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Reliability, functionality and payload the decisive factors:

SPMTs from SCHEUERLE transport 130m bridge across the motorway

  • Schmidbauer moves 1,500-tonne bridge with SCHEUERLE SPMTs
  • Schmidbauer plans to acquire additional axle lines from SCHEUERLE
  • Spectacular video shows transportation of the bridge

The transport combination weighed a total of 2,000 tonnes and was used to move a bridge via the motorway in order to reach its final destination. The whole operation was subject to great time pressure and therefore required the use of vehicles that were reliable as well as powerful, and which could also be controlled with great precision. For these reasons, Stefan Schmidbauer, Managing Director of the heavy-load logistics company Schmidbauer, decided in favour of SPMT transport modules from SCHEUERLE.

Transporting a 1,500 tonne and 130 metre long bridge to its final destination via one of Germany's busiest motorways requires the services of real heavy-duty professionals. In addition, such a challenging task requires a very special means of transport. It has to be reliable as well as strong, and also needs to be controlled with the highest degree of precision. Stefan Schmidbauer, Technical Manager of the Large Crane/Heavy Lifting Division and Managing Director of the Schmidbauer Group, and his team are indeed very experienced heavy lift experts. They opted to use SPMT (Self Propelled Modular Transporter) transport modules from SCHEUERLE Fahrzeugfabrik, a subsidiary of the Transporter Industry International Group (TII Group).

Schmidbauer had to set the bridge down on four piers with pinpoint accuracy
In the night from 2nd to 3rd May, 2020, Schmidbauer took charge of the spectacular bridge transport operations. For this, Schmidbauer had to realise the transfer from the pre-assembly site in a field near the A8 motorway to the point of installation where it had to be positioned and set down precisely on four piers. Project planning and construction of the bridge took a total of seven years while the planning of the bridge transport itself took one year. As it happened, there was hardly any time left for the actual transport. The team had to move quickly during the night to Sunday because the traffic should flow again on the Monday morning. “Basically nothing could be allowed to go wrong during transportation", explained Stefan Schmidbauer. “This is why we opted for SPMT axle lines from SCHEUERLE.”

A total of 56 axle lines were required in order to distribute the load of the bridge, support beams and sub-structure as well as SPMT modules totalling 2,000 tonnes over the 224 wheels so that the load on the ground was kept to an absolute minimum. In order to guarantee safe transportation of the bridge, Schmidbauer formed four individual transport platforms using the individual SPMT modules, each with 14 axle lines which were then driven using in a loose coupling mode formation. Four power packs from SCHEUERLE with a total output of around 2,000 hp provided the drive.

Transport had to remain in a level position at all times
Although the distance from the pre-assembly area to the jobsite was only around 150 metres, the construction management team had calculated that a two-hour drive was required. "The biggest challenge on route was to drive absolutely synchronously with the four SPMT transport platforms in a loose coupling mode," explained Schmidbauer. As it happened, the centre distance between the platforms was 80 metres whilst the width between the transport modules measured seven metres. The route was previously paved but the SPMT transporters still had to compensate for height differences in both the longitudinal and transverse directions to the road. “In particular, we had to make sure that the transport did not move into an inclined position due to the difference in height between the two lanes.

Service technicians from SCHEUERLE on call at all times
The sophisticated vehicle technology along with the know-how of the heavy-duty professionals from Schmidbauer seamlessly complemented each other. In addition, service technician Tobias Vesely, a SCHEUERLE expert, was on hand to assist the Schmidbauer team. "This is not the norm but nothing untoward was allowed to happen during this transport. Traffic flow on the A8 had to recommence on time. If there had been a technical problem, I could have helped immediately”, said Vesely.

Minimal tolerance - no problem for the sensitive SPMT control
That night, however, he could simply enjoy the transport operation together with numerous onlookers and the employees of those companies involved in the construction. The vehicles from SCHEUERLE functioned absolutely reliably and the route was quickly mastered. The SPMT axle lines moved steadily towards the final destination metre by metre. Even the extremely precise positioning of the bridge on the piers posed no problems. "We had a maximum of two centimetres of play and thus had to work with corresponding precision", reported Schmidbauer. However, the extremely sensitive multi-directional steering and the precisely metered high axle compensation of the SPMT transporters allowed the vehicle operators from Schmidbauer to position the bridge on the piers with pinpoint accuracy.

Everything went as planned - SPMT proved its quality
Everything went according to plan that night. "The outstanding technical quality of the SPMTs contributed a great deal to the success of the operation", said Schmidbauer. "For this reason and because of the excellent support provided by the manufacturer, we decided on the SPMT from SCHEUERLE," explained Schmidbauer. “SCHEUERLE simply has the most experience with such axle lines as well as having the largest number of them on the market. Our experience with the SPMT proves that the module transporters function with absolute reliability. This is why there was no alternative available for this particular assignment”. After the excellent experience gained from this weekend, Schmidbauer is looking to enhance his SPMT fleet. “Everything worked perfectly: the coordination of the transport, the fine running sequence of the axles, the control of the transport. We will definitely be ordering additional SPMT axle lines”, he explained. The Schmidbauer Group will thus further expand its reputation as a heavy-duty professional and SCHEUERLE will make its contribution to making heavy goods logistics more and more efficient and cost-effective.

SPMT stands for unlimited payload
As early as 1983, SCHEUERLE had developed the modular SPMT transport platforms in container dimensions (2.43 metres) and thus sustainably improved the way high loads are transported. Due to the diverse coupling possibilities with the introduction of the SPMT, payloads suddenly increased. Today, SPMT combinations can reach theoretically unlimited payloads. This allows industry to pre-produce and then move ever larger plants and installations. The advantage for companies is increasingly greater economic efficiency. As a result, SPMT axle lines from SCHEUERLE are much sought-after transport solutions around the world. The company is market leader in this segment.

Spectacular transport assignment: With a total of four SPMT transporters, Schmidbauer moved the 1,500-tonne bridge along the motorway to its final destination.


The 130-metre long bridge was supported on 56 SPMT axle lines and 224 tyres. This ensured the best possible protection for the road. Total load: 2,000 tonnes


With a tolerance of only a few centimetres, the bridge had to be set down on the supporting piers. This was achieved without any problems thanks to the precise control of SPMT.

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