From a media release posted on BusinessNorth.com:
Duluth, Minn – Caravans of specially-built trucks, accompanied by escort vehicles and state patrol cars have been heading out of the Port of Duluth most every morning since June, loaded with wind turbine components destined for wind energy farms across the Midwest. The pace of that movement is about to pick up as one wind energy leader, in particular, ramps up delivery schedules.
Not surprising, as the demand for wind energy has expanded so, too, has heavy truck traffic. Often those vehicles face road restrictions due to over-weight/over-dimensional (OW/OD) loads and must be rerouted along some circuitous routes to avoid bridges, tight turns, and road construction. As such, motorists along city streets and rural roadways have had to wait patiently while an increasing number of oversized vehicles pass by loaded with huge, white towers, blades, nacelles, hubs and spinners. Freight handlers indicate that those traffic patterns may intensify during the next month as final shipments of wind components head west and south before the snow flies.
Some of these units, the nacelles, weigh 180,000+ pounds. Top tower sections alone are over 100 feet long, with blades measuring up to 150 feet. Permits to haul the majority of OW/OD loads require at least one escort vehicle and a state trooper. For one manufacturer alone, Siemens, there have been four (4) permitted, escorted loads leaving Duluth almost daily this summer carrying nacelles and tower sections, plus an additional six “smaller” trucks loaded with hubs and spinners.