661,000 lbs.: Now that’s heavy haul!

| April 28, 2014

Contractors Cargo 1 (800x533)

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“We transport all kinds of things, from construction equipment, petro-chemical equipment – even wind turbines," says 84-year-old Jerry Wheeler, owner of the Compton, Calif.-based Contractors Cargo heavy-haul fleet. "And then we do the not-so-ordinary. We’ve hauled the Space Shuttle, and we just moved a B-1 Bomber from Arizona to Portland. It’s loads like that that ...

In April, the Contractors Cargo super-heavy-haul company, based in Los Angeles, set off from two California ports on circuitous routes to Agua Prieta in the Mexican state of Sonora – hauling some massive pieces destined for an electrical power generating station for the Federal Electrical Commission of Mexico. This steam turbine generator weighed in at a grand total of 661,000 lbs. These pictures tell the story of the equipment used to haul the freight. All information was provided by Contractors Cargo representative Keoni Rabaino. The haul began in February and the haul was set to be complete in June.

The STG offloaded from the sea at the Port of San Diego was the “heaviest shipment they have done in 10 years,” said Rabaino, referring to the port. The route from San Diego at press time was set to move north into Arizona, then travel all the way back down to go into Mexico. “Weight and height restrictions” dictated the route, said Rabaino. “There are limited roads it can travel on.” Some of the preparations involved building special roads and obtaining permits from Indian reservations, likewise the use of rail on some other portions of the load.

The STG offloaded from the sea at the Port of San Diego was the “heaviest shipment they have done in 10 years,” said Rabaino, referring to the port. The route from San Diego at press time was set to move north into Arizona, then travel all the way back down to go into Mexico. “Weight and height restrictions” dictated the route, said Rabaino. “There are limited roads it can travel on.” Some of the preparations involved building special roads and obtaining permits from Indian reservations, likewise the use of rail on some other portions of the load.


The custom 43-axle trailer built to accommodate the STG comes in at “362-ft long with trucks and” a maximum carrying capacity of 800,000 lbs., said Rabaino, the biggest trailer Contractors Cargo has ever built and used.

The custom 43-axle trailer built to accommodate the STG comes in at “362-ft long with trucks and” a maximum carrying capacity of 800,000 lbs., said Rabaino, the biggest trailer Contractors Cargo has ever built and used.


The 562,000-lb. generator unit pictured here, a separate piece of the haul, moved on a “24-line dual-lane Scheuerle trailer at the offload at the Port of Long Beach.” From there, an 800-ton gantry was used to “load it to railcar, then back to a Scheuerle trailer in Cochise, Ariz., for the border crossing and final leg of the haul to Agua Prieta.

The 562,000-lb. generator unit pictured here, a separate piece of the haul, moved on a “24-line dual-lane Scheuerle trailer at the offload at the Port of Long Beach.” From there, an 800-ton gantry was used to “load it to railcar, then back to a Scheuerle trailer in Cochise, Ariz., for the border crossing and final leg of the haul to Agua Prieta.


Pictured here is a 492,000-lb. gas turbine on a Scheuerle like the one used to roll the generator, one of three such turbines that were part of the move. Contractors Cargo’s trucks are Kenworth T800W models powered either by 550-hp or 500-hp Cummins engines with, respectively, 18-speed/2-speed auxiliary or 17/4 transmissions. Combinations for larger pulls, depending on grade, typically go as follows: 1 push and 1 pull, or 2 pulling. On the STG module, however, “we used 4 trucks,” said Rabaino, “either 3 push and 1 pull or 2 and 2.” Also, all in all, “more than 70 flatbed loads of components and accessory cargo [is being moved] along with these 5 main large pieces.”

Pictured here is a 492,000-lb. gas turbine on a Scheuerle like the one used to roll the generator, one of three such turbines that were part of the move. Contractors Cargo’s trucks are Kenworth T800W models powered either by 550-hp or 500-hp Cummins engines with, respectively, 18-speed/2-speed auxiliary or 17/4 transmissions. Combinations for larger pulls, depending on grade, typically go as follows: 1 push and 1 pull, or 2 pulling. On the STG module, however, “we used 4 trucks,” said Rabaino, “either 3 push and 1 pull or 2 and 2.” Also, all in all, “more than 70 flatbed loads of components and accessory cargo [is being moved] along with these 5 main large pieces.”