Mammoet, a service provider specializing in engineered heavy lifting and transport, announced development of an SPMT (Self Propelled Modular Transporter) widening adaptor. This system makes it possible to increase the track width of a SPMT—thereby increasing the width of the loading platform without the need to add more SPMT trailer units to safely execute a job. SPMTs are often used to transport oversized mining equipment; for example, see Moving and Maintaining the World’s Biggest Diggers.
In heavy transport, high and wide loads with a high center of gravity are typically transported on multiple rows of SPMTs. Connecting more SPMT trailer units side-by-side creates a wider loading platform ensuring stability of the load during transport and enhancing safety. However, in many cases, the increased load capacity that comes with the additional trailer units is not required. Mammoet came up with the idea to design a widening adaptor that allows for variable spacing of split SPMT trailers—increasing the width of the loading platform without the need to add more SPMTs and Power Pack Units (PPUs). This allows for safer and more cost-effective transport of specific loads.
Mammoet contacted Scheuerle, a manufacturer of heavy transport vehicles, for engineering and fabrication of the SPMT widening adaptor. Scheuerle developed a new variation of SPMT that is literally split down the middle along its entire length. Double sets of articulated arms are attached to the inner walls of the two SPMT-halves and to runners that slide over a central tube down the middle of the SPMT. The central tube keeps the articulated arms aligned as they move to either increase or decrease the track width.
The split SPMT with widening adaptor has a minimum width of 3 m and a maximum width of 6.4 m—meaning one row of split SPMTs can replace two rows of conventional SPMTs. By removing the widening mechanism and placing it on top of the two reconnected SPMT halves, the width is reduced to 2.43 m, making it possible to fit the split SPMT into a standard flat rack container for efficient shipping.
Testing and approval of the split SPMT with widening adaptor was completed at the end of 2015, with the first units going into operation in the first half of 2016.