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Scania takes wind turbine towers to Japan

25 JUNE 2018

Wind power currently only accounts for a small fraction of Japan’s energy supply, but it’s a share which will increase substantially in the years ahead. But, due to their sheer size, installing wind turbine towers is a highly challenging process.

In Japan, as in other countries, this industry relies on the most powerful trucks available. The Mic Group fields two Scania 6×6 tractor units for its daunting transport operations.

At Omaezaki Port, 280 kilometres south of Tokyo, the specialised firm deals with four wind turbine towers. The pillar is divided into five parts and the height of the base alone reaches 78 metres, with a diameter exceeding four metres and rotors that are 82 metres wide.

A window of opportunity

Japan imports most of the wind turbine parts from abroad, and these are shipped to the closest port to the wind power location and subsequently transported there by road. Despite dividing the load, the parts still come to 20 metres in length, 3.4 metres in width and have a total vehicle weight of more than 44 tonnes.

The transport window of opportunity is from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. With its oversized load the 20-kilometre journey takes between one-and-a-half to two hours and the haulier can manage at most two return trips in the available slot. Accompanying the transport are three lead cars, with another two at the rear.

Mic Group driver Masao Oiwa praised the Scania truck’s ability to master this huge challenge. “Overall the ride is very smooth and there is sufficient power from the outset. The retarder is wonderful and the brakes perform really well.”