Vermeer horizontal grinders and tub grinders are built for transporting
Hauling heavy equipment can impact your operating costs and project timelines. When oversized load permits are required to haul a machine, there are added costs and potential delays. Every state’s Department of Transportation (DOT) and many cities have different regulations about what’s considered oversized. So, it’s smart to review machine dimensions and weight before buying new machinery.
According to Ted Dirkx, sales manager for Recycling and Forestry at Vermeer, when choosing the best horizontal grinder or tub grinder, it’s important to consider how frequent it will be hauled and the type of permits required.
In general, when hauling heavy equipment, the load should be under 8.5 feet (2.5 m) wide and 13.5 feet to 14.5 feet (4.1 m to 4.4 m) tall to avoid special permitting. Actual load restrictions can vary depending on additional factors. There are also different levels of oversized load permit requirements. Dimensions impact the specific permit needed and any other steps required to comply with regulations.
A wide load that fits within a single lane requires flags/signs but usually does not require escort vehicles. A load over the height limits, though, is a different issue. Exceeding height limits almost always requires additional escort vehicles (one in front and one at the rear) with height poles.
Dirkx says there are many unique local regulations that can also impact hauling equipment. “In older cities, roadways may be narrower because there wasn’t as much of a need to accommodate as much traffic or to transport heavy equipment when they were built. As the city grew up around those roadways, expanding the roadways or raising bridge heights to accommodate larger dimensional or heavy loads may not be feasible. Instead, cities may force semi-trucks hauling heavy equipment to use alternative routes, adding extra mileage and time. In high traffic areas, travel hours may be restricted on permitted loads, which requires extra planning and may lead to delays,” he explained.
Some states and cities put curfews on when oversized loads can be transported. “Many metros don’t allow oversized loads after dark because of safety concerns,” said Dirkx. “For companies using horizontal grinders and tub grinders to clean up after a natural disaster, these types of restrictions can impact how quickly they can get to a site and help communities get back to normal. It can also impact land clearing contractors, as well as compost and mulch producers that haul equipment to different sites frequently.”
Easing oversized load permitting through design
Investing in horizontal and tub grinders designed for hauling is a good way to ease the process. Dirkx says transportability should be a critical component when purchasing a new horizontal and tub grinder. “The market used to be driven by the idea that bigger equipment is more powerful and productive,” he explained. “The result of that mindset is massive machines that are not easy to haul. The Vermeer engineering team flipped that script with machines like the Vermeer HG6800TX horizontal grinder and Vermeer TG7000 tub grinder. These units deliver maximum productivity while maintaining a transportable profile for their respective grinder size class. Our team makes transportability part of the machine design planning process.”
The low-profiled Vermeer HG6800TX has width of 10 feet (3 m) and height of 12 feet (3.7 m) while maintaining a high-horsepower engine and large infeed to accommodate bulky material. “The design for the HG6800TX makes it a good machine to haul from job to job,” said Dirkx. “Oversized load permits may be required for the machine’s transport width. But in most areas, that type of permit doesn’t restrict travel. Many state DOTs offer annual permits for hauling heavy equipment within those dimensions.”
However, Dirkx says it’s not uncommon to encounter bridges lower than usual standards. “Some communities will often have low bridges and overpasses. The DOT adjusts permits according to bridge heights in the areas, which means either having to use a different route or lowering the transport height. Vermeer offers the optional DT6 transport dolly for the HG6800TX to help here. The DT6 helps keep the transport height below the 13.5 feet (4.1 M) threshold. It eliminates the need to load bind the machine to the trailer saving time. Also, using the DT6 may help reduce transport costs in states that charge based on the number of axles and weight. Hauling the HG6800TX on a lowboy trailer requires a heavier trailer with four axles. Using the DT6 reduces the overall weight and reduces the number of axles to three.
In addition, to its transportability benefits, overall load length with the DT6 can be up to 20 feet (6.1) than many lowboys for shorter turning on tight jobsites.
On the TG7000 tub grinder, Vermeer engineers developed a tub with a narrow flair that can be rotated into position to minimize machine width. With this feature, the TG7000 has a transport width of 11.9 feet (3.6 m) and a height of 13.5 feet (4.1 m). It also has a quick power plug for adding a rear strobe light without having to route a temporary wire or worry about batteries running low.
Looking beyond the specs
The design of a machine can impact your productivity. You can’t get the job done if you can’t get it efficiently to the site. So, make sure you consider hauling expenses and time into your next equipment purchase.
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