Heavylift / Breakbulk
Reaching the refinery
The German project logistics specialist Schmidbauer recently hauled two columns from Kelheim to Desching, near Ingolstadt (Germany). The demanding transport task called for detailed planning. It paid off. The goods reached their destination on time.
Refineries deploy so-called columns to separate oil into its component elements. These impressive cylinders can be considered to represent the heart of the oil production process. The Gunvor refinery in Desching, located near Ingolstadt, needed two new columns recently. They were first shipped to Kelheim on the Danube. The larger of the two units measured approximately 24 x 6.2 x 6 m. The Munich-based project logistics specialist Schmidbauer was tasked with hauling the consignments over the last 50 road km of their journey.
Seeking the best way forward
Even though this particular leg was only around 50 km long, it nevertheless called for intense planning, according to Markus Brenner, Schmidbauer’s head of transport and logistics. “Our work to find the optimal route began three months in advance.” The reconnaissance called for good observational skills, as it was imperative that no structures were damaged along the route. On top of this there were a series of difficult corners, inclines and transmission lines en route.
The company was in charge of obtaining all the numerous permits needed from the authorities concerned, as well as of detailed planning of the police’s role. There was also an extensive workload involved in deciding on the final route. Brenner and his team analysed five potential routes, making various static calculations of bridges in the course of their investigations. Energy service providers were asked to temporarily cut supplies to some lines and Schmidbauer’s experts took down several road signs, traffic lights and lanterns en route.
On the day then, two mobile cranes unloaded the columns from the barge and placed them on the 10 and 15-axle modular road vehicles. The convoy averaged around 5 km / h on its way to Desching. Besides police and BF3 support vehicles, units from the B4 category were also deployed in Bavaria for the first time. B4 units will relieve the police of some of their heavylift transport duties in future.
Second tractor required
The convoy had to overcome an 8% incline near Weltenburg Abbey. The wet roads proved too much for the tractor in action, and Schmidbauer’s crew had to call on a second unit that it was holding in reserve – with a ballast box on board. The transport thus mastered the obstacle without divine intervention, and the shipments reached Ingolstadt on time and without any mishaps.