The World’s Longest Road-Train
In australia trucks have to travel long distances across rough country on a daily basis in the outback the towns are so far apart they use a special kind of truck several trailers are joined together to make one long road train.
The roads across the outback are straight and empty perfect for monster vehicles here there are few railroads and only these giant trucks visit the remote mines and farms valuable resources are carried by road train from the center of the country to the more populated cities on the coast.
It’s not surprising it’s an australian mining company that operates the longest truck in the world this is the custom-built 3b affectionately known as the centipede it’s a 205 ton 160 foot long rig it has an 18-speed gearbox with a 550 horsepower engine and carries over a ton of fuel. It has 110 wheels on 28 axles the centipede transports zinc ore from a mine in the northern territories to a port hundreds of miles away – it works 24 hours a day seven days a week and in one year it can haul a quarter of a million tons of ore.
Australians have come to rely heavily on these amazing machines and there are plans for even longer road trains in the future. The mining company is so pleased with the performance of the centipede that they have built another one now there are two identical longest trucks in the world.
But a truck doesn’t have to be long to carry large loads this building weighs 1790 tons and is 75 feet high it’s sitting on top of one of the most unusual trucks ever built the mammoth company specializes in transporting huge loads people come and they walk next to something that we’re going to move and just say that’s impossible can’t be done but we can usually do it.
They achieve the impossible by using self-propelled modular transporters these units can be joined together in a variety of configurations depending on the weight and size of the load. All the wheels can turn 360 degrees together or separately so the transporters can drive forward or backwards sideways diagonally even in a circle. Everything comes back to just a single point of control so one person can operate the system whether there’s one module or a hundred modules.
I’ve worked with a variety of transport systems in my time i’ve never come across anything quite as clever as this. In Malaysia transporting a 500 ton gas tank 15 miles was one of their more spectacular projects – this gigantic load was hauled by just one driver he has a control box in front of him with two joysticks on and the signals from those joysticks through a series of computers provide the propulsion the steering and the jacking up and down of the system.
It took a whole day but the 165 foot long tank finally reached the port where it was loaded onto a ship, this was big but they can carry even bigger loads the modular concept and the way that it can be expanded really means that there isn’t a limit.