Transporting a 318,000 pound refinery dryer component from Kentucky to Alabama appeared to be a fairly simple process. After studying the route and determining the best way to get from point A to point B, however, the job became non routine pretty quickly.
Shelbyville, KY-based Edwards Moving and Rigging accomplished the haul and made it look easy in the process, although looking back, Mark Edwards, president, says copious pre-planning was crucial at every level.
“Our pre-planning is what made this project run smoothly,” Edwards says. “The route we had to take required an incredible amount of planning, engineering and accountability. We did everything from the time we picked up the dryer unit in the plant to the time it was placed in storage at the plant where it would be installed.”
The first task for Edwards was loading the dryer onto a 15-line Goldhofer trailer to haul it to the river dock for loading onto a barge. Using a Four-Point Lift Systems gantry, the dryer was placed on a saddle and then secured to the trailer. The unit was transported using Edwards' Pacific prime mover.
The transport of the dryer to the river involved a complicated route due to the dimensions of the unit - 75 feet 5 inches long, by 13 feet 7 inches wide, by 13 feet 11 inches high. The 31 mile route encountered several bridges and overpasses, several 90 degree turns and, of course, there were power line issues. Edwards says the convoy included two bucket trucks, police cars and a tool truck.
At the river dock the dryer was set to travel down the Ohio River on a McDonough H400 barge leased by Edwards. Maxim Crane Works was hired to bring two 500 ton capacity cranes out to the river dock to pick up the dryer and place it on the barge. The unit was secured to the barge using Edwards' jack stands.
Once secured to the barge, the dryer unit traveled about 500 miles in 10 days down the river to Decatur, AL. In Alabama Edwards chose to do a live roll off of the dryer, using bridge jumper beams for off loading.
“We backed the Goldhofer under the unit and used our jumpers to roll it off the barge onto the trailer,” says Edwards. “We didn't need a crane for the off load.” The unit was then hauled to the plant for installation.
Edwards says that the job turned out to be a complex one due to all the modes of lifting, moving and transport. “We used three different types of loading - our gantry, the two cranes on the river dock and the barge jumper roll off system at the river dock in Alabama,” he says “and we used two different types of transportation, by trailer and barge. It was definitely a multi-faceted job.”
Started in 1961, Edwards Moving and Rigging has branches in Cincinnati, OH, Peoria, IL and Knoxville, TN. The company has years of experience moving overweight, over dimensional equipment and components by rivers and roads.