This is “Road Train”, Perkins Specialized Transportation Contracting’s 400-ton capacity dual lane loading hydraulic/gas suspension system for moving super heavy, over-dimensional project cargo over North American highways.
The name “Road Train” is derived from the enormous longer combination vehicles (LCVs) used in Australia that are hundreds of feet long and are comprised of multiple semi trailers pulled by a single prime mover over extensive distances across the continent. The largest of the road trains operating in Australia is called a "Powertrain" or a "Body and six” that move ore and operate on private roads at the Granites Gold Mine in the western Northern Territory moving side-tipper bodies on a 100 km round trip with gross vehicle weights of about 1,000,000 lbs.
Perkins was contracted by a California utility to move four (4) steam generator sections with dimensions of 46’ 4” length, 15’ 6” width, 14’ 5” height, and a weight of 760,335 lbs from CA to UT. To accomplish the task, Perkins developed the “Road Train” transporter, a Trail King 800 suspension system with 48 dual lane loading hydraulic/gas bogies. Conceived and initially designed by Perkins project managers and engineers, “Road Train” was professionally built by a major US trailer manufacturer for the project. Like its Australian cousin, Perkins’ “Road Train” is comprised of multiple units, four (4) 6-line 20’ wide “dollies” to move its payloads. Each pair of dollies is linked by spanner beams on which the suspension system is mounted with the payload hanging in between each pair.
Huge payloads have been moved on North American highways for more than 30 years using dual lane loading suspension systems. However, the majority of those systems still employ the use of house moving dollies as running gear, which operate at slow speeds, are labor-intensive to use, and have limited maneuverability due to their mechanical caster-steering. In contrast, Perkins’ “Road Train” has integrated hydraulic/gas running gear that can back up long distances as easily as they can be pulled. This feature is significant because Perkins’ operators can to move the loaded 399’ long articulated configuration into a turn, stop, hydraulically counter steer the running gear using a Bluetooth remote, back up some distance, and then promptly complete the turn in a matter of minutes instead of the much longer periods of time required by competitive systems using house-moving dollies.
This cutting edge technology is just the latest example of Perkins’ use of the most modern modular equipment available to be used in moving large cargo throughout North America. Perkins Specialized only focuses on long distance highway transportation of hard-to-move cargo using engineered solutions. Since we are not a heavy lifting/rigging company or a traditional trucking company, Perkins will partner with such companies to provide the highway component of turnkey multimodal inland transportation solutions for their clients.