History’s Biggest Transport Operations

November 23, 2021


Muhjir Shajahan

If you know anything about Southwestern Industrial, you probably know that we can move just about anything. From heavy tanks and rockets to entire industrial plants, we know how to get things from point A to point B. Our success got us wondering, what are some of the biggest transportation operations in the world? Well, we found out, and some of these projects make us want to step our game up!

An-225 Mriya

We begin our look at the biggest transportation jobs by looking up at the sky. The An-225 Mriya is a massive Russian transport aircraft that was first developed to support the Soviet Union’s space program. It is powered by 6 turbofan engines and has a maximum takeoff weight of 710,000 pounds. The largest single item payload ever delivered was a generator for a gas power plant in America, weighing in at a record 190 tonnes, or 417,000 pounds! That’s like 120 Toyota Camrys being flown through the air!

Wait, Is That An Oil Rig?

Our second big transport job was aided by what looks like a series of sentient truck beds. These self-moving platforms are actually called Self Propelled Modular Transports (SPMTs), and they are revolutionizing the way stuff is moved. They are self-propelling, as the name suggests, but also have a hydraulic system that allow them to carry insane amounts of weight. One such instance was the moving of an entire oil rig to shore by a huge platform of SPMTs moving in unison, which took a while but was ultimately successful. A salvage operation for a ferry that weighed 17,000 tons was also handled by the SPMTs, though they needed dozens of axles to accomplish the task. We are just scratching the surface of what SPMTs can accomplish, so be sure to look out for them in the future.

NASA’s Crawler Transport

One of mankind’s greatest achievements is our foray into space. For millennia, humans have gazed at the stars and planets around us, but to escape the grip of Earth’s gravity into the dark abyss of space was the mark of human ingenuity and imagination. Building the rockets to make such a feat possible is a daunting task of its own, especially since the rockets weighing thousands of tons had to be moved to the launch pad. In 1965, NASA tackled that problem with the crawler transport. The transport vehicle itself weighed over 2,000 tons, and had generators and engines producing several thousand horsepower. The transport would carry the Saturn rockets, which weighed 6.5 million pounds when loaded with fuel! Today, the transports have seen massive updates, and can carry up to 18 million pounds at one time. Just don’t expect great gas mileage.

If you’ve got a major transport operation, Southwestern Industrial can help. For decades, we’ve helped shape the southwest and will continue for many more. Call us today to see how we can help your project!