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As the industry grows, so does the equipment and finding the best way to coordinate its use is as important as the equipment itself.
RyTy knows how to do it big and do it with confidence. It’s no small undertaking to move an 84-wheel trailer – 98 if you count the push truck – that is able to haul 150 tonnes and with 1,100 hp pushing this thing. It’s payload potential is 320,000 lbs and there is nothing this big north of Edmonton, and in BC it’s like is nowhere to be found says RyTy Manager Shaun Lawrence.
“With oil and gas being the primary way of living in this area, so many companies have compressors which is the main thing we haul with it,” says Lawrence. There is a definite need for something this big. It is a monster all right, but RyTy thinks it’s worth all the effort to make the equipment work for them and their clients. One of the biggest benefits it that loads don’t have to be broken down for transport.
However planning is paramount when it comes to putting all the pieces together to make that happen and the logistics could make you dizzy. It’s not only coordination that’s needed, but cooperation as well. Permits, dealing with traffic, power companies, crews, and routing are all part of the puzzle where routing alone can take days.
“It takes weeks to get permits,” says Lawrence. Permits from the province, the county, lining things up with the power companies and it all gets more complicated when dealing with Calgary. “I don’t call them and say I’m coming in with this load on this date. I call them and they tell me when I can go into the city…you’re at their mercy,” says Lawrence. It takes at least two weeks to dot the Is and cross the Ts.
And then comes the start of the journey. It takes days to bring together everyone needed to get that monster loaded and on the road. Where the load is placed is a critical factor and there is really “only one shot to get it right”. It is ultimately an issue of time is money. And when it finally is ready to move, other considerations come into play and not all of them serious.
“Just about all the drivers here grew up and our toys and sandboxes got bigger,” says Lawrence. “Who wouldn’t want to come to work and haul 300,000 lbs down the road and then go to the bar and puff your chest out about it?”
Despite that tongue-in cheek observation, Lawrence does stress that safety is always a primary consideration. While any experienced driver can move this trailer, it has a few features to make that a little bit easier. “It has state-of-the-art hydraulic steering which no one else has out there – nobody,” says Lawrence. Accusteel designed it especially for this piece of equipment.
There are three failsafe mechanisms on the trailer to prevent any wandering on the road and if one hydraulic line breaks, there are contingencies. “It would have to be a complete disaster for it to do some damage,” says Lawrence.
“When you get into tight spaces, there are motors on the back that run hydraulics and you can steer it with the remote control,” says Lawrence. A supervisor always goes with this trailer and can see from a rear vantage point if anything goes wrong and can also steer the back when needed but on the highways that’s not needed – it steers itself.
“They cruise at an average of 60 kmph empty or loaded. Without the push truck in the back, that speed drops to 40 kmph because of the sheer weight of it. Unloaded, it weighs 75 tonnes. There is no doubt that this piece of equipment is one-of-a-kind but RyTy has other equipment that isn’t found just anywhere including two of three FN900 Nodwells that exist in the world.
“We have the largest fleet of offroad equipment in Alberta,” says Lawrence. Specializing in heavy hauling, RyTy is intimately acquainted with the petroleum industry and their ‘new toy’ is just one more addition to a busy and successful company.
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