November 13 - ALE has introduced three new innovations- the AL600 girder frame, a 1,000-tonne capacity TLG1000 telescopic lifting gantry and a route survey tool.
The AL600 will be able to carry loads up to 600 tonnes - 100 tonnes more than ALE's current largest frame, the AL500.
The frame will be used to transport loads under small bridges and to reduce axle loadings, says ALE. When negotiating bridges, the load is suspended in the girder frame with minimum road clearance in order to transport it under the bridge without the need for jack-up operations or the construction of bypasses.
ALE says the modular design of the neck, 15 m main beam and 7 m load spreaders allows it to be driven in variable configurations depending on the load. The necks, which are narrower than the trailer width, enables the convoy to drive around narrow curves in the road without the need to remove lamp posts and street furniture, says ALE.
"We wanted to build a transport solution that suited our requirements to transport heavy loads that could be utilised with our current trailer fleet, whilst maintaining safety and low axle loadings," explained technical director Ronald Hoefmans.
The girder frame also features state-of-the-art control systems for steering, height adjustment, camera systems and shock recording, all operated from the control cabin on the rear trailer.
The AL600 will be shipped to its first project in Chile, where the 15 m main beam will be extended by 5 m and the load spreaders by 3.5 m to reduce the bending moment in the trailers.
The TLG1000 features a 1,000-tonne capacity on four towers and is the first system in a new fleet of high capacity hydraulic gantries in ALE's fleet. The TLG1000 is able to lift 1,000 tonnes to a height of 12 m.
Designed in-house with a variable track width, the system can run on standard tracks 0.915 m wide to tracks 1.75 m wide. It features a mechanical lock system and monitoring systems to monitor ground settlements and defections of the tower for additional safety.
"As the users, we know what works in practice and we couldn't find anything else on the market which fulfils our needs. We wanted a lifting solution that has a high capacity without compromising on stability," explained Hoefmans.
"This lifting gantry has been designed with more horizontal loading than other standard systems on the market. Furthermore, it is not only stronger, but the lifting capacity of the system remains the same throughout all three stages of the lifting process."
The TLG1000 has been built and load tested at ALE's facilities in the Netherlands and will be shipped to its inaugural project in South America.
ALE's route survey tool is a computerised system that automatically logs accurate route descriptions on digital maps. Critical sections of the route are measured and photos, video footage and drawings are generated for more in-depth analysis.
The system has a scanning range of a 100 m radius around the car.
"Route surveys have been integral to the heavy transportation projects and engineering services for years. Current systems, which are manually logged, are often susceptible to human errors and can be time consuming; we wanted to design a solution that was not only safer, more accurate and reliable, but one that could also cover longer distances and was a quicker alternative," explained ALE's research and development manager, Harrie Smetsers.
The route survey tool has been fully tested and will now be implemented across the ALE group world-wide. It is currently being used in Indonesia.