XL Specialized Trailers designed a solution for hauling longer wind turbine blades, with its new patent-pending BladeMate Flip Extension. The Extension provides significant cost savings to haulers over purchasing a new trailer.
XL’s 27-foot long Flip Extension can be added to the rear of XL’s BladeMate trailer, or any blade-hauling trailer. The final trailer length will depend on what model the flip extension is paired with.
For example, with the addition of the Flip Extension, XL’s BladeMate reaches to a length of 211 feet. When moving the empty trailer, a driver can flip the Extension up, retract the trailer, and have a 53-foot long return trip with reduced permit costs.
“As turbines get taller and the blades get longer, transporting them becomes even a greater challenge,” said Rodney Crim, vice president of sales at XL. “While there are many blade-hauling trailers on the road today, few can accommodate the new, longer blades. This solution will be very beneficial to our customers because they will not need to buy an entirely new trailer to accommodate the load.”
The XL Blademate Flip Extension was made to be user friendly. By moving the lever at the front of the trailer, six-inch hydraulic cylinders flip the extension up or down within minutes. The cylinder linkage can be unpinned and lowered flat to allow for more loading space on the top of the trailer.
The rear bolster, at the end of the Flip Extension, offers a 20,000-pound capacity, making it suitable as the rear-loading platform for the common two-point load set-up. The Flip Extension is secured with a lug and pin system, allowing the tail to be completely removed when it is not needed.
The XL BladeMate Flip Extension offers benefits to the driver even when hauling shorter blades. If the driver uses the Flip Extension instead of fully extending the BladeMate trailer, the wheelbase of the trailer is shorter and reduces the trailer’s turn radius.
The XL BladeMate Flip Extension was introduced at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) WINDPOWER show held in Chicago in May.