In the TV show “Massive Moves”, they chronicle some pretty incredible transportation feats and a lot of house moves. While our moves aren’t usually quite so dramatic, or at least we don’t have the dramatic narrator, transporting a building truly does take great precision and planning.
Method to the Madness
The methodology of transporting modular or prefab structures in Western Canada can generally be broken down into one of the following styles, or possibly a combination of each, depending on the complexity of the move:
- Use a trombone trailer to haul truss floor modules (as pictured above). This type of trailer extends to meet different lengths of modules. Cranes will often be required when a building is transported on a trombone, but it can be rolled onto its foundation, or blocked onto wood cribbing and lowered down onto pilings. Trombone trailers may require a bigger turning radius, more room at the approach to a client’s site and more room once on site in order to clear the length of the home once it is on its foundation.
- Using a “dolly” system (pictured below). A dolly is a tridem assembly of three axles with 12 wheels that is slid right underneath the module with a deformation resistant steel frame. The transporter will also attach a removable hitch which will be used to haul the module. If the building is designed on longitudinal beams (steel frame) – it can be transported either by trombone trailer or using the dolly system, but dollies are typically used on a framed module.
- Ferries and floats. While this is unusual in Alberta, we have ferried homes to the Territories. Both truss floor and framed modules can be ferried.