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Power United States

The Rocky Road To Wind Power 281

Posted by timothy
from the must-save-many-megawatts-to-outweigh dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times has an interesting story on the logistical problems involved in transporting disassembled towers that will reach more than 250 feet in height from ports or factories to the remote, windy destinations where the turbines are erected. In Idaho trucks laden with tall turbine parts have slammed into interstate overpasses requiring hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs. In Texas the constant truck traffic is tearing up small roads in the western part of the state where the turbines are being rapidly erected. And in Maine a truck carrying a big piece of turbine got stuck for hours while trying to round a corner near Searsport."
"'It left a nice gouge in Route 1,' said Ben Tracy, who works nearby at a marine equipment store and saw the incident. On a per-turbine basis, the cost of transportation and logistics generally varies from around $100,000 to $150,000, said John Dunlop, an engineer with the American Wind Energy Association, and experts say that transportation logistics are starting to limit how large — and as a result how powerful — wind turbines can get. There is talk of breaking a blade up into multiple pieces, but 'that's a very significant structural concern,' says Peter Stricker, vice president at Clipper Windpower who added that tower bases were getting too large to squeeze through underpasses. But a partial solution may be at hand. While vast majority of turbine parts now travel by truck, in Texas and elsewhere, some wind companies are looking to move more turbine parts by train to save money. But even the train routes must avoid low overpasses when big pieces of wind turbines are aboard. 'It's not your typical rail-car shipments,' said Tom Lange, a Union Pacific spokesman."
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The Rocky Road To Wind Power

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  • Dirigible. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 23, 2009 @06:43PM (#28801929)

    or blimp.

  • by gringer (252588) on Thursday July 23, 2009 @06:46PM (#28801955)

    You can always expect problems when you're transporting large things along a windy road. I'm sure the initial issues will blow over, and they'll tackle the remainder with much gusto.

    • by MeanMF (631837) * on Thursday July 23, 2009 @06:51PM (#28801997) Homepage
      Yeah, with a little more planning it should be a breeze.
      • by plover (150551) *
        But they have to be careful to keep current. It won't stay smooth sailing forever.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by brusk (135896)
          They might blow it. That's why some here have suggested using a Chinook. I won't regale you with the reasons. The question is, what's the best time to move one of these suckers? Definitely neither Christmas nor'Easter.
    • by PBoyUK (1591865) on Thursday July 23, 2009 @07:28PM (#28802301)
      Insightful? 'WHOOSH' has never been more appropriate.
    • I'd hate to get lost delivering one of those big turbines while navigating those back roads, you could get lost for days driving on...

      Some winding little windy roads
      Some little windy winding roads
      Some windy little winding roads
      Some winding windy little roads
      Some little rocky windy roads
      Some little windy rocky roads
      Some rocky little windy roads
      Some windy winding little roads
      Some windy rocky little roads
      Some windy little rocky roads
      Some rocky windy little roads
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 23, 2009 @09:12PM (#28802923)

        I'd hate to get lost delivering one of those big turbines while navigating those back roads, you could get lost for days driving on...

        Some winding little windy roads
        Some little windy winding roads
        Some windy little winding roads
        Some winding windy little roads
        Some little rocky windy roads
        Some little windy rocky roads
        Some rocky little windy roads
        Some windy winding little roads
        Some windy rocky little roads
        Some windy little rocky roads
        Some rocky windy little roads

        It is very windy. You are likely to get blown by a grue.

    • If I wasn't bound by privacy agreements, I could post a picture of a 120 foot long distillation column 15 foot in diameter getting trucked down the interstate. It is far larger than any of these wind turbines and took up 2 lanes of interstate while traveling 40 miles an hour. The types of things transported by industry in America are heavier and larger than wind turbine blades. This story is ridiculous. Maybe they should focus stimulus money towards already crumbling roads and bridges? There's no chanc
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        If it was driving down an American interstate, it certainly can't be "private"

      • by ArcherB (796902)

        If I wasn't bound by privacy agreements, I could post a picture of a 120 foot long distillation column 15 foot in diameter getting trucked down the interstate. It is far larger than any of these wind turbines and took up 2 lanes of interstate while traveling 40 miles an hour.

