Knowledge CentreTechnical Resources SearchConference PapersOversize/Overweight Vehicles: An Investigation into the Safety and Space Requirements for Alternative Energy Projects

Oversize/Overweight Vehicles: An Investigation into the Safety and Space Requirements for Alternative Energy Projects


The use of oversize/overweight vehicles for the transportation of components and equipment for alternative energy projects is on the increase in North America. As the demand and popularity of such projects increases, the road infrastructure is expected to accommodate a wide range of complex vehicle configurations. One of the few examples of a roadway network is the High Load Corridor in Alberta. A system of High Load corridors has been developed in response to requirements to move over-dimensional equipment machinery, and preassembled components form manufacturing centers in central and southern Alberta to the Oil sands plants in northern Alberta. The High Load corridor allows loads up to 9m high and widths up to 9m. For the wind energy sector as an example, wind turbine component transportation planning is carried out in a reactive manner where adjustments to road furniture are made during the transportation of the heavy or abnormal load. With very little information available and documented on the impact of such specialized vehicles to the road and existing infrastructure, route planning becomes an extremely complex exercise. There is a need to develop a proactive approach which allows planners and designers to effectively design road infrastructure with the manoeuvrability of specialized vehicles in mind. This paper examines key safety and road geometry aspects (for interchanges and intersections) of the current wind turbine component transportation planning process e.g. initial route identification, identification of physical obstacles, headroom restrictions, horizontal and vertical curves on existing roads and infrastructure. It also describes other considerations for wind turbine transportation planning which would typically impact the normal usage of the road e.g. road closures and temporary relocation of signage or static objects. The paper suggests a framework for future research initiatives on oversize vehicles e.g. the gathering information on the typical oversize vehicle for wind turbine component transportation and studies on the vehicle’s turning radius and swept path.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Daniel Shihundu
Dr. John Morrall
Geometric design