Minnkota Power Cooperative looks to Felling Trailers for transformer transportation solution
SAUK CENTRE, MN — Minnkota Power Cooperative is an electric generation and transmission company headquartered in Grand Forks, ND. It was formed in 1940 and now covers 34,500 square miles providing wholesale electric energy to 11 member-owned distribution cooperatives located in eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. The Coop needed to replace an antiquated mechanical detachable gooseneck semi-trailer for their fleet. Fleet Supervisor Keith Millette looked to Felling Trailers to fill this need. The detachable gooseneck would be primarily utilized for hauling transformers weighing 85k to 100k but would also be a multipurpose unit, transporting payloaders and forklifts as needed.
Millette worked with Felling Trailers’ sale representative Laurie Engle to configure the trailer build. The result was an XF-110-3 HDG-L (low) 55-ton hydraulic detach built to their spec, equipped with booster/stinger to compensate for the needed load transfer when hauling transformers. “The features most important to us were the hydraulic detachable gooseneck (vs. the mechanical), the low deck design (19.5″ loaded, 6″ ground clearance), and the ability to build the trailer to our specifications,” said Millette.
A hydraulic gooseneck is safer to use as the neck can be raised to allow the truck fifth wheel to attach without having to pick up the main deck in the process as you would with a mechanical gooseneck. Other advantages of the hydraulic vs. mechanical gooseneck include a quicker detach/attach of the gooseneck in rough, uneven or wet terrain, and the hydraulic gooseneck can be raised or lowered to change the front deck height for ground clearance or overhead obstructions. The XF-110-3 HDG-L has a full-load capacity in 12′ with a 13′ hydraulic detachable gooseneck, 108″ swing clearance with a two-position kingpin at 96″ and 108″. Main deck length of 18′ (full 2″ white oak on outer bays and center of the deck) with a 45º approx. full height trunnion approach with ¼” tread plate cover over the center of the trunnion and approach paired with a one-piece full-length wheel covers, and 20K load bearing. Additional features were incorporated for operator safety and ease of use, such as strobe light/flasher kit safety lighting and a self-contained 11-13 HP hydraulic system with an electric start.
Minnkota Power Cooperative’s fleet consists of 106 trailers, with approximately 60 of them Felling Trailers
and 160 units. “We have been a Felling (Trailers) customer for 20 years. We choose Felling Trailers because they are well built and hold up to the rugged use needed for our company’s line of work. When we do our annual trailer inspections year after year, Felling requires the least amount of repairs compared to other trailer manufacturers we use,” said Millette.