Bernard Transportation launches the USS Coronado using 104 axle lines of Goldhofer PST/ES-E.

Bernard Transportation launches the USS Coronado using 104 axle lines of Goldhofer PST/ES-E.

Berard Transportation is a trusted vendor of several U.S. government entities including the U.S. Navy. One of the biggest projects to come down the pike from the Navy was the project to launch the USS Coronado, the latest in the Independence class of vessels commissioned by the Navy. The ship cost $440 million to build.

Berard deployed a total of 104 axle lines in the form of Goldhofer PST/ES-E and PST/SL-E heavy-duty modules with multi-way steering. A CAN bus was used for electronic synchronization of the hydraulic functions of the two types of vehicle. That made it possible for the complete configuration to be handled by a single operator using remote control.

Loading up the ship

The first step of the project was to load the 2,800-ton navy ship onto Goldhofer’s self-propelled PST/SL-E modules in the Alabama shipyard of Austal USA and transfer it to a floating dock so that it could be moved to a dry-dock further downstream. There, the Goldhofer axle lines were used to move the 127-meter-long and 30-meter-wide ship into the dock for launch in the water.

“For us, it is naturally a great distinction to be entrusted with a highly prestigious job of such importance for our country,” says Braedon Berard, COO. “It was a superb experience and also a great pleasure to cooperate with the specialists from Austal.”

The project had to be completed in two days, and Berard says his company’s experience with these types of projects was valuable.

“We can always rely on our Goldhofer axle lines,” he says.

The Goldhofer PST/E-SE and PST/SL-E modules employed to move the USS Coronado have hydrostatic drive and electronic multi-way steering and offer maximum flexibility.

In addition to the standard steering modes (normal, diagonal, transversal and carousel), the Goldhofer self-propelled modules can be operated with special steering programs without the need for major modifications to the vehicle combination. The power pack is available in a 155 kW and a 360 kW version. This is the drive unit for the hydrostatic drive and houses all the controls and instruments for the self-propelled vehicles.

“The U.S. Navy contract is an excellent reference for our company, too, and I’m very pleased we were once again able to help Braedon and his fine team handle such an impressive project,” says Stefan Fuchs, CEO, Goldhofer Aktiengesellschaft.

The USS Coronado is the latest addition to the U.S. Navy fleet. It is a littoral combat ship, a new type of warship that the Navy will deploy in its fight against terrorism. The USS Coronado will be commissioned later in 2013 and will be stationed in San Diego.

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