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Wind Turbine Transport: What You Need to Know

R+L Global Logistics is the expert when it comes to wind turbine transport. See how we can do the heavy listing and get your equipment on the road safely.

By

Kurt Schultheis
August 28, 2020
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Utilizing wind turbine transport to move this heavy equipment requires a lot of thought and careful logistics planning. Why? We are talking about transporting every element of the wind turbine assembly, including wind turbine blades, hubs, towers and more. 

That’s why it’s so important to utilize a company that handles all of your wind turbine transport needs. Wind turbine equipment is bulky, heavy and oversized. You need a transportation company that’s capable of offering you competitive heavy equipment freight quotes and lowboy freight quotes. You will save a lot of money by being knowledgeable about the wind turbine industry. 

Follow our lead as we teach you everything you need to know about wind energy and the wind turbine transportation needs that will get you the equipment you need delivered on time, every time. 

What is Wind Turbine Transport? 

Let’s start at the beginning. You have to be aware of the ins and outs of the wind turbine transport industry if you’re going to be in charge of getting wind turbine equipment moved to a job site. First of all, wind energy is the process of using wind current flows that occur naturally from Mother Nature. Wind turbines are built to harness kinetic energy from the wind, which in turn creates power. 

A wind turbine funnels wind into electricity by using aerodynamic force of the wind turbine blades. The blades work similar to a helicopter blade or an airplane blade to create electricity naturally through the natural movement of the blades in the wind. 

Need to book flatbed freight?
R+L Global Logistics has the equipment you need.

What are the Advantages of Wind Energy? 

What are the Advantages of Wind Energy

There are many advantages to wind energy, which creates a need for wind turbine transport. Some advantages of wind energy include:

  • Cost-effective energy source
  • Job creation
  • Clean domestic source of energy
  • Sustainable energy
  • Ability to install wind turbines on existing farms and ranches, which benefits the property owner through leases and helps the surrounding area with a cheaper and dependable power source. 

Where is Wind Energy Used? 

The most popular states for wind energy use in the United States include: 

  • Texas
  • Oklahoma
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • California

Those looking to receive truckload freight quotes with heavy haul services might find transportation companies concentrating their loads for turbine equipment near these locations. 

The only disadvantages to wind power include some complaints of noise from nearby neighbors and the fact that you have to store the wind energy in the form of batteries. A wind turbine system typically pays for itself in approximately six months of use. 

How Does a Wind Turbine Transport Power Across the Country? 

You might ask yourself, “How is electricity transported from wind turbines?” Electricity is moved in the form of wind turbine generators, where it travels to smaller transmission substations and is then converted into high voltage that is usable for electricity transmission grids. The grids funnel out groups of power lines that connect the power directly to the customers. High voltage watts from wind turbine generators are between 155,000 and 765,000 watts. 

How Are Wind Turbines Transported? 

You have to realize how big wind turbine equipment is to get a feel for how important it is to select a freight provider that knows how to move this equipment properly. A wind turbine tower alone can range from 200-feet in height to more than 400-feet in height. Wind turbines have a diameter of 130 feet to 300 feet. 

Most wind turbine towers and equipment are built overseas and shipped to U.S. ports of entry, where they are placed on rail cars and trucks to reach their final destination. There are approximately 10,000 to 16,000 loads of wind turbine transport equipment made annually in the United States. 

Major manufacturers of wind turbine equipment include: 

  • GE
  • Siemens Gamesa
  • Nordex Acciona
  • Vestas

To put it in perspective, just one 150-megawatt wind farm in the Midwest requires a need for 650 truckloads, 140 trips by railroad and eight shipments across seas to complete the wind turbine transport process. That’s a lot of loads and a lot of opportunity to find drivers to move wind turbine equipment where you need it!

Need to book flatbed freight?
R+L Global Logistics has the equipment you need.

How Do They Transport Wind Turbine Blades? 

Wind turbine blades alone are more than 115-feet long and sit atop a tower that’s more than 200-feet in height. Most turbine towers average 280 feet. There are three blades to every wind turbine tower to create smooth wind motion. 

Wind turbine blades are shipped similarly to wind turbine towers. All wind components are shipped using trucks and rail cars. 

Wind Turbine Transport Vehicles That Work for Your Heavy Loads

You need to find flatbed carriers that have access to trucks with flatbed trailers, which are able to accommodate both the size and weight of this oversized equipment. 

To haul one oversized wind turbine blade requires a lot of planning on the part of your logistics provider. One blade can require the use of a multi-axle Schnabel trailer to handle the long blades that are bulky in size. 

It can take up to seven rigs to deliver one commercial wind turbine, which is broken down into: 

  • 3 tower sections
  • A nacelle that holds the turbine’s generator
  • A gearbox and electrical components
  • 3 long wind turbine blades

Flatbed carriers use tractor trailers that can also be labeled as wind turbine trailers. These trailers have to accommodate weight loads of 20,000 pounds and have a length of 130-feet for one wind turbine blade alone! This usually requires trailers with five axles and employees in chase cars that help power steer the bulky trailers wirelessly. A truck and carrier hauling a tower section of a wind turbine must be able to handle more than 180,000 pounds of weight. 

What You Need to Know About Wind Turbine Transportation Companies

What You Need to Know About Wind Turbine Transportation Companies

When you are looking for a company to haul your wind turbine components, you are looking for a specialized heavy haul transportation company that’s capable of hauling oversized equipment such as wind turbine towers, blades, hubs and more. It’s a big job for a company that can tackle big projects and supervise the equipment’s arrival. 

Choosing a Shipping Partner

There are many questions and factors that go into supervising a wind turbine transport project that we have outlined above. It’s important you choose a company that can tackle big projects and supervise the equipment’s arrival. Make sure the company you choose includes the services you need like shipment tracking, expedited shipping and more. You also need a company that’s capable of providing you with individualized quotes. Specifically, you should be looking for companies that offer the following types of quotes that can handle wind turbine transport: 

Need to book flatbed freight?
R+L Global Logistics has the equipment you need.

Wind Turbine Transport Through R+L GLobal Logistics

Look no further than R+L Global Logistics when choosing a shipping partner. We are a flatbed carrier provider and have the individualized services you need to handle every component of a wind turbine transport plan. We offer wind turbine transportation services to get the job done right. From heavy haul to truckload freight, we have the 3PL services you need. We work with the best flatbed carriers on the road today for your shipment needs.

Come experience the difference with R+L Global Logistics. Reach out to us today at 866-353-7178 and connect with a live agent to receive a heavy haul quote today for your wind turbine transport needs.

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