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Hauling a Bridge Beam

Hauling a Bridge Beam

Big steel beams like this are a part of the bridges we travel over and never see. They may have been fabricated locally or miles away and transported on depressed center flat cars or barges but their ultimate destination is the bridge site. Most often trucks are required to make the final move, even if it’s only a few miles.

Pictured here is what is called a haunch beam, the center is placed on a pier and other beams are bolted to it. This one is 50 feet long and 11’-9” high on its blocking so when placed on the trailer it is over the normal 13’-6” bridge clearance. Beams like this are not able to be laid down on their side since they have very little lateral strength so transportation can be complicated.

The tractor is a Sterling from Sheepscot kit number 95104. The tractor may seem like it has a short wheelbase (144”) but that was typical in the 1950s. The beam is scratch built of styrene. The trailer represents a typical level deck 25 ton lowbed.

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