        The types of things transported by industry in America are heavier and larger than wind turbine blades. This story is ridiculous.

        Maybe they should focus stimulus money towards already crumbling roads and bridges? There's no chance roads just started crumbling after a few loads of wind turbines.

        I don't think a distillation column is designed to be light as possible and catch wind. That probably makes a huge difference. I've seen these things driving down the road going up and down HW 35 near Austin and they are freaking HUGE! Imagine the difficulty in driving a 150 ft wing 60 mph in high wind. It's not the same thing as hauling distillation equipment.

        • I suppose the difference between windmill shipment and distillation column shipment are the destinations.
          A petro chemical plant is situated near highways. And same probably for the distillation column manufacturer.

          But windmill destinations are way out in the boonies through small towns and smaller roads.

          Thanks,
          Jim

  • by hampton (209113) on Thursday July 23, 2009 @06:48PM (#28801967)

    If we don't solve the size problem it will lead to an erection problem.

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday July 23, 2009 @06:50PM (#28801983) Homepage

    FTS: " In Idaho trucks laden with tall turbine parts have slammed into interstate overpasses requiring hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs"

    You're supposed to put them on the truck parallel to the ground.

    Just saying.

    • by camperdave (969942) on Thursday July 23, 2009 @06:57PM (#28802045) Journal
      FTS: " In Idaho trucks laden with tall turbine parts have slammed into interstate overpasses requiring hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs"

      Actually, it's a good thing they're running into the overpasses that need repairs. It'll kick start the process. However, if they were to run into an overpass that was brand new, or that had just finished being repaired... Oh Boy! Somebody would be in trouble.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by drinkypoo (153816)

        Actually, it's a good thing they're running into the overpasses that need repairs. It'll kick start the process. However, if they were to run into an overpass that was brand new, or that had just finished being repaired... Oh Boy! Somebody would be in trouble.

        Yep. When I read about that my first thought was that I detected the scent of cooking pork. You send the driver down a road you know he can't manage, perhaps misreporting the height of his load to him. Turbine must be rebuilt, producing more revenues; bridge is damaged, leading to a repair job, more revenues.

        Where I live the helicopter they use to run around and find plants was recently damaged during a training run by someone who regularly destroys vehicles. I suspect he's the designated vehicle-destroyer.

    • by s4ltyd0g (452701)

      You get what you pay for I guess. I don't know about Idaho, but up here all the overpasses are marked with a maximum hight.

      You'd have to be a drooling idiot to drive your truck into one. Not that it's never happened, we have our share of drooling idiots...

      • Re:Doing it wrong. (Score:5, Informative)

        by StikyPad (445176) on Thursday July 23, 2009 @07:19PM (#28802221) Homepage

        Someone want to calculate the minimum safe stopping distance of a wide-load truck laden with a 50-meter section of tower traveling at, let's say 45MPH without jackknifing or breaking the load restraints?

        IMO, the problem isn't the truck drivers, it's either failure to properly plan the route by the companies, or else improper height measurements. Those signs on the overpasses are for surveying the route, and not really effective as a last-minute warning.

        • by Dunbal (464142)

          Someone want to calculate the minimum safe stopping distance of a wide-load truck laden with a 50-meter section of tower traveling at, let's say 45MPH without jackknifing or breaking the load restraints?

                Usually when you're carrying several million dollars worth of equipment, it's a good idea to have someone in a car scout out the route ahead of time... just saying, you know, it's common sense?

               

      • Please. I will see you a drooling idiot and raise you one. We once had an idiot drive a truck under the wing of a C-141. Took the whole wing off.
    • by PPH (736903) on Thursday July 23, 2009 @08:54PM (#28802809)

      You're supposed to put them on the truck parallel to the ground.

