Load-in & load-out
Crossing six traffic lanes and two railway tracks in only fifteen minutes.
For the expansion of the Dutch power grid, Mammoet was asked to transport three 330-ton transformers to a new substation. To save time and costs, the 150-kilometer journey from factory to foundation took place over water and land. The overland route in particular posed some tough logistic challenges. Through meticulous planning and coordination, Mammoet managed to cross roads, railways and one of the country’s busiest motorways with minimal delay in traffic.
The transformers were transported in three installments. Once each transformer had completed its trip over water, it was loaded onto SPMTs for the journey over land. En route it would have to cross roads, a railway and the busy A12 motorway. The railway could only be crossed between 01:00 and 06:00 a.m. and without touching the tracks. The maximum allowed time to close the A12 motorway was only fifteen minutes. Mammoet had to find a way to safely move the transformers across in a seemingly impossible short time span.
The railway and motorway were located right beside each other, but at different elevation levels. In order to swiftly move the transformers over both, a solution was needed to overcome the difference. Mammoet engineers came up with a plan to place the SPMT carrying the transformer on top of a second SPMT. The stacked trailers crossed the highway until they reached an especially created bridge over the railway tracks. The upper trailer rolled off the lower trailer onto the bridge, after which the empty lower trailer was backed up to clear the motorway. Each transformer made it across in less than fifteen minutes.
Two years of preparation made the move a big success. Apart from the logistics, a great deal of time was spent on safety precautions. The transport attracted a crowd of thousands of spectators that had to be controlled. Bringing six lanes of highway traffic to a complete standstill posed another safety issue, as did lifting the overhead railway power lines. In close coordination with local authorities, railway operator ProRail and emergency response units Mammoet were able to safely deliver the transformers while minimizing disruption to well within the allowable limits.