Workers unloaded a custom vehicle Jan. 18 that will be used to convey containers designed to safely transport chemical munitions within the Blue Grass plant during operations.
“The sideloader truck weighs about 36 tons,” said Randy Bickley, maintenance engineering specialist, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass. “Due to its size and center of gravity, it required two cranes to lift it from the trailer.”
The sideloader, a specialized forklift, has a custom spreader bar it will use to attach to and lift Enhanced On-site Containers to move them around the facility. Workers will use a sideloader to remove full containers from transport trailers coming from the Blue Grass Chemical Activity and place them into the Container Handling Building. Empty containers will be placed on trailers for return. Workers will use a second sideloader to transport containers to the plant’s Unpack Area for the start of processing.
“We did a lot of research based on our needs and found the sideloader was the safest means of moving stored munitions around the facility,” Bickley said. “They are used in warehouses all over the world. Ours are battery powered, so they are quiet and clean.”
The first of the two sideloaders arrived in November. With both on hand, workers will now start training with the new equipment to prepare for chemical weapons destruction operations.