From Ship to Rail to Pad: Transporting a 474,500-pound transformer from the Port of Portland to Albany, OR
- six-line Kamag brand SPMT
- 10-line platform trailer
- 2002 Peterbilt Tri Drive tractor
- 12k reach forklift
- jack and slide gear.
Having an extra transformer on hand is always a good idea for an electrical substation, especially near the winter holidays. For a substation in Albany, OR, however, this meant obtaining one from overseas—and quickly.
Successfully transporting an almost 475,000-pound transformer from overseas to its stateside substation pad requires experienced and reliable transportation services. That’s why our client, an international freight forwarding and logistics company, needed Omega Morgan’s Portland specialized transportation team to handle over-the-road (OTR) transportation at multiple points along the transformer’s journey.
HEAVY HAUL MULTI-TASKING
Before the transformer began its journey to the Port of Portland by ship, our specialized transportation team planned the rest of its heavy haul to Albany. Our client determined that the transformer would travel by railcar once received at the port, and arrive at a rail spur in Albany in close proximity to the substation.
Our strategic planning team then got to work. First, they developed a solution to place and attach the transformer on the railcar from the port, and determined which rail spur in Albany would be most advantageous. Simultaneously, our team applied for oversize permits from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODT) for the final heavy haul to the substation. Once the ship departed, our team continuously tracked the shipment and prepared to meet the transformer as it reached the port.
EXECUTING A MULTI-STEP HEAVY HAUL
Omega Morgan’s specialized transportation team closely monitored the shipment, and as it arrived at the Port’s Terminal 6, our four-person crew headed out. After placing the jack and slide gear, 12k reach forklift, and six-line SPMT in place, our team loaded the transformer—measuring 36’4” long, 13’ wide, and 15’7” high— and moved it to the waiting railcar pulled by our 2002 Peterbilt Tri Drive tractor. We chose the six-line trailer in part due to its similar height to the railcar. The next day, our team reassembled to lash the transformer in place on the railcar. After securing the load and removing our equipment, the waiting game began.
Ready to finish the move before Christmas, we stayed in contact with the railroad crews to find out as soon as the railcar came in. On December 20, the transformer was spotted, and our team jumped into action.
Arriving at the rail spur with our jack and slide gear, 12k reach forklift, 10-line platform trailer, and 2002 Peterbilt Tri Drive tractor, our team began by cutting the clips and securement off the railcar. After building out the slide system, the crew jack and slid the transformer onto the trailer, secured it in place, and removed our equipment. The next day we arrived bright and early to tackle the heavy haul. To ensure the safety of our crews and the public, flaggers assisted at a narrow turn ahead of the substation. At the designated pad, our team jack and slid the massive transformer from the trailer into place. Finally, we cleared our equipment and headed back to Portland.
Our client was happy with the safety, timeliness, and professionalism our team exhibited. And the substation had its spare transformer—before the holidays—ready to leave at a moment’s notice if needed. All in all, a job well done by Team Green.