Preparing for even heavier loads
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• A report published by the National Ports Council on Monday highlights the growing problem of moving heavy industrial equipment along the roads and through the ports of Britain.
The problem it says, is increasing as designers of plant for power stations, steelmaking, and the process industries specify larger units as giving greater productivity. It is expected that very soon pressure vessels of as much as 800 tons will have to be transported from factories to sites.
Two chapters of the report deal with the land movement of heavy indivisible loads, including a road-routing study for loads up to 550 tons gross. The rest of the report is concerned with the problem of handling the loads at the ports and transportation by sea. In the latter section the merits of various types of floating cranes are discussed.
Other recommendations in the report include the following: Heavy load movements involve an extra cost on account of the removal and replacement of street "furniture" (lamp standards, traffic signs, etc). Highway authorities involved should arrange, where possible, to erect such items in positions that would make temporary removal unnecessary. Where this cannot be done, they should be designed for rapid dismantling and re-erection.
Roundabouts likely to be difficult to negotiate should be fitted with gated throughways.
Where pedestrian footliridges cross selected routes with headroom clearance below the necessary minimum, they should be provided with removable centre sections.
Where new "grade separated" junctions create a headroom problem the highway and police authorities should sanction the use of slip roads and specially sited "crossovers" through the central reservations.
Because of the need to distribute loading on bridges, the report advocates the development of a suitable trailer and air cushion equipment to give a relief loading of at least 200 tons, and recommends an approach to the National Research Development Corporation for assistance in this development work.
The abnormal Loads Committee of the Conference of Heavy Engineering Industries has said, on behalf of the trade associations concerned, that it fully supports the recommendations made in the report.
Working Party on the Movement of Heavy Indivisible Loads Final Report. Available from National Ports Council, 17 North Audley Street, London W1Y 1WE. Price 105s.