      They tried it that way initially. But while the overpasses were high enough, they were far too narrow.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Minwee (522556)

      That reminds me of an old joke.

      Two people are in a truck. One says to the other "Look at that sign on the overpass. It says 'No trucks over eight feet high'."

      The second person looks around and then replies "I don't see any cops around. Let's go for it."

  • by ArsonSmith (13997) on Thursday July 23, 2009 @06:53PM (#28802003) Journal

    ...Green energy does create jobs.

  • Newsflash (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shag (3737) on Thursday July 23, 2009 @06:55PM (#28802029) Homepage

    Trucks carrying "oversized loads" are more likely to have difficulties than other trucks.

    Same as it's always been.

    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday July 23, 2009 @07:07PM (#28802117) Homepage
      No, no, there have been a couple accidents, so we should ditch wind power. Time to go back to good ol' oil, which has never had any [wikipedia.org] kind of problem [wikipedia.org] whatsoever.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dbcad7 (771464)
      I very surprised at the overpass problems.. Truckers are very aware of clearance heights.. and these oversize loads have extra eyes, as they have escort vehicles. It's pretty easy to map out your route and check the clearance on every overpass on the map.. I think this story has been exaggerated a bit.. I figure 6 trucks (possibly) per wind turbine.. 3 of these are definitely oversize (the blades), but I am not so certain the other peices are not hauled on regular flatbeds.. at 6 trucks and $150,000 that's
      • by compro01 (777531)

        Truckers are very aware of clearance heights

        An overpass in the nearby city would beg to disagree. At least once every year, some trucker, usually hauling farm machinery, will run into the overpass.

  • So.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by solweil (1168955)
    So wind power is doomed because a few truck drivers don't know their shit? Come on.
    • Exactly. Is it REALLY too much to expect of truckers these days, that they know their height limitations? I mean, EVERY bridge posts its clearance. In feet and inches, no less!

      What do these fucking rednecks think the signs are for, to pad the "sign budget" for next year or something?

      Then again, where I live, 18-wheelers like to camp the passing lanes on six-lane freeways... Trucker quality has probably gone down.

      • Re:So.... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by spauldo (118058) on Friday July 24, 2009 @03:23AM (#28804607)

        Actually, not every bridge posts its clearance. Pay attention sometime, you'll see quite a few that don't.

        Add to the the fact that the signs are rarely accurate. Overpass says 13'9"? Better go slow - if they've put another layer of asphalt on since they put up the sign, it's probably more like 13'6", which is the height of a standard box trailer.

        Where was the escort driver? You know, the guy driving the little crappy car with the pole strapped to its bumper? The guy that's supposed to be warning the trucker of low bridges? The guy the trucker has to trust implicitly in order to go down the road?

        And while yes, trucker quality did go down somewhat a few years back when the big carriers started putting people through two week trucking schools, the reason we hang out in the passing lane is because of all the slow assholes in cars in the other lanes. They can accelerate from 55 to 65 in a couple seconds. It takes us up to a minute or so, depending on conditions. Get rid of the people who think 40mph is an appropriate freeway driving speed and we'll be more than happy to return to the righthand lane - all we want to do is maintain a constant speed.

        • Re:So.... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Lemmeoutada Collecti (588075) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .noerebo.> on Friday July 24, 2009 @05:38AM (#28805139) Homepage Journal

          It still is, I just went through one of those for "retraining" because I hadn't driven in over 6 months. All they taught was enough to pass the DOT backing, safety inspection, and road test. The rest of safe driving we were supposed to learn while team driving with a "trainer" for 30 days. The trainer was most likely a driver who had six months driving experience or a little more. The training consisted of the trainer sleeping until his shift to drive while I drove, then doing a little workbook review with me, then driving out his shift while I drove. As you can imagine, not very helpful.

