Heavy hauler

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Two MAN SE ballast tractors pulling and one Mercedes pushing a 100,000 kg (220,000 lb) transformer on 10-axle lowboy trailer

A heavy hauler is a very large transporter for moving oversize loads too large for road travel without an escort and special permit.

Mammoet SPMT move huge ship section

A heavy hauler typically consists of a Ballast Tractor and a hydraulic modular trailer. Some trailers may have independently steerable wheels, and several might be towed by one or more tractor units in a train.

Self-propelled modular transporters (SPMT), some featuring a dozen or more self-steering axles with scores of rubber tires to spread out a load, are increasingly being manufactured. Working in coordinated teams, heavy haulers are able to carry loads exceeding 100 tons.


In some cases, a heavy hauler is designed and constructed to move a particular load on a one-off or short-term basis. An example is the self-propelled antenna transporter for the ALMA radio telescope project, a 130-tonne (130-long-ton; 140-short-ton) 28-wheeled rigid vehicle designed to carry and place 115-tonne (113-long-ton; 127-short-ton) radio telescope antennas up a mountain to an altitude of 5,000 m (16,400 ft).[1] Girder bridge (lowboy) trailers are another specialist heavy hauler, specifically for the transport of large power transformers.[citation needed]

Typical loads moved by heavy haulers under escort on highways include giant boilers and pressure vessels used in the chemical industry, industrial plants, prefabricated sections for construction projects, giant power transformers, turbines, and houses (generally made of timber).

The term "heavy hauler" may also be used to refer to off-road dump trucks and ore carriers used in mining and construction with capacities up to 400 tonnes (390 long tons; 440 short tons), or an airplane that has been especially constructed for moving heavy materials.[2]

There are some shipbuilding companies using SPMT for carrying ship parts and constructing ships in China. They have saved millions of dollars formerly spent transporting loads using gantry cranes.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Giant truck set for sky-high task". 30 July 2007.
  2. ^ "Boeing Skyhook heavy hauler". Archived from the original on 2016-10-11. Retrieved 2009-05-13.