We’re standing next to an example of a ne plus ultra flatbed semi-trailer. That’s not an exaggeration, given its herculean payload capacity of almost 70 tonnes (154,000 lbs). Legally allowed that is, add another seven tonnes for the factory number. The definition of ‘heavy-duty’ right there.
It’s called a ballast trailer, these come with the package if you hire a (very) large all-terrain crane. They are used to transport counterweights, outrigger pads -the really big and heavy ones- and crane parts.
Hydraulic suspension and a hydraulic steering system, the works. Conventional air suspension is optional, yet that’s only recommended if the whole combination mainly stays on smooth, paved surfaces.
The semi-trailer’s third axle is its only non-steering axle.
BKV’s 2022 Nooteboom ballast trailer, type OVB-95-07, also carries the crew’s
cantina canteen (95-07 explained: 95 tonnes factory gross vehicle weight rating, seven axles).
The draft horse is a 2021 Mercedes-Benz Actros 3358 6×4 tractor, powered by the 15.6 liter OM 473 inline-six. Run-of-the-mill 13 liter engines are for pickups, you know.
Another Nooteboom OVB-95-07, this one is from 2019. It’s coupled to a 2020 MAN TGX 28.540 6×4 tractor. Naturally with the truck maker’s biggest engine, the 15.2 liter D38 inline-six. This combination is obviously following the track of a Liebherr crane. Maybe you’re also familiar with their refrigerators.
Let’s go to Germany, heavy haulage specialist Baumann showcased their mighty Mercedes-Benz Actros 4163 8×4 tractor and new Nooteboom OVB-90-05 ballast trailer with dual wheels.
The semi-trailer’s second axle is non-steering (‘fixed’), these are the three rearmost axles.
The same Baumann rig, posing in front of Nooteboom HQ in the Netherlands.
Back in 2015, the trailer manufacturer delivered the first OVB-95-07 to a customer. And the tractor driver got a new jacket, there goes the profit margin. Spin those wheels!
PS: regarding the State of Michigan, just google-image-search ‘Michigan Special’.