Oversized load makes its way through Marion County with help from law enforcement and transportation workers

BigTruckSideview3792

BigTruckSideview3792

Barnhart Rigs and Cranes, based in Memphis, Tenn., was hauling a 625,000-pound deisobutanizer, plus the rig, to an oil refinery in Bushton, north of Lyons, last Friday when it stopped near Marion?s industrial park along U.S. Highway 56. A deisobutanizer is used in the oil-refining process. According to Joe Palic, area engineer with the Kansas Department of Transportation in Marion, the rig stopped temporarily to add four more axles to the already 20-axle rig in order to distribute the weight better before the truck and its contents passed over the bridge just west of Marion. Most semi-tractor trailers have five axles with four wheels on each axle and a standard legal weight of 80,000 pounds on interstate or 85,500 pounds on Kansas highways. This truck and its cargo, Palic said, was about 280 feet long and 19 feet high (from concrete to top) and required several support vehicles to reach its destination. Marion County Sheriff Rob Craft said his office monitored the rig until it reached the county line. ?It?s the largest rig I have ever seen,? Craft said. About 10 days prior, Deputy Mike Ottensmeier assisted with a similar-type column also heading to Bushton; while that tanker was large at 205 feet, Craft said, it wasn?t quite as big as Friday?s transport. Both vessels and trucks originated from Sauder Manufacturing in Emporia. The truck and vessel traveled between 30 and 35 mph and calculating the route took almost two months, according to Dave Jorgenson with Barnhart. Probably the most difficult part of the trip was finding a route to get through Emporia, he said. In addition to adding axles near Marion, the rig also was forced to loop around west of Strong City because a bridge was too low. Near McPherson, Palic said, power lines needed to be raised. To give an idea of the length, Palic said wind towers can vary between 130 to 160 feet long with average tankers about 120 feet in length.

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