XL Specialized Trailers’ new, patent-pending BladeMate Flip Extension is designed as a solution for hauling longer wind turbine blades that saves haulers money over purchasing a new trailer.
The 27-foot long Flip Extension can be added to the rear of XL’s BladeMate trailer, or any blade-hauling trailer. The final trailer length depends on what model the flip extension is paired with.
For example, XL’s BladeMate reaches a length of 211 feet with the addition of the Flip Extension. When moving an empty trailer, a driver can flip the extension up, retract the trailer and have a 53-foot long return trip with reduced permit costs.
“As turbines get taller and the blades get longer, transporting them becomes even a greater challenge,” said Rodney Crim, vice president of sales at XL. “While there are many blade-hauling trailers on the road today, few can accommodate the new, longer blades. This solution will be very beneficial to our customers because they will not need to buy an entirely new trailer to accommodate the load.”
The XL Blademate Flip Extension features a user-friendly design. By moving the lever at the front of the trailer, 6-inch hydraulic cylinders flip the extension up or down within minutes. The cylinder linkage can be unpinned and lowered flat to allow for more loading space on the top of the trailer.
The rear bolster, at the end of the Flip Extension, offers a 20,000-pound capacity, making it suitable as the rear-loading platform for the common two-point load set-up. The Flip Extension is secured with a lug-and-pin system, allowing the tail to be completely removed when it’s not needed.
The Flip Extension is beneficial to drivers even when hauling shorter blades. If the driver uses the extension instead of fully extending the BladeMate trailer, the wheelbase of the trailer is shorter, reducing the trailer’s turn radius.