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Transannaberg Wiesiollek – “We choose the most modern equipment”

September 2017

The A4 is the motorway that meanders through the flat landscape of southern Poland. Situated on the route from Wroclaw to Katowice – on the only mountain in the entire region – is the basilica of St. Anna, visited by more than 400,000 pilgrims every year. Joachim Wiesiollek started his transport company in 1987, together with his wife Mariola, from a small office near the basilica. The name ‘Transannaberg’ refers to the original company location. Transannaberg grew and moved later to Strzelce Opolskie

‘We can rely on Nooteboom’ - Joachim Wiesiollek

Joachim Wiesiollek started out with one truck, for which he obtained a transport licence with great difficulty. These days the fleet contains more 60 combinations for abnormal transport. Transannaberg has grown to become a leading company in Europe, specialising in the transport of windmill tower sections and rotor blades.

Thirty years Transannaberg

‘Before 1989 transport in Poland, especially international, was organized by State enterprises. In the next years the situation has changed in a small way. Private companies have also begun to receive licenses for international transport. Our company was established in 1987.
We bought used trailers in Germany. The tractor suppliers and trailer manufacturers did not have a service organisation in Poland, so we did all the repairs ourselves. If we needed parts we drove to Germany. We did not have a mobile phone or Internet. If we needed a tractor or trailer we sent someone over to Germany or Holland to look for one. Times were not easy, but we learned a lot. Because in those early years we could not rely on the service organisations of the tractor/trailer suppliers we learned to solve technical problems ourselves. ‘

Joachim Wiesiollek
Joachim Wiesiollek - Transannaberg
Transannaberg
Transannaberg jako jeden z pierwszych skorzystał z zalet doskonałego Mega Windmill Transporter

The secret

‘We can rely on very experienced drivers. Many of the drivers started out in the workshop or as a co-driver, because you need experience to take a 60-metre rotor blade on the road. A driver who has been working at Transannaberg for twenty years is no exception. Our drivers enjoy the work, which is made obvious by the fact that at least seven older drivers have a son who also works at our company. Because many of the drivers started out in the workshop they are able to carry out small repairs en route. But we do much more. We help young drivers to obtain their driving licence and if necessary we will arrange for them to take a course in German to improve their language skills. Our personnel have made Transannaberg a leading company.’

Choosing Nooteboom

‘We always want to use the latest and most modern equipment. In recent years Nooteboom has always been the first to introduce new developments for the transport of windmills. Currently a large part of our fleet consists of Nooteboom trailers. We not only look at the most suitable specification of the trailer, but also at the service and residual value. There are only a handful of trailer manufacturers that can deliver trailers for the work we do and Nooteboom is the best when it comes to innovations, user-friendliness and low maintenance costs. And what’s more, we work together with the Polish representative of Nooteboom in Wroclaw.’

transannaberg-wind
Cofanie przez jeden kilomer wąską leśną drogą

Planned investments

‘We offer transport of all kinds of large and heavy loads over the road, but the main focus of our activities is on the transport of windmills. In most cases lengthy procedures have to be gone through before they can start on the actual construction of a wind park. Although in the long term we intend to continue investing in new equipment for the transport of windmills and other business activities. At the moment we are replacing the older Volvo tractors with the new type that have an improved drive train. We are not planning to add to our fleet, but this can change any time. We do not just invest in tractors and trailers. In the past few years we have bought a large storage yard and four telescopic cranes that are mainly used to load and unload tower sections and rotor blades.’

European exemptions

‘The regulations for abnormal transport in Poland have already been much improved. We hope that in Poland we will soon be able to apply for our exemptions digitally too. This works perfectly well in Germany. There it is possible to follow the procedure around the application and – if needed – you can react or negotiate. The costs of exemptions differ greatly per country in Europe and in Poland it is quite expensive compared with other countries. Applying for exemptions is part of our job and we are not put off by complicated regulations. We have already carried out several large projects in Italy where the procedure for applying for an exemption is definitely not simple.’

Whole logistic chain

‘We do as much as we can ourselves and with our own equipment. This not only includes carrying out the transports but we also prefer to deal ourselves with packing, sea freight and transshipment in ports. If there should be a problem anywhere we will solve it that day because experience has taught us that – if you leave it – the problem will be twice as big the next day. Every additional link in the logistics chain can cause delay and that’s something we don’t want. We collect many of our transports straight from the manufacturer, without the services of a forwarder. We are not against all forms of cooperation but are of the opinion that we can deliver the highest quality if we look after everything ourselves.’

Succession

‘We are a proper family-run business. My two daughters and son-in-law work in the company and I hope that my son, who is 14 now, will follow their example. For the time being I will remain in charge of the business but I do listen to the younger generation, because they often come up with new, fresh ideas.’

transannaberg-crane
Cztery teleskopowe dźwigi są używane głównie do załadunku sekcji wieżowych oraz skrzydeł

Nooteboom is noted for their low maintenance costs

Facilities abroad

‘We often work in Germany and our German facility in Hamburg is extremely useful for communicating with German customers and for escorting the transports. We already have many combinations that are registered in Germany. We are planning to extend the number of facilities, not only in Germany but also in other countries. However we do not want to grow too quickly, because that could have a negative effect on the quality that we are now able to deliver.’

Multilingual

‘Most of our employees have learned English and German after 1989 at secondary school. Although Poland did not join the EEC until 2004, our Polish employees feel a close connection with Europe. Nearly everyone has made an effort to learn at least German, but often also English, in order to be able to communicate better with our European partners. No, communicating in several languages is no problem and if we find that a driver doesn’t speak German well enough we will offer him extra tuition.’

transannaberg-super-wing-carrier
Do transportu ultra-długich skrzydeł, Transannaberg posiada kilka naczep dłużycowych Super Wing Carrier

Transport escorts

‘Our transports are so large and heavy that on some days we have more than 40 goods vehicles with escorts on the road. We do some of the escorting ourselves, some we hire and in Germany our transports are often escorted by the police. Escorting is a very important part of our business and therefore we make sure that our large transports are escorted by very experienced people who are familiar with the entire route. This is important, because one wrong turnoff can mean hours of delay. Reversing a combination that is more than 50 metres long is a big problem.’

Close cooperation

‘Transannaberg has grown during recent years by working closely together with a small number of suppliers. In our business we are often under time pressure. If we turn up too late, an entire construction team will often be waiting for us. Nooteboom employees think the same way too: a problem must be solved today, because tomorrow it will be twice as big. We can rely on Nooteboom.’

transannaberg-mpl
The latest addition to their transport fleet is the MPL-145-37(VV), a semi low-loader with 7 axle lines and a Multidolly with 3 axle lines

Wind park Aßlar

Near the German town of Aßlar, 6 new windmills are being built. The six windmills together have a capacity of nearly 20 MW. Because the windmills are located in the middle of a nature reserve, the construction is carried out observing all kinds of measures to keep the environmental impact to a minimum. To use a Liebherr 630 EC-70 H tower crane for building the windmills was an important decision. With this crane fewer heavy transports through the woods and through the surrounding villages were needed. Clever use of the existing roads through the woods means there is as little damage as possible. There is one small disadvantage: on their route through the woods the tower sections have to negotiate a short but steep descent, followed by a short, steep hill. To help them a strong Titan 6×6 tractor will be at the ready at all times.

transannaberg-windpark-aslar
Najnowszym dodatkiem do floty są naczepy MANOOVR MPL-145-37(VV), w kombinacji z 7 liniami osiowymi oraz wózkiem Multidolly o 3 liniach osiowych

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