In Australia, we know a thing or two about large road vehicles.
Just taking into consideration we have the largest road trains in the world and some of the biggest mining vehicles, we have no illusions about what makes a big vehicle big. But even when you consider that, there are some road vehicles that truly push boundaries, from the aforementioned mining vehicles to the vehicles that transport space shuttles.
It’s no surprise that one of the largest land vehicles in the world would be used in mining. The Caterpillar 797 can basically be seen as a monster-sized haul truck. When you consider the height of a wheel is essentially as tall as two average people, then the rest of the vehicle’s proportions become soberingly clear. These bad boys are measured approximately 15 metres long, 7 metres talls and 9 metres wide.
If you were to take one self-propelled modular transporter, it doesn’t really equal the largest land vehicle in the world. However, what makes an SPMT so unique is that it can be connected with other SPMTs.
Guided by a series of computer-controlled wheels (each of which can move independently of one another), you can basically expand each flat platform SPMT to be as big as you want. In one case, a massive collection of connected SPMTs helped transport a 13,018 tonne offshore oil platform.
NASA crawler transporter
To be honest, it’s not surprising that NASA’s crawler transporter (which is used to ship space shuttles) would be huge. Each transporter (there are two in total) boasts two V16 2,750 horsepower engines. Yet despite this grunt, the transporters can not move any faster than 2 miles and hour (3.2 km/hr). Place a space shuttle on there, and that speed is halved.
Suffice to say, that gives you an idea how large (and heavy) these things are. Each transporter is approximately 40 metres long, 35 metres wide and more than 6 metres tall.
Got any other massive road vehicles you think deserve a mention here? Be sure to share them with us in the comments below.
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