Sunday, February 18, 2007

Big Blades

By Alan Burkhart

Here are some pics of the blades for one of the big wind generators popping up all over the country, being transported to Sterling, OK. I encountered the truck in Big Cabin, OK. The blades are 134 feet long. The rig consists of a cabover Peterbilt pulling a 45-ft drop deck trailer, a big steel frame containing the blades, and a steerable tri-axle unit attached to the rear of the frame.

In tight situations - in this case just trying to get out of the Big Cabin Travel Plaza and onto US Hwy 69, a guy walks behind the unit and steers the tri-axle via a remote control. Police blocked Hwy 69 for about ten minutes so the crew could get the thing out of the parking lot and onto the road.

The crew was understandably too busy to stop and chat with an overweight trucker-turned-blogger like Yours Truly, but one guy did say the blades were 134 feet long. No clue as to the weight, except "really heavy." As to the overall length of the rig, I'd guess about 175 feet.

For the sake of comparison, I pull a typical "freight box" trailer. It's 53 feet long. That means that the steel frame containing the blades, which constitutes the trailer in this case, is nearly three times as long as what I pull. My truck and trailer combined amounts to about 70 feet, making the steel frame alone nearly twice as long as my whole rig.

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