Imperial Logistics recently undertook one of the largest transport projects in the company’s history when it successfully transported two giant mining machines from South Africa to Zimbabwe.

The job saw the company transporting two Magra thickeners, used in the mining industry, from Imperial client Magra Process Engineering’s manufacturing plant in Vereeniging to Kwekwe in Zimbabwe.

According to Johan Truter, CEO of Imperial Managed Solutions, the tonnage of the load combined with the abnormal metric dimensions of these single units made the job unique and challenging. Each Magra thickener unit weighs just less than 30 tonnes and is 11m long and 6m in diameter.

Meticulous analysis and route planning

“It is an incredible feat to complete such an intricate project; but we have never been afraid of a challenge and credit is due to a large team of people who worked tirelessly to pull this off successfully,” Truter explains.

He says plans to move the mega machines started in August 2017 and meticulous analysis and route planning were required to avoid cargo damage along the way. “Police escorts and abnormal permits had to be arranged, and Eskom and Telkom were alerted to lift power and telephone lines 35 days before D-day,” he notes.

Day of departure

On the day of departure, the Magra thickeners were loaded onto trailers with two cranes; a process that Truter says took about four hours per Magra to complete.

“Once on the road, the vehicles travelled a maximum of eight hours per day at a speed of no more than 50 km/h, always escorted by a police vehicle. The load travelled through Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo before crossing into Zimbabwe. It was a 12-day journey of more than 1 000km.”

Looking ahead, Truter says that this year they will be moving another four Magra thickeners, as well as abnormal construction units for an exothermic smelting plant in Zimbabwe.

“Our partnership with Magra and the specialised capabilities that we are honing means we are well placed to serve other clients on similar projects in future,” Truter concludes.