Additional Math Pages & Resources

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

'till the wheels fall off

Today in our Excel Math blog I'm going to take you on a trip back in your memory, AND throw a few big numbers at you, just for practice.

Remember the hook-and-ladder firetruck? So long that you needed someone in back to steer it around corners? (Raise your hand if you always wanted to be that person driving the back end!)


Well, this past Saturday my wife and I drove to Los Angeles and back. In San Celemente, we saw the largest, longest, wheel-iest tractor-trailer rig ever! It's a hydraulic platform trailer from Perkins Specialized Transportation in Northfield, Minnesota.

Perkins Road Train in Oceanside, CA

The trailer's components were hauled out here to Southern California by 9 separate trucks, then reassembled and tested. This week it's moving a 758,000-pound generator 900 miles to Clive, Utah. Once the generator is off-loaded, the trailer will be disassembled, brought back to San Diego, and reassembled to make more trips. There are 4 of these steam generators going off into storage.


This unit features 192 tires and 48 axles - all of them able to be steered by a Bluetooth remote control. The trailer is 399.6 feet long, 20 feet wide and weighs 1.4 million pounds, loaded. It's moved by five giant 600 hp tractors - 1 pulling and 4 pushing when needed. Top speed is about 20-25 mph. They only drive at night, to avoid having problems with traffic.


Perkins spent 2.5 years designing and building this monster load carrier - which clearly outranks the fire truck for coolness!

If you'd like to download a 3-pg Perkins flyer explaining the Road Train, you can click here.

This is a short video of the Perkins guys practicing turns with their trailer.