New Castle News

January 15, 2013

Overweight load awaits new plan for it road trip

Nancy Lowry
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Republic Steel in East Canton, Ohio, will have to wait for its oversized ladle transfer car.

Gary Brown of Ravana Industries at 1902 Old Butler Road was prepared to ship the oversized implement Monday from the Shenango Township facility to its final destination in Ohio. But there was too much of it.

With the freshly painted transfer car loaded and ready, Walt Stearly, driver and owner of Stearly’s Motor Freight of Pottstown, Pa., learned the item is too heavy to travel on state roads.

The apparatus is 18 1/2 feet wide and weighs 198,450 pounds loaded onto its trailer.

Brown said he had no accurate way to weigh the car prior to its being loaded onto the trailer. The state police unit weighed the vehicle Monday morning.

“The thing itself weighs more than 128,000 pounds,” he said.

Brown noted that for the car to make the trip, it will have to be lifted from its trailer, with the use of two portable cranes, and loaded onto another trailer.

“We’re not going anywhere today,” Stearly said. “The state police said there is too much weight on the rear axles.”

Brown said this problem can be overcome by adding more axles to spread out the weight of the load over a larger surface.

“But we’ll need another permit since we’ll have a new configuration,” Stearly said. “Everything will be different.”

Bruce Lenhardt, one of the welders who had worked on the big load, said it took three weeks to assemble the completed ladle transfer car. “It’s the biggest thing I’ve worked on.”

Brown said the unit was picked up in two pieces at a mill in Lorain, Ohio, also owned by Republic Steel, and delivered to the Lawrence County site Nov. 15. Once here, workers welded on pieces to stretch the original car and add to the height.

At its final destination, he said, it will hold a ladle loaded with 98 tons of hot steel.

This is not the first shipping delay.

“On Jan. 7, we got it ready to move, but had routing problems and missed our Jan. 8 target date. That was resolved, but today we learned of weight problems,” Brown said.

The original plan had been to send the unit to Ohio via Interstate 376 to Interstate 80 but there was concern regarding the weight load and one bridge. The route is now Route 422 to 224 to 680.

When it moves out, the ladle car will have an escort, which will include Pennsylvania State police, who will hand it over to the Ohio Highway Patrol at the state line.

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)