Use of these hydraulically powered trailers, explained Mammoet, reduces the number of trucks required to pull and steer to one, while also enhancing trailer combination versatility, maneuverability, and safety.

The manufacturer said: "Traditionally, in road transport of very large and heavy cargo on multiple trailers, two or four trucks can be required at the front to pull and steer and two or four trucks at the back to push or brake assist.

"The trucks and trailers are mechanically connected, increasing pulling and braking power but limiting their maneuverability. Instead of trucks heavy haulage prime movers are also used – but all of them need to drive back empty."

Its new TPA-system has been developed in cooperation with Scheuerle, and is based on the Scheuerle K25 trailer that is fitted with a Power Pack Unit (PPU) that hydraulically powers 4 of the 6 axle lines.

This PPU is mounted at one or either end of the trailer, or can be placed on the prime mover to replace the counterweight for traction.

Each PPU is powered by a MTU V12 diesel engine, which is compliant with all emission requirements, and generates 1,000 horsepower and a traction power of over 40 tons.

Mammoet added: "The draw bar pull of the TPA is the equivalent of two fully loaded prime movers – meaning that one TPA can replace at least two trucks. This has a number of advantages.

"It reduces the length of the transport and greatly enhances maneuverability by requiring only one truck at the front to pull and steer.

"One single truck driver operating the system virtually eliminates communication errors – the key safety concern with multiple operators – greatly increasing safety on long haul transports."

Scheuerle is currently building two TPA-prototypes in the joint venture with Mammoet, and these will be field-tested this year.