Six SCHEUERLE Rotor Blade Transport Systems for Vanguard
SOUTH AFRICAN HEAVY-LOAD LOGISTICS PROVIDER VANGUARD, HAS PURCHASED SIX ROTOR BLADE TRANSPORT SYSTEMS (RBTS) FROM TII SCHEUERLE.
The company is using these to transport more than 230 wind blades, each around 83 metres long, over a distance of around 500 kilometres to the respective operation sites. Vanguard chose the RBTS from TII SCHEUERLE primarily because of its flexibility, cost-effectiveness, transport safety and ease of use.
The RBTS from TII SCHEUERLE has already completed the required test loading and test drives at Vanguard with flying colours. It had to demonstrate its particular strengths when transporting the almost 83 metre long wind blades. These are among the longest rotor blades for use in on-shore systems currently available on the world market. When loaded, the combined vehicle length reached 95 metres. TII SCHEUERLE, the industry specialist for heavy-load transport on and off-road from the TII Group, has once again impressively demonstrated the operational performance of the trailing unit concept.
“The tests have shown that the RBTS is even better than we expected,” says Bryan Hodgkinson, Director of Vanguard. Vanguard has purchased a total of six RBTS. The internationally active heavy-load logistics provider Vanguard, with headquarters in Cleveland, South Africa, is currently transporting two rotor blades per week from the port of Ngqura near Port Elizabeth (Eastern Cape Province) over a distance of around 500 kilometres to their inland operational sites. The order includes the transport of more than 230 blades for 78 wind turbine facilities. It will take Vanguard around one year to do this. The company has already completed the first tours. “Everything has gone very smoothly so far,” said Bryan Hodgkinson.
The SCHEUERLE RBTS allows Vanguard to fulfil this order economically and efficiently as well as safely. A key strength of the RBTS is the safe and reliable transportation of even the longest wind blades over long distances. In addition, the trailing unit concept can be used flexibly for components of other lengths and is easy to operate. With the RBTS, Vanguard also has a versatile transport solution for wind blades in the future.
“We were very pleased when Bryan Hodgkinson, CEO of Vanguard, decided in favour of the SCHEUERLE RBTS,” explained Lars Schoedt, Area Manager Sales at TII SCHEUERLE. “In our discussions, it became clear that we could provide Vanguard with the best transport solution for meeting their challenges in terms of flexibility, cost-effectiveness, safety and easy handling.” After the delivery of the six transport systems, service experts from TII SCHEUERLE trained the company employees so that they could easily load and transport the valuable and fragile cargo safely.
The RBTS consists of a 2-axle jeep dolly together with a free-turning device and a 4-axle trailing unit. It is also possible to mount the free-turning device directly on the truck tractor. The lift of up to two metres in the free-turning device is also large enough to accommodate obstacles such as surface unevenness and bumps in the road. The trailing unit combination makes an impressive case through its manoeuvrability and safe driving performance especially over long distances. It can negotiate bends that cannot be mastered with a telescopic semi-trailer without having to remove any infrastructure such as crash barriers. This reduces the time and effort involved in preparing the route, minimises the approval procedure and is therefore particularly cost-effective in use. Given that the rotor blades of increasingly more powerful wind turbines are becoming ever larger, the RBTS is also a particularly future-proof solution.
Assembly of the wind blade is carried out according to the plug-and-play principle. With the help of a special lifting device, the wing root is comfortably picked up from the ground. The quick coupling solution is comprised of the free-turning device along with the root adapter and a root frame that is connected to the blade root. This frame can then be secured to the free-turning device in next to no time with the help of the adapter. A clamping device on the trailer unit is used to fix the tip of the rotor blade into position. It can be adapted to accommodate rotor blades from other manufacturers.
The RBTS also offers great advantages regarding empty runs, depending on the region of operation. In Europe, for example, it can be shortened to form a semi-trailer combination in line with the European standard dimensions of 2.55 metres wide and less than four metres high. At the same time, the empty tractor-trailer combination weighs no more than 40t. Thus, for example, driving without a load requires less approval procedure. In South Africa too, there are advantages if the unloaded vehicle has the dimensions used in conventional transport. In such large countries, the high transport speed is also very impressive.