SPMT ( Self-Propelled Modular Transporter)

Insights into the operations and management of Self-propelled Modular Transporters (SPMT)

This article explores the role and operational assessments that should be considered and reviewed with respect to the usage of SPMT (Self-propelled Modular Transporters) for the movement of large structures and equipment’s. These structures and equipment’s cost tens of millions of dollars and can have a huge impact on the cost and timely completion of particular projects, if they are damaged. This is due to the long lead times that are required to build these structures from ground up or due to the time required to procure particular specialised equipment’s.

SPMTs plays an important role in modular based construction, both at the fabrication yard and at the construction site. This type of construction activity is usually the preferred option in countries that has a high labour cost. In Australia for example, almost all of the LNG construction projects were built using this modular based concept.

The current trends for these operations to be left to the sole purview of its trained and expert operators alone should be challenged in view of the recent increase in a large number of claims for damages that were caused due to various non-conformance or incorrect assumptions or assessments made for its operation.

A detailed method statements should be prepared on the various considerations as detailed in this risk bulletin in assessing the sufficiency of the SPMTs arrangements prior to the actual transport. The arrangements made should be supported with the corresponding calculations. This information should further be provided for review by an independent third party to ensure that the information is provided is accurate and that sufficient redundancy are in place to manage any eventualities.

During the course of the actual works, further checks should be made by the attending Marine Warranty surveyor to ensure that the SPMT arrangements for the planned transport are as per the approved arrangements. Any major deviations to the planned arrangements should be further inspected and verified prior to proceeding further.

It is only by proceeding in a structured transparent manner, in looking at the processes and procedures involved for a particular transport that a major loss can be avoided.

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