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9,000 elephants: Heaviest things ever moved on land

People travel all over the globe to see the many great wonders of our world, but does it ever cross your mind of how they got there in the first place?

Transporting impossibly large items has been a mechanical and logistical challenge for thousands of years, becoming even more tricky when shifting things overseas with ships.

Famous sites such as the Statue of Liberty were disassembled in Paris and then packed into 214 wooden crates and shipped across the Atlantic in 1885.

But what about some of the biggest overland transportation achievements of the modern day?

Here are a few examples, courtesy of Flegg Projects, specialist movers of heavy objects.

A very slow-moving power station transformer

In the UK, the heaviest load to ever be moved on land was a power station transformer weighing a whopping 640 tonnes!

It was previously removed from Didcot power station in 2013, where it was loaded onto a truck and travelled along at a casual 4mph, causing a 13-mile tailback on the motorway.

A record-busting water desalination unit

In 2012, a Saudi Arabian Logistics company delivered a water desalination unit weighing 48,000 tonnes and moved more ground than a football field.

This colossal effort smashed the record for the ‘heaviest item moved by road freight’.

A great big boulder

A boulder weighing in at 340 tons was moved from Riverside County, CA to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, contributing to a curious installation called the “Levitating Mass”.

The logistics company responsible for the transportation of this goliath used a 176-wheel truck and drove at 10mph. The trip took almost 2 weeks.

The world’s largest offshore platform

In October 2011, a portion of the North Rankin B Platform which weighs in at 23,178 tonnes, was listed to a lofty height of 86.9ft at the shipyard of the Hyundai Heavy industries in South Korea.

At around the same weight as approximately 9,000 elephants, this is currently the heaviest object to be lifted on land!

A seriously chunky turbine engine

In 2010, the Texas Department of Transportation hauled an 850-ton turbine engine for 250 miles at 10 miles per day.

To keep it in place, a custom rig was used made to haul the weight. The rig itself was the length of an entire football field.

Overall, machinery movers and engineers have developed phenomenal improvements in transportation which have allowed these movements to take place.

Logistics has certainly come a long way since the Statue of Liberty was sent across the Atlantic in pieces, who knows what we will see moving a hundred years from now.

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