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SPOTCHECKSAFETY


Investigation:


Heavy lift safety expert Richard Krabbendam looks at what caused the


tipping of a 12-axle line hydraulic platform trailer (HPT) loaded with a 208-tonne reactor and investigates in this two-part article how we can avoid such accidents.


he main purpose of this article is to make crane operators and haulage contractors aware of what can go wrong and what are the legal consequences of such an incident. The accident described here happened when a 28 m long reactor with a diameter of 5.8 m, weighing 208 tonnes, was loaded on a 3 m wide, 12-axle line Scheuerle HPT and transported from Immingham Docks on the UK east coast to its final destination at a nearby oil refinery (as shown in Figure 1) – a total distance of almost 7.8 km. After travelling approximately 6 km, the trailer combination tipped over as it negotiated a long curve with a 2.8° camber.


T


The cause of the accident was classified as the operator’s fault, as that company had not compensated for moving the trailer bed to the horizontal level when negotiating the 2.8° camber. But it took almost eight years and a court case to prove this fact. The additional court and legal costs over and above the repair work and salvage operation of the reactor were also charged to the party eventually judged to be at fault.


What were the issues?


Party ‘A’ in this case had accepted the order to transport a reactor from Belgium to Immingham. The first part of the journey involved a roll-on movement onto a flat-top


www.heavyliftpfi.com July/August 2013 59 Figure 1


why did this load tip over?


barge at the workshop of the Belgian manufacturer. The reactor, amongst other cargo, was placed on steel sea fastening supports and the 12-axle line Goldhofer platform trailer, which was used to roll the reactor on board the flat-top barge, was taken off the barge after the reactor had been set down on its sea fastening supports. The North Sea crossing went smoothly and the reactor was rolled off from the barge onto the quayside at Immingham Docks. The next part of the operation and the transport from the Immingham Docks to the job site was subcontracted to a local haulage company – referred to as party ‘B’ in the case. The supervisor in charge of company ‘A’ instructed the transportation crew of company ‘B’ to set the trailer in a so-called four-point suspension system, as advised in


Figure 2


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