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From blade tip to tower section

RA 2-110: 7 units of the ultra-modern solution already in use
Goldhofer Europe
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RA 2-110: 7 units of the ultra-modern solution already in use

IMAGE SOURCE: Goldhofer AG

  • Goldhofer has introduced the FTV 850, the third generation of its transport solution for wind turbine blades, enhancing efficiency and safety.

  • P. Schwandner Logistik + Transport GmbH has modernized its fleet with Goldhofer's latest tower transporters, capable of handling tower sections up to 110 tons and 6.8 meters in diameter.

  • Goldhofer's »BLADES« system offers significant advantages in maneuverability, speed, and ground clearance for transporting wind power components.

  • TRANSPORTES ACOINSA S.A.C. utilized Goldhofer FTV 850s to transport 77-meter rotor blades for the Wayra II wind farm in Peru, overcoming challenging routes with ease.

  • Goldhofer emphasizes continuous product development and customer dialogue to maintain its position as a leading provider of transport solutions in the wind power sector.

For years, the wind power industry has been at the forefront of the global energy transition. As both a symbol and a pioneer in renewable energy and technological development, it has taken on a key role in the shift to sustainable energy sources. The importance of wind energy for industry is undeniable. Among other things, it is a driver of economic growth and technological innovation.

Numerous companies around the world are involved in the production, transportation and installation of wind turbines, rotor blades and other components for wind power plants. As a result of ongoing research and the development of new technologies, the loads to be transported have become increasingly challenging – larger and heavier – over the years, and the routes more and more complex.

The Goldhofer solution ensures maximum safety even at high inclination angles<br>IMAGE SOURCE: Goldhofer AG

Goldhofer has always seen itself as a pioneer for innovative and sustainable transportation solutions, starting with the revolutionary FTV 300 for operations with wind turbine blades. In the meantime, the FTV 850 represents the third generation of this efficient transport solution. Tower adapters and the »BLADES« steerable trailing dolly round off Goldhofer’s specialized portfolio for the transportation of wind turbine components. With the large number of units sold, we have proven that customers can rely on our solutions in the long term,” says Robert Steinhauser, Vice President Sales & Service Transport Technology at Goldhofer.

Unique Goldhofer steering system: Hydraulic adjustment to different support widths at the touch of a button<br>IMAGE SOURCE: Goldhofer AG

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Transport solutions from Goldhofer are in use in countless applications around the world. One example is P. Schwandner Logistik + Transport GmbH: Since April 2021, the premises of Goldhofer AG have regularly turned “Schwandner green”. In recent years, in response to the wind power boom, the specialist from Pfreimd, Germany has modernized and expanded its extensive wind power portfolio with Goldhofer transport solutions. Among other things, Schwandner has opted for the latest generation of Goldhofer tower transporters. With its present total of seven ultra-modern RA 2-110s, the internationally operating heavy-duty specialist is now able to transport tower sections with a weight of up to 110 tons and a diameter of up to 6.8 m. The extra payload comes from the combination of a front bogie in the form of a four-axle dolly with pendulum axles and a heavy-duty THP/SL-S (285) module as the trailing dolly.

A concept for success since 2020: Goldhofer »BLADES«<br>IMAGE SOURCE: Goldhofer AG

This vehicle concept meets the additional safety requirements specified by the Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas. Instead of the usual configuration with two free-turning devices (gooseneck with bogie and trailing module), the new system has only one free-turning device, which is located between the front dolly and the tower adapter. The rear tower adapter is mounted directly on the heavy duty module. Compared with a completely free-turning solution, this solution delivers improved lateral stability for greater safety, even at high tilt angles.

Robert Steinhauser, Vice President of Sales and Service at Goldhofer<br>IMAGE SOURCE: Goldhofer AG

In 2020, Goldhofer further perfected the concept of the load functioning as the connecting element between the tractor unit and the trailer, with its »BLADES« blade hauler used in combination with a self-tracking trailing dolly. Since then, it has been possible to negotiate narrow passages even with turbine blades with a length of more than 100 m. For the return trip, the combination can be operated as a semitrailer, with the trailer simply coupled to the free-turning device. Goldhofer’s unique steering system, which can be hydraulically adjusted to different load spans at the push of a button, ensures optimum path tracking performance at all times. In addition, manual rear steering via radio remote control makes it possible to negotiate particularly challenging confined spaces, for example at hairpin bends or at turning points. A unique feature is the master-slave switchover, which allows the driver to transfer authorization to steer to the escort vehicle while traveling – and to call for it to be returned at any time. This means the combination offers maximum safety through unsurpassed flexibility, as the best angle of vision is always available for steering.

AACOINSA transported 93 wind blades, each 77 meters long<br>IMAGE SOURCE: Goldhofer AG

Peter Schwandner, Managing Director and proprietor of P. Schwandner Logistik + Transport GmbH, says: “Goldhofer’s »BLADES« offers us significant advantages in our daily work: Excellent maneuverability, higher speeds than with blade lifters, for example, and significantly more ground clearance compared with extendable vehicles. The »BLADES« system means we can negotiate roundabouts and tight turns faster than before. With the four »BLADES« units already delivered and a further six on order, we are highly satisfied and ideally equipped for the safe and fast transportation of wind power components of the latest generation.”

The wings had to be raised for about half the distance in order to master the passages safely.<br>IMAGE SOURCE: Goldhofer AG

Goldhofer solutions for the transportation of wind power components are also in demand at the international level. In mid-2023, the Peruvian heavy haulage specialist TRANSPORTES ACOINSA S.A.C. transported wind turbine components for the Wayra II wind farm in the Ica region. Two Goldhofer FTV 850s were used to transport the 77-meter rotor blades for 31 wind turbines to their destination, making a total of 93 blades. In order to handle this challenging assignment, the team of heavy-duty specialists at ACOINSA opted for the FTV 850, the third generation of Goldhofer’s blade hauler. The two FTV 850s were mounted on twelve-axle Goldhofer THP/SL modules. On the demanding 129 km route from the port to the Wayra II wind farm, narrow passages and built-up areas, power lines, roundabouts, trees and sections with hairpin bends meant that the rotor blades had to be raised for 50% of the journey. That was no problem for the experienced ACOINSA team and the Goldhofer FTV 850s. Thanks to a lift angle of up to 60°, all the obstacles were mastered with ease. The 93 Nordex N155 blades were transported between May and September 2023 and installed in the 177 MW power plant. “With Goldhofer, we are always on the safe side. With their transport solutions, we have seen in countless operations over the years that they have the most advanced technology and are unbeatable in terms of safety and reliability,” says Miguel Sanchez, Manager Special Operations at ACOINSA. “Thanks to their continuous product development work, technical advice and also their service, we are confident that we have invested in a long-term partnership and are well equipped for the transportation challenges of the future.”

Challenging 129 km route to the destination: no problem with the Goldhofer FTV 850<br>IMAGE SOURCE: Goldhofer AG

For Goldhofer, a regular and constructive dialogue with customers is crucial for us to fulfill our mission as a leading full-service provider of transport solutions in the field of wind power. A good example is to be seen in our new – and already award-winning – portfolio of solutions for cable drum transportation.

Source: Goldhofer AG