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SKIATOOK, Oklahoma – An enormous piece of equipment is making its way through northern Oklahoma this week.
The ‘Contained Burn Chamber’ was built in Ponca City. There’s only one other like it in the world and that’s in Denmark.
On Wednesday, it traveled south on U.S Highway 75, and earlier in the day, when it got to Skiatook, it was a real traffic stopper. The company has been planning the move for months, and it has taken four days just to travel 65 miles. The hope is to have it to the Port of Catoosa by Friday.
It’s chained down to a special trailer that’s rolling on 96 wheels. though all those extra wheels don’t add speed.
“We average about 10 miles an hour,” driver Bobby Truelove said.
The crew has been at it since Monday, transporting the contained burn chamber from Ponca City to the Port of Catoosa.
Truelove led the way, with another semi pushing from behind.
“We’re gonna put it on a barge over here,” he said. “They can ship it down to Louisiana.”
The Louisiana National Guard hired Ponca City’s MJ&H Fabrication to build the vessel.
It will be used to burn off millions of pounds of unsecured gun powder. But before it can get to work, there’s the meticulous process of getting the chamber to its final destination.
“It gets pretty tiresome; you have to really pay attention to what you’re doing,” Truelove said.
Every power line and stop light in its path has to be raised. The turn from Oklahoma 11 on to Oklahoma 20 took more than 2 minutes.
The tank is 130 feet long and almost 26 feet in diameter, weighing in at 500,000 pounds.
“I’ve hauled some big loads, but not quite this big,” Truelove said.
It’s one of the largest pieces of equipment to ever be hauled through Oklahoma. It has snaked through several small towns along its route, bringing the locals out to look at every stop.
And 3-year-old JJ Vancuren even got to jump in the cab for a short ride.
Reporter: “How much do you think that tank weighs?”
JJ: “49 pounds!”
“One of the bosses [saw JJ] over there and told him he needed to get up here and look around,” Truelove said.
So he did, an experience for a little boy that might just be better than Christmas morning.
“It was awesome,” JJ said.