The European association of abnormal road transport and mobile cranes - ESTA - is looking across the Atlantic to learn from the experiences of abnormal load and heavy transport organisations in the USA.
Last month, ESTA director Ton Klijn and section transport president André Friderici spoke at the annual Specialized Transportation Symposium run by the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) in Houston.
The invitation from the SC&RA followed informal conversations between the two organisations about the SC&RA’s Uniform Permit Transport initiative, which aims to harmonise weight allowances and permitting systems across all US states – something that ESTA is attempting to do in Europe.
“From an ESTA perspective, we have been very impressed by the way that the SC&RA has built relationships with transport authorities right across the USA and we are sure there are lessons that we can take from that success,” explained Klijn.
He added: “Globally, heavy transport companies are facing similar problems with local regulations and bureaucracy, and I am sure we can learn from each other about how best to overcome the obstacles we face.”
This year, the SC&RA’s transport symposium welcomed almost 600 attendees and over 70 government officials.
Steven Todd, SC&RA vice president of transport, said: “From this meeting in Houston it was clear that there are things the different participants can learn from each other. For example, here in the USA we have been doing a lot of work – and with some success – on automating and harmonising systems for single permit trip authorisations, and common tractor/trailer configurations. It may be that we can help ESTA with our experience of this work to date.
“On the other hand, we were very interested to hear about ESTA’s work on producing a best practice guide for the safe transport and erection of onshore wind turbines.”
ESTA added that, while it is unclear whether increased cooperation will lead to the creation for broader organisation for the transport sector - an equivalent of the International Crane Stakeholders Assembly - at the very least, increased informal ties could benefit the industry.