The truck is so huge that it blocks the entire road when it moves. Its each axle has 32 tyres. The average distance it travels a day is a paltry 5 km; until now the most it travelled in a day was 11 km. It has a set of 32 assistants to remove power lines and other hurdles on the road to ensure smooth movement of the massive vehicle. When the truck completed its journey from Mumbai's Ambernath to the ISRO Inertial Systems Unit at Vattiyoorkavu in Kerala, it made history. Perhaps this could be the largest consignment that reached Kerala by road ever.
Pulled by a Volvo
The FM 9-300 truck that pulls oversize load was used to carry the 70-tonne equipment on a trolley. In Volvo's FM series, there are trucks with 10,800 cc and 12,800 cc capacity engines; they generate 450 bhp and 500 bhp and 2,150 Nm and 2,500Nm torque, respectively. The engine is mated to a 12-speed automatic transmission.
The truck began its journey in July 2019 and entered the Kerala roads in the beginning of July 2020. It took the land route because the height of the equipment prevented it from being taken to the Mumbai port and loaded on a ship. The truck has two axles, with each axle having 32 wheels. Both these axles can be operated separately. They can be lifted and lowered. To balance the weight, there is a unit in front of the truck.
Presence of overhead power lines prevented its journey during night; so they restricted their movement only during the day. During the entire journey, the most it travelled in a day was 11 km. The team was also caught up with the road works in the Neyyattinkara-Balaramapuram area. The outbreak of coronavirus pandemic that led to some of the workers in the team returning also delayed the journey.
The truck was carrying the aerospace autoclave to the ISRO Inertial Systems Unit. The 70-tonne equipment has a height and width of 7.5 metres and 6.65 metres. Electricity lines, and branches of trees had to be removed to make way for the giant. Police personnel and electricity department employees from respective areas worked hard to clear its way.