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And that's just the trailer

| A big blue part for the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station west of Phoenix, AZ, is making its way through Palm Springs tonight. Bob called to say he was going to drive out to take a look, and did I want to come along. Sure, why not?

The part, described as a "lid" for one of the reactors, weighs 150 tons and is being carried on a specially-designed cradle supported on 96 wheels. Escorted by California Highway Patrol, it creeps along at 5mph following a circuitous route from the port of Long beach toward Phoenix. It is too tall to fit under many overpasses and signs, so it winds through the countryside.

We found the lid parked along North Indian Canyon Rd just north of Dillon. Later tonight it will continue on to Hwy 62 and up through Yucca Valley.

It is a pull-me/push-me kind of rig with a semi-tractor at each end, at least 200 feet long from end-to-end, I would say. It is accompanied by another tractor-trailer with a huge forklift and a spare set of wheels in case of a flat. I guess they can't just call AAA.

The lid is suspended between two humongous steel beams, and each end of each beam is supported on an assembly of wheels: six axles, 4 tires per axle.

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The size of the nut on this bolt gives an idea of scale — this thing is big!
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Note the Korean flag
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I can't imagine how this contraption is actually maneuvered. It's clear that each set of wheels can pivot and that the first axle of each set can also pivot. I suppose that the sets of wheels can be steered so it can go around corners, like those long extension fire trucks. It must be a marvel to see.

The lid was manufactured in Korea, and the stenciling on the side is interesting. In addition to the normal dimensions, country of origin, etc, the name of the "packing workman" is provided, along with the name of the packing supervisor. I'm also intrigued that this is package "1 of 2" — where's 2 of 2?

Last updated on Apr 13, 2018

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