Blade lifter manufacturers asked to align advice with ESTA guideline

Manufacturers of blade lifters have been asked to check that their operating guidance takes into account the new transport stability guideline published by ESTA at the end of last year.

Blade lifters – trailers that allow a wind turbine blade to be raised or turned to facilitate its transportation – are a relatively new development, and are becoming increasingly popular as they can minimise changes in road layout and reduce a project’s environmental impact.

ESTA published its new transport stability guideline for the use of Modular Hydraulically Suspended Trailers in an attempt to improve safety and raise standards in what is a fast-growing sector attracting inexperienced entrants.

The guideline – which is available from the member’s library in ESTA’s website –
was the result of work carried out by ESTA’s SPMT working group whose 12 member companies come from eight different countries, reflecting the widespread concern across Europe.

It was widely welcomed and now ESTA’s working group has asked the blade lifter manufacturers to ensure that their own documentation is aligned with the new guideline.

The guideline specifies the factors to be considered when verifying the global stability and capacity of a modular hydraulically suspended trailer by calculation, assuming that the trailer is operating on a stable surface.

It also details the conditions and considerations for local stability of trailers within a transport arrangement and the stability of the cargo itself and is referenced in the DNV ST-N001 Maritime Operations Standard published by DNV, the independent experts in assurance and risk management.

The guideline will eventually be incorporated into a completely updated best practice guide expected to be published later this year.