"This is a completely new area in heavy transport," Goldhofer managing director Stefan Fuchs told Cranes Today at the April SC&RA annual conference in Florida. "Nobody thought of an improvement. Nobody was thinking of the possibilities."
Sales director Horst Haefele says: "Our strategy is not to copy the market, but to make something better. This trailer has some improvements compared to the regular SPMT, which has a gross capacity of 30t-40t." He added that its new trailer's 50t gross capacity comes with a 20% safety factor. Goldhofer intends to sell it for special transport uses in industrial environments such as shipyards and power plants. The transporter is too heavy to be used on most roads.
The Mega-PST is Goldhofer's first SPMT that is slim enough (2.4m or 94in) to fit inside a standard container. Its predecessor, the electronically-controlled PST-E range, is 3m (118in) wide.
Despite its greater loading capacity, the SPMT manages to achieve lower ground-bearing pressure when loaded because it drives with much larger wheels: 385 tyres on 22in (559 mm) diameter rims instead of 355 tyres on 12in (300 mm) rims. Tyre pressures have increased slightly; the PST range requires pressures of 147 PSI (10 bar); the new model 191 PSI (13 bar). This model is the first SPMT to diverge from 355 tyres, the company says.
The platform sits 1.5m (60in) above the ground and can hydraulically raise or lower by a total of 350mm (13 3/4in).
Each line runs on four wheels, divided between two side-by-side steerable axle units. Axles are spaced 1.6m (63in) apart. The units can be hooked side by side and to rear. The trailers come in units with three, four, five and six lines.
Power packs slimmed down to 2.4m width for these trailers produce power output ranging from 155kW to 360kW. The power packs comply with Euro 3, EPA Tier 3 and CARB 3 (California Air Resources Board) air quality regulations.
Three customers have already ordered 100 axle lines; Berard Transportation of Louisiana, and shipbuilders Nippon Express and affiliated transport firm UTOC of Japan. Another customer was not named.
The first trailer has already been tested and will be delivered in July. Haefele said that the development process has taken a year. Delivery times for new orders range from between one and two years.
Although there are only four manufacturers, Scheuerle, Kamag and Goldhofer of Germany, and Cometto of Italy, the total annual production of SPMTs is roughly between 1,000 and 2,500 units per year. Haefele said that Goldhofer makes between 500-800 per year, and estimated the total production capacity of SPMTs as slightly more than 1,000 lines. Bernd Schwengsbier, president of the Tii Group, which includes Scheuerle and Kamag, estimated their annual production capacity alone at 1,500 units."