From afar, wind turbines look like such majestic things, turning lazily in the breeze and creating energy. Located on tops of mountains or in open fields, some people complain that they ruin the scenery, but I like them. And I’ve always wondered how something so big can get up to the top of a mountain. As it turns out, trucks. Trucks are how it happens.
A wind farm project on top of the Baoding mountain in China requires truckers to haul the blades up the mountain so the turbine can be assembled there. The mountain has an altitude of over 9,000 feet and the road is about 3.4 miles long. It’s a difficult path, littered with steep slopes and cliffs and sharp turns. And it runs through little towns.
Each blade is 52.4 meters (about 172 feet) long and weighs 12 tons. Chinese truck provider C&C’s three U480 trucks are 6.9 meters (about 23 feet) long and weigh 9.7 tons each. Each truck can only carry one blade at a time.
While the trucks are moving, hydraulic mechanisms are used to shift the blades to avoid hitting obstacles like people’s houses, buildings, power lines and trees.
Once the blade makes it to the top of the mountain, the turbine can then be put together.
Check out the video, even though it’s pretty old. It’s still mind blowing.
Update: The video incorrectly stated the weight of each blade as 80 tons. It’s actually 12 tons, according to this article, and the post has been updated to reflect that.