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Heavy load on the road

How do you get an old transformer measuring 7 x 3 x 5 meters to your scrapping facility? Easy. Just contact Gosselin and Heavy. This spring, a few colleagues transported a 100-ton giant for grid operator Elia from an old power plant in Antwerp, Belgium to Tilburg in the Netherlands.

Puzzles for advanced players

“Our employees have a fondness for these types of challenges,” planner Ief Van Gansen tells us. “It’s great when all the pieces in the puzzle - disassembly, relocation, hoisting and transport - fit together nicely. Heavy has the equipment and know-how it needs to handle these types of projects. The people at Elia who were responsible for this job were also particularly enthusiastic about how smoothly it all went.”

Creativity and carriages

The team from Heavy had creative solutions for every phase of the project. Ief: “We started by disassembling a few components and bringing the transformer outside on a carriage. Our Holmatro system is based on the same principle as the one the Egyptians used to drag large blocks to where they were building the pyramids. You slide ‘a shoe’ under the load and build a track using hydraulic cylinders and Teflon blocks to reduce friction. We set up a rider plate under the transformer outside to rotate it and then lifted it using a gantry crane before driving a flatbed underneath it.”

Multimodal transport

The actual transport wasn’t an average day at the office either. “To get to the Elia site with the flatbed, we had to add hardwood and drive plates to ensure the road surface was level. This ensured the flatbed was able to drive over the median strip, and we drove to Katoennatie’s ABES quay in Antwerp with the necessary escorts of course. Once there, we transferred the transformer to an inland navigation vessel headed for the Netherlands. This was necessary since we weren’t able to get a road transport permit for the Netherlands; the total transport height was actually higher than five meters. Just before it reached the final destination, mobile cranes moved the transformer from the ship back onto a flatbed to cover the last kilometer to the scrap facility.”

Well begun is half done

A dozen colleagues worked on the operation which was preceded by the necessary preparations. “Well begun is half done as the saying goes,” Ief says.  “We attach a lot of importance to thorough route surveys, proper permit applications and sound agreements with the subcontractors we hire for the transport.”

Heavy load on the road

About Gosselin Logistics

Gosselin Logistics manages logistic supply chains between Europe, China, Africa and the rest of the world. Offering a complete range of logistic services, from forwarding and warehousing to customs clearance including specialized services such as lashing and securing and manufacturing overflow and storage crates. Gosselin Logistics is part of the Gosselin Group.

Gosselin originated in 1930 and counts more than 700 employees that generate a revenue of more than 200 million euro. Its headquarters are located strategically at the Albert Canal in Deurne, its inland terminal connects the ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam to the European hinterland. The company has 48 offices in 32 countries and is strongly represented in Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia.


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