Self-propelled electronically steered NICOLAS MHD SPE eases transport of large, heavy loads

The self-propelled electronically steered NICOLAS MHD SPE features a low driving height and steering capabilities to make it possible to transport some of the largest and heaviest loads.


Long-term NICOLAS customer Lift & Shift Engineering Middle East (LSEME) has successfully completed some of the largest and heaviest transport and load out contracts in the Sultanate of Oman. The challenges, such as a high center of gravity and difficult undergrounds were mastered by relying on self-propelled electronically steered NICOLAS MHD SPE, vehicles that are recognized for their sturdiness and high bending moment worldwide.

Thanks to the NICOLAS steering philosophy, the MHD has the lowest driving height on the market when loaded. This was a major avantage for LSEME, who were awarded an order for transport and load out of five offshore decks and one bridge at a fabrication yard in Sohar, Oman by L&T MFF Oman. The modules were to be delivered to the ADMA site in Umm Lulu and Umm Kaasar in Abu Dhabi’s offshore field. The offshore decks weights and dimensions were impressive:

  • Module WHT 1 – 27 x 30 x 23 m – 2.250 tons
  • Module WHT 2 – 37 x 24 x 24 m – 3.050 tons
  • Module WHT 4 – 35 x 43 x 33 m – 2.900 tons
  • Module WHT 6  – 47 x 27 x 37 m – 3.600 tons
  • Module MFT 1 – 37 x 37 x 15 m – 2.600 tons
  • Bridge – 85 x 6 x 6 m - 570 tons

The chassis of the NICOLAS MHD (Modular Heavy Duty) has been dimensioned to accept extremely concentrated loads. The modular design of the trailers offers an extensive range of transport solutions which can be coupled side by side or end to end.

The transport and load out engineering of these modules commenced in 2012 and was completed in 2014. LSEME’s scope entailed the engineering of transport schematics for trailer arrangements, marine analysis to identify the suitability of barges and a final ballasting and loading plan for the load out of the modules. A total of 152 axle lines of NICOLAS MHD SPE were in use, driven by seven PowerPacks. LSEME’s team of technicians and engineers from Oman, India and UAE were mobilized to execute the operations. The WHT 6, with 3,600 tons of weight the heaviest of the modules, was an especially challenging transport as it was executed in the evening and with fading light. The highly skilled LSEME team however managed to finish the job without incidents.