An ASME Code pressure distillation column manufactured in Turner Industries’ Decatur, Alabama vessel fabrication facility left the Decatur shop, Wednesday, November 27th on its journey to the Merisol USA LLC chemical site in Houston, Tx. The vessel arrived safely at its destination on Friday, November 30th.
Turner Industries’ equipment and heavy hauling division transported the vessel primarily by rural highways, through four states, over three days, for a distance of more than 850 miles. 200-plus hours of engineering time needed to develop the transportation plan as numerous routes were surveyed and analyzed. The moving equipment and vessel exceeded 206 feet in length and over 200,000 pounds. The expedition went smoothly despite some fog, rain and road construction along the way. Turner heavy hauling project manager, Gary Blacketter, said drivers across four states slowed to catch sight of the column, one of the longest objects to be transferred by highway in Alabama state history.
The vessel was transported using a front-end Goldhofer, a motorized articulating piece of equipment with six axles and multiple wheels, while a multi-axle steerable dolly moved the rear of the column. A semi-tractor pulled the load and additional units followed as ‘back-up’ support. This effort was supported by a full complement of escorts leading and following the movement of this equipment.
Authorities briefly blocked areas of traffic in Decatur to allow the vehicle to pass. The freeway outside Houston was closed to give drivers access to the chemical plant.
The vessel will be erected on the Merisol site by Turner’s construction division later in the January – February 2013 timeframe during a planned partial plant outage.