MOUNT VERNON — A heavy haul truck rig loaded with a Rolls-Royce electrical generator got stuck on Public Square on Thursday.
The 174-ton unit wasn’t too heavy for the truck to pull, the problem was sand on the hill at East High Street, just north of Public Square, which caused the truck’s wheels to spin and stopped it cold.
The moving crew easily steered the 245-foot-long trailer, with rear-wheel steering and push power, through Mount Vernon streets all the way to the hill. The truck driver backed the rig a few feet back around the square and tried twice more to navigate the hill with no luck.
A Mount Vernon street department crew used a snowplow to clear some of the sand and even used push brooms to sweep the pavement clean. To make sure the hill was conquered, another truck was brought in, hooked to the trailer and both easily scaled the hill.
The job took more than 30 minutes to move the truck that weighed a total 632,000 pounds. Gary Hyman, director of communications for Rolls-Royce, said the shipment is a single skid unit of a jet engine that drives a 28-32 megawatt electrical generator.
The is the third and last unit going off the coast of West Africa to a French company for an off-shore oil field. The unit goes to Ballaire on the Ohio River where it will be put on a barge. Then down the Ohio River, the Mississippi River and eventually to Houston, Texas.
From there, it will be shipped to Korea where a firm will prepare the unit for installation in the oil field.
A television crew was recording the move for the American Trucking Association. It will be televised in February on the Speed channel.