BOSS hauls huge reactors for petrochemical project

The over-the-road transport route consisted of hilly terrain along paved roads and included a rail crossing.

BOSS Crane & Rigging, Heavy Haul Division, was contracted to transport two reactors in California for a client in the petrochemical industry. The project spanned 12 days, starting when the BOSS team began receiving the two reactors and associated material at the port. The BOSS team managed the cargo on a deck barge until the roll-off process began onsite five days after the first reactor was received.

The BOSS team skillfully hauled the reactors 1.4 miles from the offloading facility to the staging area. The heaviest of the two reactors weighed 682,000 pounds (net) and was 75 feet long, 17 feet wide and 16 feet tall. The BOSS team utilized 18 axle-lines of Scheuerle K22 trailers, a prime mover, two push trucks and two pull trucks per load.

Prior to the heavy haul, the BOSS team acquired the necessary transport permits. As well, the team coordinated a California Department of Transportation inspection on all transport-related equipment.

In anticipation of the heavy haul, the BOSS team clocked 576 man hours during the planning stage. In total, BOSS employed 210 manhours during the execution stage of the complicated project.

The over-the-road transport route consisted of hilly terrain along paved roads. The push and pull trucks provided extra power and ensured a safe transport along a route with steep inclines and declines.

Assuring safety, the reactors were well secured during transport using a complex tiedown of nearly 30 chains.

Weather issues

The weather was unseasonably cold and rainy in this area of California, and on the day of transport it rained heavily before and during the transport. Water shed onto the roadway from nearby hills making the transport even more complex.

Along the route, the loads were escorted by four California Highway Patrol escorts, two bucket trucks and a civilian escort to ensure safety throughout the move. Another goal was to minimize traffic disruption to the traveling public. The transport was completed at a walking pace to ensure safety while traveling up a steady incline, at a severely elevated pitch and slope in the road, and then down into a steady decline into the final resting position.

A goal of the transport was to move the reactors without having to dismantle the pipe rack. The 18 lines of Scheuerle K22 trailers were instrumental in achieving this goal.

BOSS was the only heavy haul expert available that had the right equipment to fit under the client’s pipe rack while the reactor was loaded onto the trailer, according to the company. The 18 axle-lines of K22 trailers are the lowest-reaching trailers available in the country, according to the BOSS team. This meant the project could be executed safely and without disruption to the pipe rack. When fully loaded, the BOSS trailer system still allowed for 8 inches of clearance under the live pipe rack.

“Our Scheuerle K22 trailers have hydraulic capabilities used to shift and stabilize the loads during the transport to maintain the correct center of gravity on the trailer throughout all stages of the transport route,” said BOSS President Richard Miller. “The client had originally looked to move the reactors via rail, but BOSS was the only business partner willing to take on the challenge, utilizing the right equipment and skilled crew, of moving the large reactors via barge and over the road. In the end, this method saved time, decreased disruption to a live facility and provided a higher level of controlled, safe work.”


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