XL Specialized Trailers has designed a new device for hauling longer wind-turbine blades: its new patent-pending BladeMate Flip Extension. The Extension is designed to provide significant cost savings to haulers over purchasing a new trailer.
“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.”
XL’s 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, with the addition of the Flip Extension, XL’s BladeMate reaches to a length of 211 ft. When moving the empty trailer, a driver can flip the Extension up, retract the trailer, and have a 53-foot long return trip with reduced permit costs.
“This solution will be very beneficial to our customers because they will not need to buy an entirely new trailer to accommodate the load,” added Crim.
The XL Blademate Flip Extension offers a user-friendly design. By moving the lever at the front of the trailer, six-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 Flip Extension is secured with a lug and pin system, allowing the tail to be completely removed when it is not needed. In addition, the XL BladeMate Flip Extension provides benefits to the driver even when hauling shorter blades. If the driver uses the Flip Extension instead of fully extending the BladeMate trailer, the wheelbase of the trailer is shorter and reduces the trailer’s turn radius.