|SAR&H in 1986/7 purchased the first two Mercedes Benz AS3850 6x6 (500hp) units in the world. They were put straight to work in SA to transport up to 200ton transformer, vessels. A year later the first two MAN 40.700 6x6's units joined the huge SAR&H fleet. Here is a 220ton tower for the Mossgas refinery being transported by three 6x6 units on a 10X10 Nicolas modules. The back unit is pictured separately MAN 40.700 6x6 unit with power pack and ballast weight.|
|SAR&H operated a fleet of 23 (twenty-three) units; 5 x 800hp and the others were 500hp capacity. In the early 1980's till today they operate the roads of South Africa. They have covered over a 1 million miles already. SAR&H Pacific's are well known from 1977 as the "largest on-highway trucks in the world" The drivers that I know of have driven these machines for more than 26years (photo DSCF0118). In the early times they had radio's for communication with each as to change gears at the same time etc.. Today these drivers just watch the front trucks exhaust stack of the lead driver and then they change. These trucks are designed when four units are coupled together with H braces that they self steer. I was filming them one day when they approached a 90degree turning lane. Through the camera lens I noticed that three of the four drivers climbed out of the cabs and down the stairs. The lead driver drove the combination through the junction without any concern.
In 1999 I was given the opportunity by my employer to visit the USA and Canada for spares for these monsters. I visited Cummins in Columbus, Meritor in Detroit, PT&T in Canada, Vancouver Island BC, CCC in Tulsa and PACCAR in Seattle. I even meet the designer of the vehicles who is retired now these days. That was an experience! That was three weeks of most enjoyable driving and staying in the USA/Canada. Of the five large monsters (800hp) only two are operational due to spares. I heard one hour ago that one of the two units has stripped its diff gears.
These trucks have torque converters and retarders able to brake the tremendous forces being applied the front units especially when they are driving down steep hills. The thermal power station that I work at has six huge generator stators weighing 370each. The trailer that supports these generator stators weigh empty around 299ton. Add the load and trailer alone you get 670tons. Then add 45t per truck and there are five of them, four in front and one at the rear (braking not ballast for the rear unit) you get around 860tons gross combination mass. These monster average 1mile/gallon. They carry 2 000litres of fuel on each truck. They refuel every 200km. They empty a petrol (gas) station by themselves.
|A brochure of the mighty South African Railways & Harbour Abnormal Load Fleet that I received from one of the ex-Managers Rooikop Facility Mr. Leon De Beer at SAR&H.|
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