Archive for November 14, 2011

Australia is a pretty big country and most of the population lives in lovely coastal towns like Sydney, Melbourne or Perth.  Not many people live in the center of areas like Western Australia or the Northern Territories and Australia doesn’t have the transcontinental railroad system like we have. They do have roads. Long, flat, straight roads that go on for hundreds of miles with few places to stop, refuel and rest.

So how do you transport goods like zinc ore or oil and gas across this vast expanse?  The obvious solution is trucking; but when you aren’t worried about topography or even traffic, why waste your efforts with a “standard” 18-wheeler carrying only 40 tons?  Just add a bunch of extra trailers to a powerful tractor and form a road train.

Huh? A road train?  Yes, in this video you will see the 3B “Centipede,” a 205 ton, 160 foot long truck powered by a 550 hp diesel engine attached to an 18-speed transmission. This thing has 28 axles and 110 wheels.  It was created by a mining company to carry zinc ore from a mine in the Northern Territory to a port city.

You don’t want to get in the way of this truck and you definitely don’t want it to make any sudden turns.  As a bonus, this video also highlights a “self-propelled modular transporter” that is carrying a 1,790 ton 75 foot high building. It’s the kind of system used by NASA to transport rockets and the space shuttle, but it’s very captivating to see this thing out on the open road carrying gigantic man-made objects. Enjoy!