I was just thinking that I hadn’t heard from my old mate Dennis Child, the man who has the eneviable task of operating some of the biggest and heaviest on-road trucks in the world. And then he sends me some pictures of his magnificent special types tractors.Dennis works for ROTRAN in South Africa and runs the heavy haulage equivalent of the ‘Galacticos’ including the fabulous Tractomas 10×10 and 8×8 tractors. The top picture shows a 10×10 powered by a 28-litre 900hp 3412 Vee-12 Cat engine and capable of hauling 600tonnes with load and trailer. Behind it is one of Dennis’s trusty “old-timers”, an Ultra Pacific. The second shot is of an 8×8 Tractomas D75, (they all use the Renault cab) with 750hp on tap and again with an Ultra Pacfic helping out, pulling a massive beam trailer. Dennis tells me he’s got another FIVE 8×8 D75s arriving in 2008 with 912hp!Much of Dennis’s work involves overseeing the shifting of massive electricity transformers and generators throughout South Africa and he’s run just about every type of heavy hauler this is, including these venerable MAN 6×4 tractors, before more recently settling on the French-built Tractomas.And this picture of Dennis with one of his babies shows just how much of a brute the 10×10 Tractomas is! The cooling system houses a whopping 179 litres and comes with two hydraulically-driven fans each 800mm in diameter.
Here’s a fabulous combination of a herd of Canadian-built Ultra Pacfics working hard. And before it started the switch to the Tractomas, ROTRAN typically ran four of these 6×6 monsters at a time with each driver shifting gear by radio command. (hauling 600 tonnes worth of transformer and beam trailer you wouldn’t all change gear at once or you’d come to an abrupt halt!) Why the change? The 60s-built Pacifics were getting older and older and it was getting harder and harder to keep them going. So Dennis did a ‘world tour’ looking for suitable replacements and along the way he hit upon the Tractomas.So when it comes to ‘Abnormal’ haulage I reckon Dennis and his Tractomas has got everyone pretty much beat. Or can BLB readers come up with any of their own contenders for the ‘ultimate heavy haulage tractor?’ If so, then pictures please!
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