What was this piece of heavy equipment i saw today

Hi All

Today me and my sister went for a trip out, we were stopped at a roundabout by a police car blocking our entrance, shortly afterwards this long tractor-trailer appeared towing some piece of heavy machinery. I got my phone out to record it but missed the first part.

The whole vehicle consisted of a lorry cab, towing two trailers with the piece of equipment in the middle, followed by another lorry dab pushing/steering the end. it had a police escort and a convoy vehicle at the rear:

https://youtu.be/ZZ9ByME5GjA - (I apologize in advance for the inane banter)

So any ideas what it was they were carrying? my assumption is it was something for an oil rig as we have a fabrication plant nearby who builds that kind of stuff

Allely’s yard is just down the road from me. They carry all kinds of weird stuff, but are best known for their specialty - steam engine transport.

The load you saw, which is likely to be over 200 tonnes, was probably a transformer.

Here is an even bigger one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SngXcUifo8

I’ll bet there’s more than meets the eye.

See here for something similar:


According to the video description it’s a 600 ton powerplant generator.

I (finally) saw what you did there. :slight_smile:

FWIW, a search of “Alstom” as found on the logo turns up the following Wikipedia article:

Alstom is a French multinational company operating in the worldwide rail transport markets, active in the fields of passenger transportation, signalling and locomotives, with products including the AGV, TGV, Eurostar, and Pendolino high-speed trains, in addition to suburban, regional and metro trains, and Citadis trams.

There’s an ALSTOM logo on the equipment. So it’s probably turbine for power generation.

ETA: ninja’d… But it’s obviously not a train. Alstom was a major manufacturer of gas turbines and steam turbines, until this business was sold to GE last year. I wouldn’t be surprised if the transition isn’t complete, and the turbines are still being shipped with the Alstom logo on it.

It might be a transformer.
I’m guessing that’s what it is based on what it doesn’t look like.
The build doesn’t look strong enough to be part of a high pressure boiler.
Doesn’t at all look like a turbine. It may be a section of a low pressure system but I’m thinking it might be a transformer mainly due to some of the extraneous parts built onto the sides of it.

Definitely a high-voltage transformer. That specifically is a single-phase unit, that will be connected to two other identical units to make a three-phase bank. The large round part on the top right will have a large ceramic or porcelain bushing mounted on it to connect to the high-voltage line (400kV, assuming Wikipedia’s right about British transmission voltages) and a similar, smaller bushing will be mounted on the other side to connect to the low(er) voltage line (275 or 132kV). The yellow caps on the sides are the mounting points for the cooling radiators and fans.

scr4 is correct that Alstom sold their power business to GE, but units like this usually have a lead-time measured in years, so it was almost certainly ordered before the sale.

alstom definitely make transformers. I doubt they’d sell their transformers section to GE.

In the US, each axle is DOT authorized for 17K lbs, though the manufacturer rates them for 20K lbs. Except for the steering axle, which is rated for 12K lbs. Heaviest hauler I ever saw had 21 axles. The little 2 axle jeep in the rear had a diesel (I assume) powered generator and an air compressor. I guess to help power all those brake shoes. I don’t know if they were all air suspension.

Thanks everyone for your replies, the dope is as helpful as always!

I certainly don’t envy the people having to drive and move something like that.

Sorry, I missed that the OP was in the UK. I think in the US, Alstom’s main focus was the turbine business, but I understand they are a major manufacturer of large transformers in Europe.