SARATOGA – Tuesday’s convoy of wind turbine blades were prevented from finishing their highway trip from Caspar to the Dunlap Wind Farm between Hanna and Medicine Bow due to high-wind warnings posted on I-80 East of Sinclair Tuesday afternoon.
They clustered in three groups of three across the back of the parking lot at the Sinclair Travel Plaza truck stop late Tuesday and were to remain there overnight.
The three blades for each wind turbine are carefully matched and must travel together but separate from any other blades in the shipment, so they are kept segregated for the whole trip, as they travel to their destination.
These 44-meter-long blades – that’s 144.4 feet in English measure – travel on a truck that has a total length of 170 feet from the front bumper of the truck to the red flag on the tip of the blade.
Because of their length, the rear two axels of the trailer must be able to swivel to make some of the sharp corners, like at the Sinclair exit off Interstate80. The rear pilot car driver must unpin the rear axles so they can free turn around the corner. The driver then re-pins the axles until the next sharp corner.
These blades arrived in Caspar by BNSF train. They then were loaded on to trucks and traveled over Wyoming Highways 220 and 789 from Casper to Rawlins, then on Interstate 80 from Rawlins to Walcott junction, then along Wy. Hwy. 30 to their destination at the Dunlap Wind Farm between Hanna and Medicine Bow.
These blades were being transported by the ATS Trucking Company with a home office in Saint Cloud Minnesota. Each of the nine trucks were accompanied by two pilot cars. All these drivers and vehicles gathered from across the country to perform this haul.