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Biggest-ever load transported on Britain's roads

20th November, 2013

Traffic came to a standstill for the biggest  load ever transported on Britain's roads - a power station transformer weighing  an earth-shattering 640 tonnes.

The giant transformer, a vital component used  to transmit energy at power stations, and specialised transporter vehicle  combined are heavier than a space  shuttle.

The enormous vehicle is 100m long and 5m wide  and took up two lanes of the motorway while it crawled to its final destination  at just 4mph. Such an epic undertaking has never before been attempted in the UK  and took a team of six heavy haulage experts nine months to plan, as well a team  of 20 accompanying the vehicle as it inches its way along the road.

It began its slow journey  from Didcot power station in Oxfordshire on Friday and caused 13-mile long  tailbacks when it wound its way along the M4 on Saturday.

Yesterday it continued along the M32 to the  transformer's destination at Avonmouth Docks, Bristol, arriving at  6pm.

The transformer will next be transported by  sea to Cottam power stations near Retford, Nottinghamshire. Police officers  escorted the load at the expense of the haulier, Allelys Heavy Haulage, one of  only two firms in the country capable of hauling such a monolithic  load.

For months the company has been liaising with  various authorities to assess road conditions and ensure bridges can take the  crushing payload, even dispatching their own structural engineers to assess  them.

Typically, two or three trucks are used to  haul the transformer but more are added if the load has to go up or down a  hill.



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