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The new tower clamps allow even large tower sections to pass underneath low structures

New clamps to transport larger tower sections with fewer route modifications

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Mammoet has purchased its first ultra-wide onshore wind tower clamp set, and will receive three more before the end of Q1 2022.

Its additional flexibility means that fewer modifications are necessary to verges, street furniture or bridges during onshore wind transport projects. It also allows new, larger designs of wind turbine generator to reach remote wind farm sites – where winds are strongest and most reliable – much more efficiently.

As developers seek to make the most of wind farm locations, turbines have grown taller to reach stronger, uninterrupted winds. Consequently, the base tower sections of these turbines have widened, from around 4.5m just a few years ago to over six meters today.

So, their centre of gravity during transport has risen higher and higher from the ground; as much as 1.5m above earlier models. Beyond 4.5m, conventional trailers are considered not stable enough to perform transport of the largest tower models safely.

For these larger tower sections, the only alternative has been to transport them on top of a trailer with hydraulic suspension. However, this combination needs crane loading and unloading, is far less manoeuvrable and has a ride height 1.2 higher than a clamp solution, well within striking distance of bridges.

This new system, fabricated by Greiner, is installed on turntables between a mixture of an air suspension jeep-dolly and conventional multi-axle hydraulic trailers in the rear, forming a modular vehicle capable of completing narrow sequences of turns without leaving the road surface.

Like other clamp systems, the new system can receive tower sections directly from supports – no cranes are required at any stage of the journey. During projects, it will be used to transport the lower, wider tower sections, while higher, thinner sections will be transported by existing clamp systems.

The new system transports up to 6.3m wide tower sections at lower overall heights than conventional trailers, and is already in active use. As the world transitions to more sustainable energy sources, Mammoet’s will continue to invest in equipment that makes this work safer and more efficient to undertake.