Low loader - transportation of special equipment and oversized cargo

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Low loader - transportation of special equipment and oversized cargo
Low loader - transportation of special equipment and oversized cargo

Trucking is the most mobile way to deliver goods. They are not included in the schedule, like railway transportation. They are not as risky as sea transportation. Modern convoys have transport of any carrying capacity. Even rockets are delivered to takeoff sites by wheeled vehicles. Indispensable for the delivery of the most problematic cargoes, the low loader allows the sender to save time and money.

Historical background

An urgent need for the transportation of goods of unprecedented size arose in the USSR in the early 70s, when grandiose work began on the construction of pipelines, hydro and nuclear power plants in the eastern regions of the country. Often, for installation on site, huge functional units and structural parts were required, the assembly or formation of which is possible only in production conditions. Then, by the decision of the government, a team was selectedscientific and technical experts to analyze and prepare a solution to this issue. The result was the organization in 1974 in Gorky (Nizhny Novgorod) of a specialized convoy "Spetstyazhavtotrans". Later, a research and production association of the same name was created, which developed:

• vehicle production technologies for specific transportation;

• centralized transportation system;

• technologies and standards for organizing the delivery of oversized heavy cargo.

Since 1981, the association has also taken up international transportation. In 1992, the development of an automated search for optimal routes and transportation technologies was completed.

Transport column
Transport column


After overcoming the difficulties of perestroika, the industry has revived and reached a cutting-edge level, confirming Russia's 2013 record for transporting the world's heaviest cargo over the longest distance by road. Heavy trucks are produced on imported components, mainly of German production. Now convoys of trawls (platforms) are based in other cities. There is one in Moscow too. On a commercial basis, they offer a full range of services for the delivery of any cargo, requiring the customer only to provide the physical characteristics of the object being transported and the starting and ending points of the route.

Description of low frame

low loader transportation
low loader transportation

Trawl, road train - this is the name of a tractor with a low-bed platform for transporting oversized cargo. A solid platform without boards, notlimited from above, from the sides and behind, makes it possible to do this. The low frame provides a headroom, which is important for transporting high loads under bridges, arches, power lines, in tunnels. It is convenient for the arrival of self-propelled devices. Loading is carried out using ramps - a sloping platform that facilitates entry with a minimum angle of inclination to a platform less than 1 meter high of serviceable equipment. For a more even distribution of the load, the trawl has a large number of axles (usually <8). The low loader, which transports goods weighing up to 200 tons, is carried out on a platform 6.7-22 m long. The standard base width is 2.5 m, but there are trawls with a platform width of up to 4 m.

The largest volume of transportation in the CIS countries using road transport for non-standard cargo accounts for the weight of <100 tons. But with the development of industry, thanks to the latest achievements of science, the number of super-heavy and difficult-to-transport cargo is growing. Determining the center of gravity of a load is not always easy enough. In such cases, blockers are used. Pneumatic and hydraulic suspensions make it possible to cope with the movements of the center of mass of a huge load on potholes and other irregularities. The solid frame of the semi-trailer is supported by 2-5 axles. The manufacturer recommends an average load of 10 tons per axle. The load is considered oversized if the protruding parts exceed 2.55 m in width, 20 m in length, and 4.0 m in height, taking into account the height of the low frame and its other dimensions.

How special equipment travels

Loading of special equipment
Loading of special equipment

Manyspecialized vehicles have a low travel speed, and the passage of some structures is simply detrimental to the road surface. Mechanisms such as overhead cranes generally do not have the ability to move independently. Gasoline consumption in clumsy cars is high. A low loader for the transportation of special equipment (agricultural, military, construction), which often has a caterpillar undercarriage, solves this problem. Particularly heavy and non-maneuverable vehicles are conveniently loaded from the front onto a trough semi-trailer disconnected from the tractor. If you have to use platform extensions, you need to make sure that during transportation by a low frame, the load rests against the base, and does not press its weight on weaker extensions, causing them to deform. This situation may even cause an accident.

Loading under its own power is very slow. For special equipment with a long rear part hanging behind the wheels, it is better to use long ramps so as not to land the loaded object on them due to the large lifting angle. To reduce the height for the period of transportation by a low frame, some high special vehicles are laid on their side or on their belly. For the same purpose, you can lower or remove the wheels.

