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Equipment

DOLL wind blade transport systems: Flexible solutions for challenging situations

R e p o r t

Bolk Transport B.V. and Universal Transport are recent additions to the roster of companies that have opted for DOLL’s self-steering trailer combinations. Both chose hydraulic lifting adapters on a dolly, giving themselves enough reserve capacity to accommodate the steady increase in rotor blade length and weight that the industry is experiencing. With a dead weight of approximately 7.0 to 7.3 tons (depending on the choice of equipment) and a maximum fifth-wheel load of 30 tons, the dolly has a remaining load capacity of around 23 tons. Working at the other end of the system, the four-axle vario self-steering trailers boast a load capacity of around 32 tons with a total technical weight of 40 tons. Quite simply, these trailer combinations make it easy to plan for an extensive range of rotor blade sizes – even those approaching the 100-metre mark.  

Agile and flexible

The specialists at Universal Transport in Paderborn, Germany have been making use of their three latest DOLL self-steering trailer combinations since August 2020. Driver Ronny Knoblauch can attest to the benefits that the system brings in practice: “We’re currently using the trailers to carry rotor blades measuring as much as 65 metres long, on vehicles with a total length of up to 77 metres. The extendable cable and rope systems provide 120 metres in length, so there’s practically no limit to how far you can take the system – which isn’t the case with telescopic trailers”. He cites yet more advantages to using the DOLL system as opposed to telescopic trailers or extendable semi low-loaders: “As there’s no telescopic beam, you’re left with much more room to cross over obstacles underneath the load. That means we don’t have to move nearly as many crash barriers aside when we encounter them on our outward and return journeys. The system is also a lot more agile. I can navigate roundabouts relatively easily with the traction unit and dolly, for instance, and the self-steering trailer simply follows me round. The turntable on the trailer gives you a huge slewing range at the rear, so you can keep driving straight at the front for a long time. The nature of the system means it’s even more important to have a second person involved so that they can give you feedback and intervene in the steering at any time – but on the whole, the handling is much smoother than it is in a telescopic trailer. And the system’s actually fun to drive”. The hydraulic lifting adapter on the dolly also has a vital role to play: “I can release it by as much as 80 centimetres, which is handy in situations like manoeuvring over a traffic island or crouching down to road level to get under a low sign gantry”.

Trial loading at the Seaport of Brake: Bolk Transport used the new DOLL combination to carry the first 65-metre blade in mid-January.

Carrying rotor blades measuring 65 metres long, the Universal Transport drivers have to operate a total vehicle length of around 77 metres. This can go up to more than 100 metres – so there are virtually no limits.

Agile and flexible

The specialists at Universal Transport in Paderborn, Germany have been making use of their three latest DOLL self-steering trailer combinations since August 2020. Driver Ronny Knoblauch can attest to the benefits that the system brings in practice: “We’re currently using the trailers to carry rotor blades measuring as much as 65 metres long, on vehicles with a total length of up to 77 metres. The extendable cable and rope systems provide 120 metres in length, so there’s practically no limit to how far you can take the system – which isn’t the case with telescopic trailers”. He cites yet more advantages to using the DOLL system as opposed to telescopic trailers or extendable semi low-loaders: “As there’s no telescopic beam, you’re left with much more room to cross over obstacles underneath the load. That means we don’t have to move nearly as many crash barriers aside when we encounter them on our outward and return journeys. The system is also a lot more agile. I can navigate roundabouts relatively easily with the traction unit and dolly, for instance, and the self-steering trailer simply follows me round. The turntable on the trailer gives you a huge slewing range at the rear, so you can keep driving straight at the front for a long time. The nature of the system means it’s even more important to have a second person involved so that they can give you feedback and intervene in the steering at any time – but on the whole, the handling is much smoother than it is in a telescopic trailer. And the system’s actually fun to drive”. The hydraulic lifting adapter on the dolly also has a vital role to play: “I can release it by as much as 80 centimetres, which is handy in situations like manoeuvring over a traffic island or crouching down to road level to get under a low sign gantry”.

During empty trips, the self-steering-trailer, dolly with lifting adapter and traction unit form a compact entity.

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