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Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

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The World's Longest Vehicle

Posted November 24, 2009 12:00 AM by dstrohl

LeTourneau land trains were built to access the most remote reaches of the arctic and to dwarf just about any other land vehicle in size.

Designed to traverse arctic conditions as well as sand and desert, the six-wheeled TC-497 Overland Train MkII used four Solar gas-turbine engines (at 1,170hp each, that's 4,680hp total) to spin generators that delivered juice to 54 total motors – one for each of its wheels. Of its 12 trailers, two were dedicated just to carrying the turbines and generators.

The Overland Train stretched 572 feet long, easily making it the world's longest vehicle. Funny enough, it could only carry 150 tons of freight – as much as the Sno-Freighter – though it carried such developments as steerable trailer wheels that allowed the entire train more maneuverability.

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#1

Re: The World's Longest Vehicle

11/25/2009 3:09 AM

The Overland Train stretched 572 feet long, easily making it the world's longest vehicle.

How about 9,800 feet

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#2

Re: The World's Longest Vehicle

11/25/2009 10:58 AM

Do these count as vehicles?

http://www.swapmeetdave.com/Humor/Workshop/Trencher.htm

http://www.chezjag.net/mining/mining.htm

These machines are about 645 feet long -- but they are self-propelled mining machines and so may not qualify as "vehicles." Still they are impressive! I got to see one on my last trip to Germany a few years ago.

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#3

Re: The World's Longest Vehicle

11/25/2009 2:32 PM

I seem to remember road trains in Australia being a touch longer

http://www.gouldtransport.com.au/world_records.html

the one in this article is 1018 metres long, which would make it 6 times as long. The road trains are also used on public roads. This particular roadtrain was operated on a private road, mining I think, and weighed 1072.3 tonnes. It also had 79 trailers to tow.

Unsure why the french claim the longest vehicle...maybe its just in france.

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#4
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Re: The World's Longest Vehicle

11/25/2009 9:22 PM

Mr R. G. LeTourneau (1888 to 1969) was an American inventer and manufacturer who pioneered much of the use electric traction in Off Highway Vehicles.

The LeTourneau company (Marathon LeTourneau) still manufacture front end loaders using electric traction, including the world's largest loader. Older designs are DC powered and later (larger) machines use Switched Reluctance traction motors.

LeTourneau's plant at 2300 N.E. Adams Street Peoria Illinois is now owned by Komatsu where they still manufacture Electric drive Dump trucks. Some of Mr LeTourneau's inventions including his cranes are still in operation at that site (it is on the Illinois River at LeTourneau point)

Mr LeTourneau's life works make interesting reading.

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#5
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Re: The World's Longest Vehicle

11/26/2009 2:07 PM

Mate,

to say you may be a little off topic would be a stretch. The only similarity to the topic your answer has is that the first topic talks about france and yours has an american with a french name.

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Re: The World's Longest Vehicle

11/26/2009 3:11 PM

Eh?

There's no mention of France or the French in the original article.
It does name the vehicle as a LeTourneau.
You were the first to mention the French.

OR have we all got mixed up here?

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Re: The World's Longest Vehicle

11/26/2009 3:45 PM

Randall,

sir I stand corrected. You are quite correct and it was I that first mentioned the french. The name Le Tourneau immediately brought to mind a frenchman.

Having apologised I still don't see how this vehicle can claim itself to be the longest in the world, especially as it only carries a minimal load.

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#8
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Re: The World's Longest Vehicle

11/27/2009 1:56 AM

No problem mate,

..........I still don't see how this vehicle can claim itself to be the longest in the world

Agreed: did you follow my original link:-

"The train carrying iron from Zouerate to the coast at Nouadhibou, is probably the world's longest train. Normally its length is as much as 3 kilometres. The whole journey takes around 12 hours, where almost 700 kilometres are covered. If you want to come to, or leave, Nouadhibou, there are no good alternatives to this train. But it should not be avoided anyway.
Nowadays, normal compartments have been put up. Up until a few years ago, sitting on top of the wagons, was all offered. This is still used, but it's unpleasant. The cost of travelling is just around $5 one way (1 ougiya per kilometre.)"

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#10
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Re: The World's Longest Vehicle

12/02/2009 11:47 PM

http://www.bhpbilliton.com/bb/ourBusinesses/ironOre/rail.jsp

Try this one Randall.

Hemel Hempstead, the home of Model Engineer Magazine, relevant or just interested in trains anyway?

The figures for the train have changed a bit. Back when I worked for BHP the trains were 240 ore cars with 105tonnes payload (25,000 tonnes). The plan was then to increase the payload per ore car by increasing the axle loading to 40tonnes. It seems like that has pretty much happened and they are hauling the same payload with less wagons or ore cars as they are called in the Pilbara (they were over 4km long then).

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#9
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Re: The World's Longest Vehicle

12/02/2009 11:32 PM

No, not off topic, just trying to politely inform you the machine had nothing to do with France and everything to do with the US.

The pictured road train is not the longest either, but the truck on board weighs 160 tonnes as it sits with no tyres or tray, and I have no idea what the float itself weighs. It did take 3 X 600hp + prime movers to get it up the hill. This is the Eton Range West of Mackay. The truck (960E) is the latest incarnation of the work begun by Mr LeTourneau.

The movie of the progress up the range is quite a sight, but way too big to post unfortunately.

There are several books and good data online about Mr LeTourneau, you will find them interesting.

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