How much do wind turbines weigh?
In the GE 1.5-megawatt model, the nacelle alone weighs more than 56 tons, the blade assembly weighs more than 36 tons, and the tower itself weighs about 71 tons — a total weight of 164 tons. The corresponding weights for the Vestas V90 are 75, 40, and 152, total 267 tons; and for the Gamesa G87 72, 42, and 220, total 334 tons. This information is from wind-watch.org
Michigan’s truck weight law is designed to control axle loads instead of gross vehicle weight. Research conducted by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), and other organizations, has shown that pavement damage is directly related to axle loadings, not gross vehicle weight. Michigan limits the weight allowed on individual axles, depending upon the spacing between them, with a maximum of eleven axles.
The maximum gross vehicle weight allowed on a “federal-weight-law truck” is 80,000 pounds, with four of its five axles carrying 17,000 pounds each. The calculated maximum allowable gross vehicle weight on the heaviest “Michigan-weight-law truck” is 164,000 pounds, which can only be achieved with the use of eleven properly spaced axles. Most of these axles carry only 13,000 pounds each. It would take two and a quarter 80,000 pound trucks to carry the same cargo as a single 164,000 pound Michigan truck. Pavement research has shown that these two smaller trucks actually cause about 60% more pavement damage than does the single heavier truck, because of their higher axle loadings and the extra weight of additional tractors at about ten tons each.
The information above was prepared by the Michigan Department of Transportation
Bureau of Transportation Planning, Intermodal Policy Division
The maximum gross vehicle weight allowed on state and county roads in Michigan is up to 164,000 pounds, more than double that of other states. MDOT officials have said heavier trucks do not cause a disproportionate amount of damage, as long as the weight is evenly distributed. I’m sure that last point can be debated. One could imagine that each wheel passing over a bump in the road acts like a hammer upon landing on the other side of the bump. It wouldn’t matter how evenly spaced the axles are. It wouldn’t take an engineer to determine that farming equipment running on the shoulder of the road breaks the edges of the asphalt apart, allowing even more damage to occur by exposing new edges to the same wear/tear and water/salt, freeze/thaw deterioration.
There’s probably more heavy farming equipment than tractor trailers damaging our county and rural roads, unless those semi’s are carrying wind turbines. Transporting the turbines does major damage to our roads, hence the reason developers have been charged with fixing the roads upon completion of a wind farm project.
From special trucks to special permits, there’s more to moving a turbine than one might think. It takes as many as a dozen truckloads to move a single turbine. Multi-axle (think 80 wheels) flatbed carriers carry the nacelles. This is no small feat at no small cost. Read more of what it takes to move the turbine beasts: http://mvwind.10.forumer.com/a/turbines-specs-on-weight-and-transport_post2555.html