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Record timber beam haul from Melbourne to Mount Gambier

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Mount Gambier is claiming an Australian heavy haulage record with the arrival of 13 glued laminated timber beams on two trucks this week.

A statement from the City of Mount Gambier Council says that at 42 metres apiece, the 13 glulam beams trucked to South Australia by Hispec Heavy Haulage from the Port of Melbourne are the longest ever shipped to Australia.

The timber was produced by German timber engineering project specialist HESS TIMBER for the pool hall within the $57.3 million Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre development.

“Timber was chosen as a feature following a feasibility assessment and extensive architectural research,” City of Mount Gambier Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre Project sponsor Barbara Cernovskis said.

“Timber is resistant to corrosion in an aquatic environment, has whole of life benefits for health, maintenance and operational costs and aligns closely with the original architectural intent.”

The single large timber spans required for the roof meant the European Spruce product was sourced from overseas as the length was unable to be manufactured in Australia.

“Understanding the nature of the use of the facility, and what it means to the community over a number of generations, our priority was ensuring longevity of the build that would ultimately reduce long-term maintenance costs,” BADGE Senior Construction Manager Mark Wyatt said.

“This particular product was selected as it will not require joins, given its length will span the roof. Those joins are where moisture and chemicals from an aquatic environment can begin to damage structure over years of use, as would any plain timber product.”

The beams departed from Zeebrugee Terminal in Belgium at the end of April and travelled approximately 25,000 kilometres via ocean to Australia as break-bulk-cargo, arriving at the wharf in Port Melbourne on Saturday, June 12.

A specialist freight contractor used two mobile hydraulic cranes to unload the beams from the ocean freight platforms and on to each of the prime movers from Hispec Heavy Haulage which carried three to four timber beams each over four loads.

“The truck consists of a prime mover at the front with a separated steerable jinker at the rear. The beams themselves span the void between the two vehicles and act as the truck’s middle section,” HESS TIMBER Business Development and Projects Manager Tyson Infanti said.

There were two multi-purpose boogies (MPBs) that carred four individual loads to the site.

The two trucks returned to Melbourne to collect the remaining beams to be delivered to site in Mount Gambier on Thursday.

The long and oversized loads measured 2.5 metres wide and 49 metres in length. Three certified pilots were required to escort the loads through Victoria to South Australia.

The travel route from Port Melbourne to Olympic Park in Mount Gambier was:

  • Kooringa Way, Port Melbourne,
  • Webb Dock Road,
  • West Gate Freeway,
  • Princes Freeway,
  • Hamilton Highway,
  • Lismore – Skipton Road,
  • Glenelg Highway,
  • Dunkeld – Cavendish Road,
  • Henty Highway,
  • Glenelg Highway,
  • Worrolong Road,
  • Riddoch Highway,
  • Bay Road,
  • Margaret Street, Mount Gambier.

The beams will be stored in the vicinity of the 50 metre pool until they are ready to be installed.

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