Mount Gambier council lays claim to record timber haul

Huge beams for Wulanda development make journey from Europe

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Glued laminated timber beams spanning 42 metres in length have been hauled from Port Melbourne to South Australia’s Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre construction site, the longest single ‘glulam’ beams ever shipped to Australia, the City of Mount Gambier announces.

Up to 13 full-length timber beams, and two segmented beams, were produced by German timber engineering firm Hess Timber for the pool hall within the $57.3 million development.

The timber rafters were crafted at Hess’s production facility in Kleinheubach, Germany.

The beams departed from Zeebrugee Terminal in Belgium at the end of April and travelled about 25,000 kilometres via ocean to Australia as break-bulk-cargo, arriving at the wharf in Port Melbourne on June 12.

A look back at former 'superloads' to have traversed Victoria, here

A specialist freight contractor used two mobile hydraulic cranes to unload the beams from the ocean freight platforms and on to each truck, which will carry three to four timber beams each over four loads.

The long and oversized loads will measure 2.5 metres wide and 49 metres in length.

"The truck consists of a prime mover at the front with a separated steerable jinker at the rear," Hess business development and projects manager Tyson Infanti says.

"The beams themselves span the void between the two vehicles and act as the truck's middle section.

"There are two multi-purpose boogies (MPBs) that carry four individual loads to the site."

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Three certified pilots are required to escort the loads through Victoria to South Australia.

The trucks travel under police escort and follow a pre-approved traffic management plan.

"To give you an idea of the spectacle to come as they make the trip from interstate, the timber beams are longer than the average wind turbine blade if you’ve ever seen them in transit," City of Mount Gambier Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre project sponsor Barbara Cernovskis says.

It’s noted the single large timber spans required for the roof meant the European Spruce product was sourced from overseas as the length was unable to be manufactured in Australia.

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