Self-propelled modular transporter
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A self-propelled modular transporter or sometimes self-propelled modular trailer (SPMT) is a platform vehicle with a large array of wheels. SPMTs are used for transporting massive objects such as large bridge sections, oil refining equipment, motors and other objects that are too big or heavy for trucks. Trucks can however provide traction and braking for the SPMTs on inclines and descents.
SPMTs are used in many industry sectors worldwide such as the construction and oil industries, in the shipyard and offshore industry, for road transportation, on plant construction sites and even for moving oil platforms. Recently in addition, they have begun to be used to replace bridge spans in the United States, Europe, Asia and more recently Canada.
A typical SPMT can have a grid of several dozen computer-controlled wheels, all individually controllable, in order to evenly distribute weight and steer accurately. Each individual wheel can swivel independently from the others to allow it to turn, move sideways or even spin in place. Some SPMTs allow the wheels to telescope independently of each other so that the load can be kept flat and evenly distributed while moving over uneven terrain. As SPMTs often carry the world's heaviest loads on wheeled vehicles, they are very slow, often moving at under one mile per hour while fully loaded. Some SPMTs are controlled by a worker with a hand-held control panel, while others have a driver cabin. In addition, multiple SPMTs can be combined to transport massive building-sized objects.
SPMTs allow to significantly reducing onsite construction time, by delivering large prefabricated constructions offsite.
- Manual on Use of Self-Propelled Modular Transporters to Remove and Replace Bridges