August 13 - Goldhofer has launched a new flatbed semi-trailer for transporting wind power plant blades up to 62 metres long.

The new Goldhofer SPZ-P 3AAA is said to be the first trailer to be designed to carry turbine blades still in their shipping frames, and has the capacity to extend from 20 to 62 metres.

Its deep extendable spine can take a 13 tonne load 10 metres from the front, which is where the frame's front bolster supports the blade. The rear bolster can then be transported at the extreme rear of the trailer, with the blade extending 10 metres behind it. This increases manoeuvrability and reduces trailer length to 52 metres.

Ivan Collins, sales director of Andover Trailers, the sole UK distributor of Goldhofer heavy haulage equipment in the UK and Ireland, says the trailer is likely to be a big hit with wind farm manufacturers and specialist hauliers. The UK has more than 260 wind farms and almost 3,000 turbines - and wind power is its second largest source of renewable energy after biomass.

"No one's seen anything as impressive as this over here," said Mr Collins. "Its length is astounding enough - let alone all its special features."

The trailer's three rows of pendular axles give a steering angle of 60 degrees, and its hydraulic suspension has an axle stroke of 600 mm, meaning any stress is taken off the blade during off-road transportation.

It has a gross weight of 62 tonnes and a payload of 38.3 tonnes, with a deck height of 1 m when laden. At a loaded height of approximately 4.3 m, it can pass through tunnels and under bridges - including through the Elbe tunnel in Hamburg, which saves a long detour on certain continental routes.