Goldhofer shakes up market with new SPMT

By Gino Koster07 May 2008

Goldhofer's new Mega PST/ES-E is a new generation SPMT (Self-propelled modular transporter) offering

Goldhofer's new Mega PST/ES-E is a new generation SPMT (Self-propelled modular transporter) offering 50 tonne axle loads

Goldhofer is shaking up the market for Self Propelled Modular Transporters (SPMT) by introducing the PST/ES-E. The new, so-called Mega PST, based on the 2.430 millimeter container width, features an innovative 56 ton (50 metric ton) capacity per axle line.

In recent years the market for SPMTs – the original 2.430 millimeter wide transporter featuring four wheels per axle line and computer-controlled and electronic multi-directional steering – underwent drastic changes as three of the world's largest suppliers were acquired by one owner. Currently, manufacturers from Germany, France and Italy offer container-sized SPMT-systems that have a gross capacity of 40 to 44 tons (36 to 40 metric tons) per axle line.

According to Goldhofer, engineers took a different approach with their design of the Mega PST by incorporating market requests to increase capacity per axle line. The new design offers a gross capacity of 56 tons (50 metric tons) per line, a mere 10 to 14 tons extra compared to current SPMTs on the market. The higher gross capacity also reflects a 25% increase in net capacity per line and trailer module, resulting in a substantial cost reduction in transporting by SPMT, according to Goldhofer.

Of course it should be remembered that the roadway to be travelled can support the increased axle loading and that the load itself has a large enough bearing area. In a way, this also applies to the frame and other components of the Mega PST. The manufacturer claims a sufficient safety factor in the design, for instance, using higher capacity tires with sufficient spare capacity, which even allows for short extreme peak loads, unavoidable in day-to-day heavy haul operations.

The Mega PST is equipped with the multi-directional steering system applied to the PST/SL-E, Goldhofer's 9 feet, 10 inch (3 meters) wide SPMT-type of transporter, based on its popular THP/SL conventional modular trailer. The maximum steering angle offers plus and minus 135-degrees, sufficient to provide all steering patterns such as crab, rotating on the spot, and the like. The hydraulic suspension offers a stroke of plus and minus 350 millimeters from a standard loading height of 1.510 millimeters. Power packs up to 490 horsepower fuel the hydraulic system, including the hydrostatic propulsion, and comply with the latest engine exhaust requirements, including EPA Tier III in North America.

Goldhofer claims the new Mega PST transporter will contribute substantially to turnover in the coming years, especially because of its unique qualifications compared to current similar systems on the market. With the new Mega PST, the manufacturer expects to grow its markets in hydrostatic driven self-propelled transporters. Beside the traditional heavy haul market, Goldhofer expects the Mega PST to be of interest to the ship building industry.

According to Goldhofer, the first major orders for the new type comprise more than 100 axle lines. Still this year, Nippon Express and joint-venture partner UTOC, both Japanese heavy hauling and lifting specialists, will take delivery of 100 lines of Mega PST.

Berard Transportation of New Iberia, LA is one of the other Goldhofer clients, ordering 32 lines. Berard was also the first to order the PST/SL-E, which can be operated together with the Mega PST, as one transporter, via the interlinked computers in the power packs.

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