          The other thing people forget about the truckers is that they are also their own secretary, maintenance man, planner, etc. In a ten hour day driving, there is usually 2-3 hours more of work to do after that. Trucking is not just about driving.

          And then there's the four wheelers.

        • Re:So.... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Shakrai (717556) on Friday July 24, 2009 @07:48AM (#28805737) Journal

          And while yes, trucker quality did go down somewhat a few years back when the big carriers started putting people through two week trucking schools, the reason we hang out in the passing lane is because of all the slow assholes in cars in the other lanes. They can accelerate from 55 to 65 in a couple seconds. It takes us up to a minute or so, depending on conditions.

          It's been my observation as a non-trucker that the majority of the non-truckers on the road treat you guys like shit. Pulling in front of 18 wheelers and forcing them to slow down, riding in your blind spots, pulling alongside when you need to swing wide to make a right-turn, etc, etc. It drives me nuts when people pull this crap and I've never even driven an 18-wheeler. It just seems pretty damn rude and inconsiderate.

          For what it's worth I always stay out of your way and am happy to flash my lights to signal that the lane is clear when you are trying to change lanes. I don't think your profession gets the respect it deserves.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by icegreentea (974342)
      Shit man. The article (or summary) doesn't imply that crap at all. The article doesn't cast any judgment, other than the current situation is not optimal, and that things can be done, and things are being done. You guys are shifting more production to domestic, which is bound to fix some shit. Don't need to get super defensive whenever real problems are pointed out about your favourite technology. They aren't crippling problems, and the article never implies it. But they are problems that should be faced no
  • Oh boo hoo (Score:5, Interesting)

    by caitsith01 (606117) on Thursday July 23, 2009 @06:58PM (#28802057) Journal

    How much carnage does the average coal mine produce? Typically ripping apart a huge, huge chunk of the countriside (for open cut), innumerable trucks and other big machines trundling around, not to mention the massive construction required for the actual power generation plant itself.

    This type of story strikes me as particularly stupid: "big objects hard to move around" doesn't equate to "wind power worse than other types of power" as the summary seems to imply.

    I also find it hard to believe that the truck traffic for installing windmills is coming through at such a huge volume that it is actually degrading any half-decent road. That would involve tens of thousands of trucks, surely?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nine-times (778537)

      And how much carnage does oil produce? It's not as though trucks carrying gasoline never crash, and oil tankers never spill. Gas stations sometimes blow up, oil wells sometimes catch fire. All that stuff causes damage and costs money.

      But now what's causing these problems? Truck drivers not paying attention to whether they have enough clearance? Infrastructure being unlabeled or mislabeled as to how much clearance is there is? Figure it what's causing the problem and try to fix it. This isn't really

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Mitchell314 (1576581)
      This is off the top of my head, but I think the wear on the road goes up with the cube of the weight. So a couple trucks carrying heavy cargo could do the same damage as a whole lot of smaller cars. And those wind turbines don't look small or light . . .

      But this seems more of a planning and transportation issue with moving large, heavy objects as opposed to an issue specific to wind turbines themselves.
      • Re:Oh boo hoo (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Celeste R (1002377) on Thursday July 23, 2009 @08:05PM (#28802575)

        This is indeed a logistical problem, and not an inherent problem. It's also not a problem with weight.

        Wind turbines and wind towers for those turbines are very different. Towers are large and bulky, built to be structurally sound. Interstate laws require that only so much weight can be put on any given set of wheels. Heavy, illegally-running trucks (liquid haulers, etc) can easily get much heavier, on fewer wheels. The weight problem is already managed, and oversize trucks are routinely checked, where other trucks aren't as much.

        If smaller roads that happen to carry large amounts of truck traffic are getting torn up, then it's not surprising, given that trucks are trucks. This Texas road in specific is notorious for being undermaintained, and the Highway Department can whine, but they know they need to do something.

        I seriously doubt that this remark about 'a big gouge in Route 1' was because of weight, but rather because of size. Perhaps it clipped an overpass. Perhaps (god forbid) it actually slid off the truck. Accidents are remembered, but gradual wear and tear on a road isn't an 'accident' that happens all at once.

