On June 25, 2014 Scheuerle presented its new STB 550 side girder deck to UK based heavy haulage company Collett Transport at an event held at the trailer manufacturer's premises in Pfedelbach, Germany.

Unveiled by Scheuerle and the TII Group during an event full of surprises, the 550-tonne capacity STB 550 side girder deck is compatible with the Scheuerle Combi series, the Nicolas MHD, as well as self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs).

In connection with the main beam, the load is placed on the top boom with brackets. Alternatively, the load can be supported with additional load suspension gear with cross beams. The cargo can also be coupled directly to the supporting tips.

Furthermore, the side girder deck can accommodate and lower the cargo without the use of cranes due to an additional support chassis.

The deck can be adjusted in length from 29.2 m to 34.2 m depending on the required number of axle lines of the platform trailer combination and the size of the cargo. The loading width of the side girder deck can be also be adjusted from 3.45 m up to 7.4 m.

The STB 550 features a payload-to-deadweight ratio of 5.2, but managing director of TII Sales, Bernd Schwengsbier, claims that "if the load distribution frame is omitted, the factor becomes a currently unrivalled 6.6."

"The STB 550 is the largest and most versatile concept on the market," added Schwengsbier. "This benchmark is going to give our customer a good opportunity to confirm its position in the market."

Schwengsbier explained how, for such a design-to-order job, Scheuerle worked very closely with Collett Transport to ensure that everything was made to the UK haulier's specifications.

"We went to England and discussed all the specific needs with Collett Transport. We made everything according to their requests," he said.

Also present at the event was Gary Preece, lead electrical engineer at Drax, which owns and operates Drax power station in North Yorkshire. The power station was instrumental in the order of the STB 550, and Preece explained that with demand for heavier transformers at the plant, Drax approached Collett Transport for a solution.

Collett Transport will initially use the STB 550 for transporting 350-tonne transformers but has the option to increase to a 550-tonne maximum configuration at any time, through the addition of a second girder set.

"The ground breaking design, functionality and capacity of the trailer will be of great importance and interest to the power generation and heavy engineering industries," said managing director of Collett Transport, David Collett.

"With this new higher level of carrying capacity currently unrivalled in Europe, it will open the door for manufacturers of generators, transformers and steel castings to increase the size and weight of their product portfolio."

Invited guests of the event in Pfedelbach also got the chance to witness some of the other current and upcoming innovations from the TII Group's SPMT and trailer series, as well as take a tour of Scheuerle's factory and production line.

Very soon, the TII Group is expected to offer its customers the SPMT F, a fast running model that can reach speeds of up to 22 km/h, making long distance transport as well as return trips of empty vehicle much easier.

"If we look at the development of the market, the modules are getting heavier and heavier," said Schwengsbier. "Sometimes projects require as many as 400 axle lines, for example, and due to this increase our customers need more SPMTs. The TII Group plans to make SPMTs more flexible, cheaper and faster."

Also on show in Pfedelbach were the manufacturer's widening solutions for SPMTs. As of now, said Scheuerle, the SPMT is available in versions that can widen themselves. The vehicle width can be adapted from 2.43 m to 5.33 m.

Scheuerle says its widening solutions are ideal for the manufacturer's Australian and North American customers, where a vehicle's axle spacing or width must be changed on crossing state borders.