Super loads on super trailers
30 April 2008
The history of the Ohio company goes back to 1980 when the current president of Diamond Heavy Haul, Inc., Steve Engel, started his company with a single truck Although the company was small and capable of handling limited heavy and oversized loads, he already had different ideas about trailer design to solve the problems of more extreme loads.
Engel first displayed his talent for engineering during high school and turned it to reality in 1986 when he started building heavy haul trailers. These trailers were built according to his own vision and they were different from anything else available at the time. Diamond Heavy Haul was a well–established company and was ready to introduce Diamond Trailers.
The first product from the drawing boards to roll out of the manufacturing facilities and hit the road was a 50 ton capacity lowboy. A 75 ton step deck followed only a year later. Steve Engel felt and responded to the need from the market to move ever heavier and larger equipment. By 1989 he had produced the first 11 axle lowboy, followed by a 13 axle outfit less than two years later. In 1994 an innovative 19 axle lowboy was introduced. Until then, Diamond Trailers had also supplied many specialized carriers, but with the introduction of more sophisticated designs, Engel changed company policy. From then on, the more unique trailers would be operated almost exclusively from Diamond Heavy Haul's own feet. In the meantime, modern production facilities grew to 80,000 square feet.
1998 marked the start of a transition period in which, as the company says, Diamond reinvented itself. Nowadays, Diamond Heavy Haul's feet consists of a variety of specialized, unique trailers. At the light end of the feet is a seven–axle, steerable parameter trailer. Th is 45 ton capacity unit is an open deck construction with a variable deck, the length of which can be from 26 to 80 feet. Width can be between 8 and 18 feet, and the deck height runs at 12 inches. The rear three–axle group can be steered hydraulically. The deck is suited to vessels and high and wide loads that fit between the two deck beams.
An 11 axle step deck, running from 32 to 65 feet and 70 tons maximum capacity, follows in the range. For loads up to 95 tons, a 13 axle combination, equipped with parameter deck, is available. Deck length runs from 30 to 90 feet, while width can be adapted between 10 and 20 feet. The feat deck version, with a 26 to 60 foot long, 10 foot wide deck, allows for loads up to 90 tons. Heavier loads can be moved on the 13 axle outfits, either with parameter or flat deck and respective capacities of 95 and 90 tons.
Next comes the 20 axle rig–a giant that runs on 78 tires. A special feature forms the self–propelled rear end of the trailer, which enables easy and relatively fast manoeuvring. No additional push truck is required. The 20 axle trailer is available with a flat deck, running between 26 and 65 feet long and capable of carrying a maximum of 150 tons, or a parameter deck variable in length between 34 and 80 feet and in width between 10 and 20 feet. Maximum capacity is 160 tons.
Diamond's showpiece and latest addition is the dual lane trailer. The basic trailer consists of a front and rear section, each of which runs on two rows of two–axle wheel sets running parallel. The individual wheel sets have hydraulic, crab steering.
The wheel sets can be expanded from 12.5 to 18 feet during travel to create the dual lane concept. In addition; 3+1 conventional axle groups connect to the rear wheel sets, while the front wheel sets fit to a four–axle tractor or to a three–axle jeep dolly in between. Both front tractor and jeep dolly and rear conventional axle groups can run on one lane while the two–axle wheel sets run on the adjacent, optimizing the dual lane capabilities.
Like the 20 axle trailers, the rear end is self–propelled. The dual lane trailer has a maximum capacity of 215 tons and a parameter deck that can be extended in sections from 42 to 90 feet, while width runs from 10 feet 6 inches to 22 feet and deck height is 16 inches. The dual lane concept is often an effective method of crossing bridges that otherwise would not be capable of carrying the total weight.
With its unique market approach Diamond Heavy Haul has become a leader in the field of ultra heavy hauling of so–called Super loads.