        Putting a truck laden with a section of tower can clog up a heavy construction area for hours. Can you plan around that? Yes, but only so much. Incidents will happen, and I distinctly remember one of these trucks knocking down all the cones in a construction area, because it was either the cones or the signs.

        This is 'routine' logistical work for any oversize hauler. If someone's screwing up, fingers are easy to point. It may be the driver, or it may be that construction crew that was lazy with their cones, but it's manageable, up to a point. If you can't get it through no matter which route you take, it's too big to transport.

        For states back east, it's messier still because the roads are smaller (you can't fit one of these around most of those corners) and the clearances are sized to match.

        Eventually, wind tower construction companies are going to have to mobilize. Contract for several years here, and several years there, and it makes more sense to actually relocate the manufacturing facility for large products to save costs.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Pharmboy (216950)

          Eventually, wind tower construction companies are going to have to mobilize. Contract for several years here, and several years there, and it makes more sense to actually relocate the manufacturing facility for large products to save costs.

          Which means they will have to transport the very large equipment required to build these towers and such, so I am not so sure that is the answer. Most are already built relatively close to where they are being installed to begin with.

          The problem seems to be that this is

      • Re:Oh boo hoo (Score:4, Interesting)

        by MichaelSmith (789609) on Thursday July 23, 2009 @09:36PM (#28803031) Homepage Journal

        This is off the top of my head, but I think the wear on the road goes up with the cube of the weight.

        The most common rule is that erosion is proportional to the fourth power of axle load. I like to crank that one out when truck advocates tell me not to ride my bicycle.

        The problem with heavy loads on narrow country roads is that you can use a truck with lots of axles, but then turning becomes an issue. Makes me wonder if there is a market for something like a giant centipede. It could have 10 or 20 hydraulically actuated legs. Only one leg would move at a time. It could step right over a low fence and deliver heavy components directly to a construction site in the middle of a field.

    • by cptdondo (59460)

      Road failure is sort-of binary - everything is fine until the failure, at which point all goes to hell pretty quickly. Not quite that simple, but pretty close - soil has a failure point which is sudden and catastrophic. The pavement will hold together for a while after the base and subbase have failed, but not long.

      Now to your other point:

      Americans in particular are willing to accept almost any amount of destruction as long as it happens someplace else. Rip the top off of a mountain in Apalachia and pois

    • Re:Oh boo hoo (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Tanktalus (794810) on Thursday July 23, 2009 @08:30PM (#28802709) Journal

      This type of story strikes me as particularly stupid: "big objects hard to move around" doesn't equate to "wind power worse than other types of power" as the summary seems to imply.

      Maybe you're reading a different summary than I did. Maybe you're reading the summary differently. What I read was simply that wind power was not all sweetness and light like some in the eco movement would have us believe. Those that slam on minute amounts of radioactive waste from a nuclear power plant don't bat an eye on the primary (making the thing) or secondary (transporting) or even tertiary (road damage requiring massive amounts of oil to repair) costs of wind power. Heck, these aren't mentioned at all, as if turbines appear out of nothingness in their desired positions, with all the required power-grid infrastructure also magically appearing. I didn't read it to say this is worse than other forms of generating energy, merely that we need this information to have a factual, objective discussion about energy production on this planet.

      Yes, "big objects: hard to move around" is obvious when you stop and think about it. The problem is, too many people don't stop and think about the repercussions of their ideology. We all need to, both eco-whackos and global-warming-deniers, and everyone in between, if we're going to have a chance at survival on this planet.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Beltonius (960316)

        as if turbines appear out of nothingness in their desired positions, with all the required power-grid infrastructure also magically appearing.

        You clearly never played SimCity 2000

  • by techmuse (160085) on Thursday July 23, 2009 @07:06PM (#28802109)

    There are alternative designs that do not have that sort of problem. For example, Windspire is a 30' tall wind turbine that can be erected even in densely populated areas.

