83 metre blades moved by P Adams

blue Scheuerle trailer carrying white turbine blade Nearly there: steep gradients were another challenge on the construction site. Photo: TII Scheuerle

Stephan Adams, managing director at P Adams Group, had nothing but praise for his new Scheuerle Rotor Blade Transporter system.

They are the only way to transport wind turbine blades longer than 75 metres over long distances, he said. It was their first practical application, to move 24 blades, each 83 metres long.

As a specialist in transporting wind turbine components P Adams bought three of the RBTS from TII Scheuerle in Germany. RBTS is a two-axle jeep dolly with a free-turning device and a four-axle trailing unit. The free-turning device can be mounted directly on the truck tractor but that needs a four- or five-axle tractor because of the high load on the fifth-wheel.

The blades were transported around 170 km from the port city of Uddevalla in western Sweden to Knöstad in the north east. Each blade’s journey took two nights, much of it on country roads. In addition to manoeuvring around many bends in the road, there was more to contend with at jouney’s end. At the wind farm construction site the transporters had to negotiate steep gradients and unpaved roads.

In combination the loaded tractor and trailer was 96 metres long and weighed about 65 tonnes. “Although the bends were widened, our operators still had to constantly adjust the steering,” explained Stephan Adams.

“Transport equipment such as the RBTS from TII Scheuerle is the only alternative for transporting rotor blades with lengths of more than 75 metres over long transport routes. After the first major deployment, we are very satisfied with the jeep-dolly trailer combination,” Adams said.

Customised adjustment

To keep the centre of gravity of the load in the longitudinal axis of the vehicle as much as possible, Adams requested a lateral compensation feature to allow the load to be shifted left or right slightly, depending on the situation.

Being able to negotiate bends without having to move street furniture is another key benefit. “The manoeuvrability of the trailing unit combination is very convincing. The RBTS negotiates bends that cannot be mastered with a telescopic semi-trailer without having to remove crash barriers or carry out widening measures. Some countries would not even allow large-scale modification work. 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,” Adams explained.

When returning empty, the RBTS can be shortened to form a semi-trailer combination within the European standard dimensions of 2.55 metres wide and less than four metres high. The empty tractor-trailer combination weighs no more than 40 tonnes, requiring fewer approvals, Scheuerle said.

aerial view of Scheuerle RBTS in the forest P Adams using one of its three Scheuerle RBTS in the forests of Northern Sweden. Photo: TII Scheuerle

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