After competitive bidding Perkins STC was awarded a job from a major international freight forwarder to move two huge loads from a Houston, TX ocean terminal into northern Alberta. The project consisted of moving two separator vessels with net weights of 286,600 lbs and 275,625 lbs, respectively, imported from Italy for delivery to Canadian Natural Resources, Ltd (CNRL) Horizon Oil Sands Project located near Fort McMurray, AB. The loads had to move by highway since the super heavy pieces were too large for dimensional rail transportation. A key factor for this project is that both vessels needed to be delivered in convoy requiring two massive transporters to handle the loads.
To accomplish this task, Perkins utilized a pair of its 10-line Goldhofer STHP/DL dual lane hydraulic platform trailers that are each fitted with a gooseneck attachment to transfer load weight onto the drive axles of the powerful pull tractor's axles reducing the overall weight from the trailer axle loadings. The loads were also simultaneously pushed with a second tractor over its circuitous journey of more than 3,000 miles. The Perkins project management team for this project put in many weeks of permit work with all six U.S. states and two Canadian provinces involved on this trip. For over 3 months, Perkins was engaged in careful engineering, hours of phone calls to state, provincial and local governments and dozens of utility companies along the route. Meticulous planning and scheduling by the Perkins team prepared these loads and culminated the issuance of the permits for the 1,200+ mile TX portion of the route alone.
While still anticipating the issuance of our initial permit to start the move from Houston, TX Perkins sent its superintendent and an 8-man crew with all of its gear from the Northfield Operations Center in Minnesota early for advanced assembly and load-out of the two huge vessels. After the rotation of the tallest piece to minimize running height and cargo securement, the convoy was ready to roll and Perkins pulled out of southeast Texas on its journey into northern Alberta during a period of harsh winter conditions on thousands of miles of secondary highways and snow-packed gravel county roads that caused the trip to last an extra 10 days due road closures while snow drifts and ice were cleared. Weeks of fast food and hotel life didn’t get any better in the latter stages of the trip as the Perkins team found limited accommodations in Alberta due to the very high number of out-of-town laborers working on the tar sands projects and related industries.
Perkins Project Manager was very pleased with the overall project stating,
“I’m proud of the high level of professionalism from the people I work with and for the dedicated field personnel we have to get the job done safely. Once we got to rolling, the client was pleased and we got great support from their customer’s rigging contractor during unloading and demobilization operations.” he also added that we received excellent cooperation with all of the US and Canadian permit agencies including the then short-staffed Texas DOT who help on points of entry and exit.