If you drive around Saskatchewan long enough, you will find yourself sharing the road with an interesting variety of objects. For example, it is not uncommon to see houses and other buildings along with various farm implements carried along the roads and highways in our area.
However, as the Wind Turbine Blades for the Bekevar Wind Project are shipped into Kipling, those witnessing their arrival are treated to an impressive spectacle.
Sources tell the Clipper that the blade is 250 feet (76.2 meters) long. When loaded on a semi, the combined length of the blade and tractor unit is 310 feet (91.44 meters).
A loaded legal semi is 75 feet (22.86 meters) long, which means that the trucks carrying these blades are four times the length of most of the loaded semis that you will normally encounter.
Each blade weighs 55,000 pounds (24,947.58 kg) with the combined weight of the blade and semi totalling 146,000 pounds (66,224.486 kg).
The trucks, bringing these blades from the port of Vancouver Washington to Kipling, travel at speeds of 40-50 mph (65–80 km per hour) and are subject to a host of restrictions. Permits are required in all states and provinces that they pass through and the routes that these trucks take are strictly enforced.
Some jurisdictions require that these loads be transported only at night, while others restrict them to travel only during the daytime. And the company transporting the blades (Totran Transportation Services based out of Calgary) is required to produce a travel management plan which is submitted to each state and province for approval.
It will typically take about six days for the trucks carrying these blades to travel from Vancouver, Wash. to Kipling, Sask. and two days for the trucks to travel back empty. However, with allowances made for curfews, road construction and switching between daytime and nighttime travel, it will take 12 to 13 days for one of these trucks to complete a round trip.