  • by tetrahedrassface (675645) on Thursday July 23, 2009 @07:11PM (#28802147) Journal
    Aerisyn has been here in my hometown for a number of years. They are expanding like crazy right now, and occupy space formally held by Combustion Engineering (Who went way to far into nuclear in the '70's and went broke). The facility languished as manufacturing jobs in the fair burg of Chattanooga went away, but Combustion had been around for many years, and during WW2 built ship boilers for the war effort. So, being located on the Tennessee River, Combustion had their own port, which is now being refurbished and Aerisyn and Alstom ( I think are going to share the port to ship stuff).

    So it doesn't have to really go on the highway unless the tower factories are located in a place that doesn't have access to shipping. Of course rivers and waterways only go so far and sooner or later the towers have to hit the road.

  • And the Diablo canyon nuclear power plant was part way finished before they realized they were putting it in backwards and had to start over.

  • by Dunbal (464142) on Thursday July 23, 2009 @07:27PM (#28802295)

    The insurance policies should cover this damage - wait, they DID ship them with insurance, right?

    The insurance companies, once they get fed up of paying for wrecked turbine parts and bridges, will start demanding competent drivers for the trucks, or they won't insure. Therefore the trucking companies will have a choice - deal with the union so they stop providing idiots who don't bother checking the height of their load and their maps, or they can pay the repairs out of their pockets.

    This is how capitalism is SUPPOSED to work.

  • by JavaManJim (946878) on Thursday July 23, 2009 @07:40PM (#28802381)

    Observations,

    These are very special hauling requirements, so they require a much more specialized design. I am uneasy about that generic hauling truck trailer shown in the picture.

    1. If the blades are 50 yards long, then designing a hauling truck like an old fire engine ladder truck might be better. Those had a rear cab and movable wheel carriages in the back.
    2. Also the trailer design in the picture is horrible regarding height. Design a trailer with lengthwise side support that allows blades to travel four or five feet lower. This could also incorporate hydraulic lifting to raise the trailer over bumps and low spots. Think lowrider cars that jump up.
    3. Additional tires on the truck and trailers to distribute weight and save the roadways. Heavy equipment haulers here in TX once in a while have as many as 50 wheels per tractor\trailer(s). For max wheels see this site (the bottom picture).
    http://www.goodtransportationinc.com/ [goodtransp...ioninc.com]
    4. I hope for low interstate overpasses that trucks could exit, then take the service road up, over (and adjacent) to the interstate then return to the interstate.
    5. And a lead car with laser height and side measurement device to alert the hauling convoy of incorrect, changed, or terrain shifted height/side measurements.

    I know this is blitheringly obvious. But plan and triple check. Just yesterday in Dallas a large fork lift plowed into a 14 foot 5 inch clearance underpass and thoroughly shattered the first cement beam.
    http://www.wfaa.com/sharedcontent/dws/wfaa/latestnews/stories/wfaa090722_wz_tootall.6696c458.html [wfaa.com]

    Thanks,
    Jim

    • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Thursday July 23, 2009 @07:54PM (#28802473) Homepage Journal
      When I worked on road systems we installed simple IR light interruption height sensors before bridges. The sensor triggers a warning sign so the driver knows they are over height. Of course some drivers have this idea that the warnings are always set a metre too low. Most of our low bridges have sacrificial steel beams fitted before the bridge. That way the expensive concrete doesn't get hit.

      At the end of the day the truck driver should know how high their load is.
      • In the USA (here TX only), I have not seen much construction like you describe. Especially the height warning signs. Most highways here have two height signs and a fairly generous clearance. But no specialized IR light interruption warning signs. And certainly no sacrificial beams. In lieu of sacrificial beams, TXDOT found that the pillars were vulnerable so care was put in directing wayward trucks away from the support pillars.

