Heavy haulage specialist Plant Speed deployed its trio of 250-tonne Mercedes-Benz Actros SLT tractor units – including an 8×4 Actros 4463, to transport what are believed to be the longest wind turbine blades ever moved by road in the UK.
The blades, which each measure a total of 68.25m and weigh around 24 tonnes, were moved 38 km (24 miles) from Avonmouth Dock in Bristol to Magor in Wales. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans were used as escorts.
The operation was completed without incident in around 80 minutes.
Plant Speed managing director Paul Lomas says good planning is key to a move of this nature, “We’d undertaken a dry run and worked through every aspect of the operation in fine detail beforehand, so that on the day, it all ran like clockwork.”
The company’s Actros SLT is powered by a 625hp 15.6-litre engine via a 16-speed PowerShift 3 automated manual transmission, and fitted with air suspension and a GigaSpace cab. It also includes the manufacturer’s MirrorCam system in addition to conventional mirrors.
Lomas adds: “However, we’ve also fitted mirrors on the advice of Mercedes-Benz because, as it’s currently configured, MirrorCam cannot clearly see the ends of our exceptionally long trailers. It’s obvious to me that camera-based systems will become the norm in the future, and I’ve no doubt that with further development the manufacturer will overcome this issue.