A moving experience

Even by Minty's Moving standards, it was a tall order. Move a 160-foot-high, 280-ton grain elevator 20 miles. Throw in a couple of steep hills. Do it over icy roads. But the Onanole, Manitoba, Canada-based mover and its Kenworth trucks were up to the task.

Minty's latest trophy move was transporting the 16-story structure from La Riviere to Somerset in the heart of Manitoba's bread basket. It was easily the tallest building ever moved by Minty's, according to owner Harold Minty.

Moving the grain elevator took eight days. The terrain and cold winter weather made the move extremely challenging.

“We had to go from a deep valley up and down hills with grades as steep as 13% going up and 10% going down,” Minty said. “We had to maneuver through sharp turns. And the Manitoba Department of High-ways had to grade the snow off the road and spread salt and sand to clear the way.”

The grain elevator's extreme height also required careful adjustments along the route. Minty used a special 84-wheel, self-leveling dolly system designed to keep the grain elevator level, even on a 13% grade. Operators manually adjusted the dollies for side-to-side level, while the system automatically adjusted for end-to-end level. “The center of gravity of the grain elevator was so high, the weight of the load transferred incredibly fast,” Minty said.

This move was an all-Kenworth show. Minty's “workhorse” is a 1992 Kenworth T800 high-hood with a 425-horsepower Caterpillar, and an eight-speed “double under” transmission with a four-speed auxiliary provided power in the front. A 1980 W900 with a 450-hp Caterpillar and a 1969 W900 with a 290-hp engine pushed from the back on inclines and helped brake going downhill. The two W900s use a five-speed with a four-speed auxiliary.

“We use the '92 every time we have a big load to move, and it always comes through,” said Minty. “It only has 747,000 kilometers (464,000 miles) so I expect it to keep going strong at least 10 more years.”

While Minty's transported the grain elevator as part of the move, another moving specialist, Anderson Building Movers, hauled an annex, three grain bins, and an office building. Anderson's vehicles of choice? Kenworth W900s.

While this latest move was the tallest building ever moved by Minty's, it wasn't the heaviest. In 2002, Minty's moved a 400-ton, 95-ft-high grain elevator.

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