Moving Big Blades: RotorBladeTransport System from Scheuerle
“The length of rotor blade transports is always a challenge! Everything went very smoothly during the complete assignment”, said Peter Schwandner, Managing Director of P. Schwandner Logistik + Transport GmbH. He applied the RotorBladeTransportSystem (RBTS) from Scheuerle, a subsidiary of the Transporter Industry International Group (TII Group) owned by the Rettenmaier entrepreneurial family from Heilbronn, Germany.
The complete vehicle combination measured 86 meters. The RBTS comfortably negotiated a number of bottlenecks along the 680 km route from the port of Cuxhaven to a wind farm near Erfurt without any problems.
“Normally, we would use a telescopic semi-trailer for such transport assignments. In order to get through the various bottlenecks using this, we would have had to dismantle crash barriers”, said Peter Schwandner. This would have cost additional time and money. The approval process would also have been more complicated.
“The RBTS provides us with significant economic advantages”, said the Managing Director. The system from Scheuerle offers outstanding advantages even on uneven surfaces. The RBTS can also be used to compensate for large differences in height between the dolly and the trailing unit. The lifting height reaches up to two metres at the front and up to one metre at the rear.
Hubert Drechsel, driver of the four-axle tractor unit, was also full of praise for the RBTS: "The system is relatively easy to use."
Schwandner added: "We could not have been able to move the new V 162 blade type from Vestas at all without the RBTS." Then, the latest rotor blades for even more powerful wind turbines are not only 70 meters long which means they are considerably longer; furthermore, the diameter of the rotor blade root also increases significantly. Conventional telescopic trailer combinations can quickly reach heights of 4.5 meters and more. The trailing unit concept, whereby the rotor blade serves as a link between the mounting on the tractor and the trailing unit, facilitates a total height of around four metres.
The RBTS is a joint development between SCHEUERLE and Vestas, the world's leading provider of wind turbines. The system consists of a 2-axle Jeep dolly together with a free-turning device and a four-axle trailing unit. Assembly of the wind blade is carried out according to the plug-and-play principle. With the help of a special lifting device, the wing root is comfortably picked up from the ground. The quick coupling solution is comprised of the free-turning device along with the root adapter and a root frame that is connected to the blade root. This frame can then be secured to the free-turning device in next to no time with the help of the adapter. A clamp on the dolly is used to fix the tip of the rotor blade into position. At the same time, the ingenious attachment of the blade facilitates torsion-free mounting and safe transportation. The RBTS also offers numerous advantages regarding empty runs. It can be shortened to a 16.5 metre long tractor-trailer combination, with a 2.55 metre width, under four metres high and weighing less than 40 tonnes. This means that no special permit is required for an empty run. In addition, the RBTS can be adapted to accommodate rotor blades from other manufacturers.
The RBTS has earned the internationally title “Trailer Innovation 2021”, as conferred in September 2020 by a jury consisting of journalists from 16 European transport magazines recognized the innovative concept of the RBTS. The system was awarded first place in the chassis category.