Today’s Big Event on Horatio Harris Creek Road

A big-ass load in the middle of my road

Our neighbor Bob texted Krissy and told her to tell me to get out my fancy camera because something big was about to come down the road. He was right; about twenty minutes later, and preceded by the Ohio Highway Patrol blocking off the road and providing an honor guard, this big damn truck rumbled down the pavement, carrying… well, I think it’s probably part of a wind turbine, but honestly I don’t know.

Why our road? Probably because it’s rural and there’s not a huge amount of traffic, so shutting it down won’t inconvenience too many people, and because from where the road connects to the main street of Bradford, about a half mile down, the road is one long straight shot west all the way to the Indiana state line. Which is good because I can tell you, watching this thing turn onto our road for ten minutes, this rig is not exactly good on curves.

And that’s our excitement today! Welcome to rural America, folks. You never know what’s going to happen next.

— JS

23 Comments on “Today’s Big Event on Horatio Harris Creek Road”

  1. Saw a similar truck once in a small town in Arizona or New Mexico (on our trip from Katy TX to UT) carrying one wind turbine blade.

    It was trying a left turn in the middle of town. Big production. Found a side road to get around the traffic blockage, so didn’t wait around for them to finish the turn.

    But interesting to see the technique.

  2. Pretty sure that’s a tiny piece of a petro-chemical reactor/cracker unit. They’re building an ethane cracker unit in one of the Chemical Valley plants near Charleston WV on the Kanawha River, and some pieces I’ve seen there waiting to be lifted into their eventually permanently installed vertical position look just like this unit.

    Towers for windmills are tapered and as smooth as an industrial component can be, blades are also huge but obviously curved blade shapes. Here’s a link to a not-yet-surrounded by accessory equipment cracker going up in TX:

  3. @J R in WV,

    Sounds plausible. I’m not familiar with the equipment you are talking about, but the thing in the picture does look like a pressure vessel of some sort.

  4. It’s a pressure vessel of a type that is typically used in refineries for producing refined petroleum products. This particular vessel looks to be one that is usually referred to as a “tower,” such as a “distillation tower,” that includes numerous internal components for performing whatever chemical process it was designed for. The upper smaller diameter section probably produces lighter separated hydrocarbons, whereas the lower larger diameter section would produce heavier hydrocarbons that may be piped to another vessel where additional processing may be performed. You’ll note that there are a lot of rectangularly shaped plates (called “clips”) that are attached by welding to the outer surfaces of the vessel. These are used to support ladders and platforms that are bolted to the “clips” for access by personnel for operations and maintenance.

    Here’s a link to brief summary of types of distillation towers –>

    And here’s a link to some photos of such towers in refinery settings –>

  5. I think that’s a pressure vessel. The tower of a wind turbine is usually tapered, narrower at the top, and has a smooth surface without the various bumps visible on that thing. Also, the tower of a wind turbine is usually shipped in sections that are assembled on site.

    The BLADES of a wind turbine are shipped as complete units. Here in Iowa, wind tunnel components are a very common sight. Usually there will be a procession of three blades, preceded and followed by smaller vehicles with flashing lights and warning signs. Here in Eastern Iowa they use barges on the Mississippi River to get the blades most of the way, then they go by truck to the field where they will be installed.

    A procession of wind turbine blades rolling past is a very impressive sight. Those blades are longer than the wings of a Boeing 747 airliner.

  6. As a chemical engineer I can tell you thats def a column for a petrochem plant. I couldn’t tell you if its a cracker, distallation or something else from the photo.

    I too would bet on fractionation column by the fact the top is smaller diameter.

  7. timeliebe – Central NY – Dreaded Spouse-Creature to bestselling fantasy author Tamora Pierce (SONG OF THE LIONESS, THE CIRCLE OPENS, BEKA COOPER: A TORTALL LEGEND series), a co-author of TORTALL: A SPY'S GUIDE, Co-author with Tamora Pierce of Marvel's WHITE TIGER: A HERO'S OBSESSION for Marvel Comics. Contributing Editor for VIDEO Magazine during the 1990s, Columnist for C/Net 1999 - 2002.

    Wow, I thought it was missile at first!

    Well, glad it’s not blocking your road any more….

  8. People — please! Take the blinders off!! This is clearly a tank of vaccination chip refills being hustled through the boonies so that the rest of the sheeple don’t catch on. PASS the WORD before the picture and the website are BANNED by the Google AND Twitter.

  9. It’s probably a distillation column, possibly a different part of a petrochemical plant like a cracker (if the bottom was in view we’d know more). But:

    It might be Dr Manhattan’s sex toy.

    So tell me: Which possibility sounds most interesting?

  10. They demolished a petroleum distillery near where I live a few years ago and some parts looked exactly like this.
    So I agree with the other commenters about that.
    It’s very sad that someone is still building those these days.

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