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Moving a 375,000-pound generator is a lot like moving a football field — a lot of equipment is needed to get the job done.
On Thursday morning, passersby and workers were treated to such a sight when one of the longest trailers ever seen in Carroll County began moving a generator from the barge dock at North American Stainless to Smith Station, a member of the East Kentucky Power Cooperative in Clark County.
The dock at NAS is leased by Morgan Kinder and was used to unload the generator from a barge that had been brought here on the Ohio River.
The generator was loaded onto a rig, 300 feet long with 16 lines, or axles, and 128 tires, according to John Vaughan, financial administrator for Edwards Moving, the company orchestrating the move.
Many people gathered along U.S. 42 to watch the strange sight near the NAS barge entrance as the trailer began making its way out of the parking lot and onto the thoroughfare.
It took nearly 10 minutes for the rig to make the turn onto U.S. 42 with four Code Enforcement Officers from the Kentucky State Police stopping traffic in both directions.
The rig itself had one truck pulling from in front and one truck pushing from behind. On the beams of the trailer, there were two drivers, one on each end who steered the trailer. All drivers, spotters and accompanying vehicles communicated through radio headsets, according to Vaughan.
“This is the maiden voyage, so to speak, of this rig,” Vaughan said. “It’s a unique rig and we’re very proud of it.” The permitted weight load of the entire rig with the generator was 600,000 pounds.
The rig moved slowly and cautiously along U. S. 42 on its way to Trapp, Ky., according to Vaughan.
The trip to Winchester will take approximately four days to complete once the crew returns from Easter weekend. The cargo should be at it’s new home by Wednesday, according to Vaughan.
Vaughan said the company had to complete substantial route surveys and bridge studies to plan the trip to Trapp, Ky. “This is the best route,” Vaughan said.
Trapp is a small town in southern Clark County, near Winchester, according to Nick Comer, media relations officer with EKPC.
The generator being moved is one of two along with two turbines that will be moved in the coming months and all are slated to go to the Smith Station, Comer said. The generators are powered by natural gas and can generate up to 100 megawatts, which is enough to power 15,000 homes, Comer added.
Each of the two new generators are peaking units, meaning they will only be used when power demand is at its highest in very hot or very cold weather, according to Comer.
“The new generators are expected to be up and running by the end of this year,” Comer said.
Edwards Moving, a family owned business in Shelbyville, has carved out their own niche market in hauling extremely heavy loads, mainly in the power industry, Vaughan said.
The company has hauled some very large homes in the area in the past and will be moving the remaining generator and the two turbines to Smith Station in the future, Vaughan said.