        Thanks,
        Jim

        • Yes, I suppose those help a little bit. Especially those guys carrying something that juts up like the elbow of a digging machine screeching to a stop.

          That hit yesterday was physics to the max powerful. Somewhere amongst the road litter of cement chunks there is a bow shaped piece of that armor strip.

          Have a great weekend,
          Jim

  • Trains (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ozbird (127571) on Thursday July 23, 2009 @07:54PM (#28802475)
    "Trains better than trucks - film at 11."
  • Oh no, clumsy drivers! Well, that's it. Wind power is /doomed/.

  • Weight-mile tax (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ichijo (607641) on Thursday July 23, 2009 @08:27PM (#28802689) Homepage Journal

    In Texas the constant truck traffic is tearing up small roads in the western part of the state where the turbines are being rapidly erected.

    The solution is a weight-mile tax, so that truckers pay the full cost of the damage they do to the roads. But good luck getting it enacted, because the national trucking industry hates the weight-mile tax system. [accessmylibrary.com]

  • by Torg (59213) on Thursday July 23, 2009 @08:28PM (#28802695)

    Living in Texas, with oil and gas, wells I can personally attest to damage done by service trucks to our road. This is due to to constant need to move the product to market, or service the water that comes from the wells (yes gas and oil wells produce water too).

    I have seen these trucks that carry the crude oil from gas wells get into accidents. I have seen bridges totally destroyed from burning oil under them (concrete breaks down under the extreme heat).

    Do we write about the millions of dollars in damage our oil trucks create yearly? Or do we single out a few accidents in trucking, carrying oversize loads instead.

    Do we even hear about the oversize building moments that tie up traffic? Do we hear about the daily fatal accidents from truck accidents? Or do we single out a few trucks that just happened to be carrying wind turbine parts?

  • news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1248068.stm

    Problem solved.

  • They're not far from Coburn Gore which has a border crossing, and they're putting the turbines in on the western edge of the mountains. Looking at the terrain and roads on Google Maps, it looks like the Canadian side of the border is much flatter and has much straighter roads (because it's not mountainous)You might even be able to bring them in closer on barges to cut down the truck distance, though that would depend on the port facilities.
  • by PPH (736903)

    Hire transportation firms experienced in hauling oversized loads. The photo in the NYT article of the long load is pretty pathetic. Here in timber country (before the spotted owls screwed it all up), long logs were moved with a steerable rear trailer.

  • It's only posted because it is novel. Trucks carrying oil rigs tip over. Semi-trucks hauling drilling equipment hit overpasses. Coal mines explode. Gas wells blow out. Pipelines explode. Trains hauling industrial equipment for refineries derail etc.

    Do we cry "Oh the horror!"

    No. We're picking on wind turbines because they are novel.

    Next week it will be a story about the nasty glass splinters from solar panels.

    BTW, if you are going to "do it yourself" and put in fiber glass insulation in your home, buy some *

  • In Oregon we actively work with companies installing turbines to make it as easy as possible to transport & install them. We work with the manufactured housing builders as well, but that's another story. Unlike Texas with its oil, or other states and their coal, we don't have locally buried hydrocarbons adding to our economy, so we are happy for the economic benefit from these installations. We've had one wind turbine generator fall of around a corner, while inside a tunnel, which did wedged things up.

  • Large loads... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by flatbedexpress (1604573) on Thursday July 23, 2009 @11:23PM (#28803565)
    I understand what these truckers go through everyday. My company is currently hauling the largest I-beam bridge girders ever built in the midwest. The beam alone is 186 feet long which puts us at an overall length around 240-260 feet. The current issue is the routing provided by each states permitting offices. Some will have you scout the route and hand it in to them so they can authorize it with a permit. But, others will not do that and force you onto the worst roads you could ever be on. Another issue is the rest of traffic on the road. We have fools on a regular basis act like idiots around us especially when we are making a turn. But, we usually have police assistance for the bigger loads to stop the idiots out there.

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