increase in ease of operation, safety and efficiency is also reflected in the way in which the tower sections are connected to the lift adapters of the MWT-XL. Previously the driver had to climb up for coupling and connecting the tower section, this is no longer necessary. After setting the top pressure point of the adapter, the driver can now couple and secure the tower section to the lift adapters standing on the ground using the remote control with extreme precision and in a much shorter time.

Hydraulically Adjustable Lift Adapters

The unique design and construction of the adjustable lift adapters ensure that these lift adapters have a very low deadweight of approx. 7 tons. The clamp connections of the lift adapters are hydraulically infinitely adjustable to the diameter of the tower element up to a maximum of 6,300 mm. Coupling and decoupling the tower part is very easy, because the lift adapters can be moved in all directions using the remote control. The same applies to the close coupling, in connection with the return journey, of the self-steering dolly to the Jeepdolly.

Superior Manoeuvrability

The Mega Windmill Trailer has unparalleled manoeuvrability. This is made possible because the track covered is fully determined by the size of the tower and not by the steering behaviour of the vehicle. The lift adapter at the front of the combination is connected to the jeep dolly via a turntable and to the steering system of the self-tracking dolly at the rear via a turntable. It’s also possible to rotate the load in relation to the Jeepdolly and self-tracking dolly at an angle of approximately 80 degrees. This allows for making very sharp, almost right-angled and narrow turns without leaving the road surface. Additionally, with the help of the lift adapters, the load can be lifted to more than 1.5 meters above ground level, so that it can easily clear a crash barrier, ditch or roundabout. This allows driving the most efficient transport routes. The Jeepdolly is also equipped with electronic air suspension with starting aid for more grip when starting from a standstill.

There’s a lot of international interest in the new Mega Windmill Trailer XL from Nooteboom in the wind energy market. More than 10 of these MWT-XL trailers have already been sold to the specialised transporters in Europe in the field of wind energy and several orders are expected shortly.