Superload all in a day’s work for Lampson

By: Mark Gojszyk

Heavy haulage operator gives insight into 600-tonne haul

Superload all in a day’s work for Lampson
Lampson transporting a 'superload'


It’s not every day that a 600-tonne, 107-metre-long convoy crawls through local roads, but that’s the scene that met Victorian residents and captured public interest recently.

Comprising two prime movers either side of the load, a 255-tonne generator travelled from Port Melbourne towards Loy Yang Power Station, having recently been sent by energy company AGL to Germany – and back – to be refurbished by manufacturer Siemens.

The operator tasked with its transport on the road was Lampson Transport, working with VicRoads and other agencies to ensure its safe arrival and minimising the impact on infrastructure and other road users.

A heavy lift and transport company for over 60 years, Lampson started as a small trucking outfit in Washington and has since expanded to Canada and Australia, specialising in over-dimensional haulage and the engineering services required to facilitate such a task.

Managing director in Australia John Lee says the process for a superload move starts three months before anything is moved. 

"It is a full-time project for our engineering personnel," he tells ATN.

"The process nowadays revolves around VicRoads as they arrange cooperative meetings with the required private and government infrastructure organisations.

"The complexity increases with the number of parties involved, where the scheduling for least impact occurs at different times for each organisation.

"Bridges, rail, overhead cables and power must all be surveyed by the responsible parties along the selected path."

Read about one of Lampson's big hauls last year, here

Lee says one of the biggest issues with the freight task is that the first choice of travel route, which is typically the fastest, is generally not possible due to physical constraints.

"Therefore, the time for re-surveying and finding alternative roads must be factored into the planning time prior to transport," he says.

"The involvement of overseas shipping places further pressures on the process where arrival and departure timing can be dramatically altered due to weather influences on ship movements."

Lee says generally a prime mover is required for every 200 tonnes of gross weight, and then more may be added for a factor of safety and to increase travel speed.

Impressively, he notes this recent transformer move only sits about mid-way in the scale of overall mass and complexity that he and Lampson deal with.

Full story in May’s edition of ATN.


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