Wind energy has become a huge driver of jobs and economic growth for the U.S. economy with no end in sight. The industry is expected to grow from 102,000 to 248,000 jobs in the next four years. The U.S. Department of Energy projects that wind energy will be able to supply 10% of the country’s energy by 2020, 20% by 2030 and 35% by 2050.
This means hundreds of wind turbines will need to be constructed within new and existing wind farms, and highly experienced wind transporters will be called upon to safely deliver the wind turbine components. As a result of this rapid increase in demand, wind energy providers and manufacturers of wind turbine components will face a number of challenges:
- Safe transportation of high-dollar wind components. This job takes experienced drivers who can safely transport a load that could be as heavy as 200,000 pounds and 15 feet wide without incurring damages to the components. All it takes is one slightly off turn at a stop sign for 180-foot blade to get scraped and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace.
- Transportation of increasingly varying sizes of wind components. As the demand for utility-scale wind turbines has increased, wind providers have had to manufacture bigger and heavier wind turbine components. As a result, wind turbines are manufactured in a number of different sizes, which means versatile fleets of trucks that can adapt to constantly changing lengths, widths and weight are needed.
- Safe and efficient construction and maintenance of wind farms. As the number of new wind turbines increases, so will the risk for safety-related incidents and fatal accidents during construction and maintenance. Wind providers will need highly experienced crane and rigging professionals with the proper certifications. They will also be seeking to reduce their costs associated with equipment breakdowns on site due to mechanical failures.
How Bennett Can Help….
Currently, tens of thousands of wind turbine components sit in storage waiting to be picked up and transported to project sites. Bennett is ready and able to help with all aspects of the wind energy business. Here’s how we can help meet the challenges:
- Bennett Motor Express (BME) and its division Ace Doran between them have the capacity to transport all wind components. With a combined fleet of 259 trucks, last year they transported 5,300 wind component loads, including
3,500 dedicated to blades and towers. Our claims margin was less than 1 percent.
- Bennett has a variety of equipment and flexible trailers that can accommodate varying sizes. Just recently, Bennett had to quickly accommodate new towers that went from 80 to 90 meters long from its biggest client, and we were able to adapt within three months, which says a lot about our versatile fleet.
- Bennett’s division BOSS Crane & Rigging offers some of the most knowledgeable, experienced technicians in the wind industry who offer 200 years of combined experience servicing wind turbines and 2,500 megawatts of wind farm constructions. BOSS also has a new fleet of high-end cranes and a safety-first business model. Last year, BOSS was the recipient of the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association’s (SC&RA) Safety and Zero Accidents awards.
Not many companies can say they offer one of the most experienced transportation fleets in the wind industry, the capacity to transport all wind turbine components and an expert team of crane and rigging wind construction and maintenance specialists with the right certifications. Not every company can say what Bennett can say: “We load them, we transport them and we build them!”