We won the bid to move two transformers for a planned change out for a failing transformer and replace it with brand new high tech transformer. The new transformer was fully assembled and was full of oil ready to go and had about 500 ft to be moved. The old transformer was stripped of all accessories and all the oil was pumped out of it, which made it a lot lighter. We had to move the old transformer approximately 750ft to a concrete pad to eventually be discarded.
The old transformer was 10 ft wide by 24 ft long and weighted 265 tons. The new transformer was 26ft wide by 38 ft long and weighted 420 tons fully assembled.
The work began with jacking the new transformer about one foot and installing our hydraulic slide system. This consists of two 10- inch tall beams made of T1 steel with 2-inch holes every 2 feet. These beams are spread about 12 ft apart and are supported by timber mats and blocking continuously. On top of the slide beams we installed our formed slide shoes, which have ½ Teflon attached to the underside of the shoe. Two 5 inch by 4 & ½ foot hydraulic rams are pinned to the shoes on top of each beam. The other end of the rams is then pinned to the holes in the slide beams. The pump on the truck supplies the hydraulic power.
The transformer was pushed from the pad to the street and then the unit had to be lifted and the slide system removed and installed the direction of the road. After this was accomplished the transformed was pushed to just north of the old transformer.
The next step was to jack the old transformer, which was accomplished very easily. We then tried a new method to us to move the load on 100-ton rollers and a track system. We pulled the transformer with two winch trucks but we found that our track system was too light for the job and the rollers dug into the tracks if they were out of level a slight amount. This was very frustrating but we persevered and got it out of the way of the new transformer coming in.
The new transformer was then pushed another 40 ft endways, then the slide equipment was installed for the sideways push into its final position. The transformer was then jacked and the slide equipment removed and set down onto the foundation.
The last step of the project was to move the old transformer to an existing pad 700 ft back to the north. This was first accomplished by the roller system, but we experienced too many problems with the rollers and finally removed them and installed the slide system.
This project was 750 miles north of where we live at the end of the most northerly road in Manitoba, and winter had already started to set in by the end of October. We were gone a total of ten days including travel time which we felt was pretty good for the limited amount of experience we have in this line of work.