Real estate

Due to the strength of the frame, reliable suspension, a large number of axles, the presence of expanders and the possibility of mounting additional load-bearing modules, they are able to transport loads weighing more than 200 tons. Manufacturers and buyers of large monolithic structures, non-separable units, ships, long sections need them pipes, huge tanks. Loading of heavy products is carried out by a tower crane,possibly several and/or with the help of special devices.

Crane arm
Crane arm

Loads consisting of relatively small modules are conveniently loaded onto a low loader with a crane-manipulator. Such a crane is also capable of lifting a weight of more than 10 tons within 1 m. But if an outreach is required, for example, by 8 m, the crane's lifting capacity drops by an order of magnitude. On the other hand, cargo transportation by a low loader with a stationary manipulator is cheaper due to the smaller number of people involved. It also saves space in smaller loading bays.

Design and behavior of a car with a load

Oversized cargo
Oversized cargo

The low loader semi-trailer must display the signs "Long vehicle" and "Oversized cargo". The second sign is most often located on the bumper of the tractor. Three orange lights fixed on the roof of the cabin at a distance of 150-300 mm from each other inform the road users that there is a road train in front of them. The transporter can change the route only for emergency reasons, informing the traffic police about it. Stopping on the edge of the road is prohibited. Traffic is limited to 60 km/h, and on the bridge - no more than 15 km/h. All-wheel-lock brakes are used at pre-scheduled stops.

Identification mark
Identification mark

Protection vehicles

Transportation of oversized and super-heavy cargoes by low frame must be accompanied by 1-2 cover vehicles. They are allocated either by the carrier or the consignor of the goods. If on certain sections of the route it is requiredspecial traffic regulation, along with the trawl, a traffic police patrol car moves.

Load Height (m) Load width (m) Load length (m) Number of cars
to the front behind
>4, 5 <3 <25 1 -
any <4, 5 <40 1 1
<4, 5 >40 1 1
>4, 5 <40 1 1
>4, 5 >40 1 1

The escort vehicle in front must be positioned at a distance of approximately 2 m from the road train so that its body with two orange or yellow flashing beacons is at the top; yellow-orange reflective stripes (10-50 mm wide) on the sides and back; the inscription at the top "Large length" or "Large width" (reflective or illuminated); with an extended device for measuring the height of oncoming structures (at the height of a road train with a load of 64,334,524 m), on the left, it was extended by a ledge beyond the size of the escorted transport. R

size of the warning notice over the motorcade car - 1 × 0.5 m; font height - not less than 14 cm. On the side or behind you need to write the name of the owner of the car. When the overhang of the load exceeds 4 m, an observer vehicle must drive behind. If the load is extreme in both width and length, the front car carries the inscription "Large Width" facing forward,back - "Large length", facing back. In case of special complexity of the cargo, one of the escort vehicles can be a tractor. The transport vehicle must have two independent braking systems.

Cover cars
Cover cars

Difficulties in transportation

1. In order to transport a 4 m wide load on a two-lane dual carriageway, the section of the route must be closed to all other vehicles for a while.

2. Not all bridges and tunnels can pass such a colossus through them.

3. Since, despite all the advantages of a semi-trailer over a trailer, a road train remains less maneuverable than ordinary road users, its route must exclude sharp turns and extreme terrain.

4. Due to the long braking distance, the best weather conditions are selected for the departure of the trawl.

5. A lot of permits are required to travel.

6. As a rule, each shipment is unique. Series of similar works are extremely rare.

What can the shipping company do


Low loader, the transportation of which requires the skill of a driver, the knowledge of a logistician, the professionalism of technicians, invariably shows a good result in order fulfillment. Heavy truck rental companies offer the following services:

• Inspection and assessment of the characteristics of the cargo by a specialist.

• Development of an algorithm for fastening work.

• Finding the best route.

• Analysis of difficult road sections.

•Registration of the necessary documentation.

• Coordination with the traffic police of the route and agreement on the escort of cargo by its employees.

• Carrying out loading and unloading operations.

• Execution of a cargo insurance contract.

• Passing all formal procedures at customs.

In closing

Obviously, people who deal with such complex issues not occasionally, but constantly, will solve them faster and more reliably. But the matter, as they say, is voluntary. Everyone has their own situation. The main thing is that everything ends well.