GSS Durango Project

Global Specialized Services recently completed a major crane and transportation project in Durango, Colorado. This was the first project that GSS utilized its 500-ton crane, constructing a parking structure for a hotel that is currently in the process of being built. 

GSS was awarded the project in April of 2023 by a longtime partner who continually utilizes TAKKION for various projects, large and small. 

“We developed this relationship with the client a couple of years ago when we did a job for them in Jackson Hole with one of our Demag AC250-5(300 ton),” said Michael Orr, the Crane Operations Manager for GSS. “It was the same type of work – precast concrete – but the job in Jackson was a lot smaller and didn’t require the same type of crane we used with this most recent job. But we developed such a good working relationship with these guys because of that job that they rely heavily on us now for all of their crane and transportation needs.” 

Orr stated that GSS was provided the opportunity to work with this client due to the fact that the company continues to prove itself as the industry leader in providing solutions for heavy haul transportation and crane services.  

“When they first called us about a job in Jackson, Wyoming, it was really short notice,” Orr said. “The guy that contacted me asked if I could come and look at the job in Jackson that very same day. And I did. I went down there and jumped on it on a moment’s notice. I got together with him and went over it with him, and we did some pre-planning for the job right there, on-site. And he told me, ‘Honestly, I didn’t expect you to come down here and look at this job, but since you jumped through some hoops and made it happen, we’re probably not going to ever shop for another crane company. We’re just going to use you guys.’” 

And that’s exactly what they’ve done ever since. 

That’s what led to the most recent project. GSS, for the very first time, utilized its AC7.450 

The AC7.450 is a 500-ton crane with 7-axles. It has the longest reach of any 6 or 7-axle crane and it has a 410’max tip height. It’s got a 262’ main boom, and it is the only crane in its class that can mobilize with the boom attached under standard allowable DOT axle weights. The AC7.450 is as compact as any 6-axle crane, but it has the capacity of many 8-axle cranes, with new features like the SSL (Sideways Superlift) Design. 

“We bought this crane envisioning doing a lot of up-tower windmill work,” Orr stated. “When this job came up, they wanted us to use a crawler [crane], but I went down there and looked at the site and realized that the crawler just wasn’t a good option. So I talked to them, and we came to a mutual agreement that the AC-450 was a much better option because the maneuverability of it allows us to fit into tight spots a lot better than the crawler would.” 

Orr stated that three or four different people worked on the Durango job, including an on-site manager, a rigger, and an on-site transportation trucker. Orr himself would oversee the project a few days a week as well. During the project, the AC-7.450 lifted over 369 panels, and transported every one of them from the origin. 

“When the loads are delivered on time, it saves a lot of headache and it also saves a lot of money because the crane’s not sitting there, waiting on loads to arrive,” Orr offered. “With that being said, the client knows that there’s not going to be a lot of downtime for the crane, because we’re managing the trucking as well. So it’s really a win-win for the customer and for us.” 

Speaking of win-win, this project as a whole was a big win for all parties involved, and it continued to prove that GSS is an industry leader when it comes to transportation and material handling of major structures. By doing such an incredible job building the parking structure outside of a hotel in Durango, the owner of said hotel immediately took notice and asked to work with GSS as well. 

“After completing this project, there was another project that followed that didn’t have anything to do with our previous client,” Orr said. “The owner of the hotel where we built the lot saw the way that we worked, and saw our equipment and our professionalism, and he came up to me and asked if we would be interested in setting the hotel modulars. This is going to end up being a four-story hotel, which will make it the tallest building in Durango. So I told him we were absolutely interested, and we will be going back to set all those modulars.” 

GSS was offered a new, different project simply because the client saw just how well they performed. This is yet another example of GSS setting the standard in this industry. They will begin working on the modulars in December of this year. Orr also stated that because of this project and because of Ashley Thrun’s trucking management skills, GSS now handles 90% of this customer’s transportation needs. 

“This new job shows off our diversity too,” Orr beamed. “We’re going from a precast job right into a modular job, which are two totally different sectors. But we can handle it all. And, right now, our 450 [crane] is actually on a wind farm, working on a generator swapt. So we’re going from a wind job, to a compressor job, and then back to this modular job in Durango.” 

There is a lot that the AC7.450 crane can do and a lot that GSS as a whole can do. The Durango project was proof of that. 

“I think this project really demonstrated our diversity and what our capabilities are,” Orr said. “It showed that our capabilities are basically limitless. We’re able to jump from one sector into another without missing a beat. And it also demonstrated our dependability. We prove ourselves with each and every project we complete.”

GSS Repower Projects

Global Specialized Services was recently awarded and completed three Repower projects for a brand-new customer.

The projects – Community Wind South(CWS), Elk Wind, and Hawkeye Wind Farm – involved the transportation of multiple wind tower components across the country. 

The three projects consisted of transporting all above-tower components from the V110 turbine from multiple TP&L locations to project locations in Minnesota and Northeast Iowa. The components were transported over 700 miles, and their successful delivery set the tone for the remaining two projects. All turbines were delivered within the initial budget, on schedule, and most importantly without any incidents or injuries.

“It was a really good, really successful project,” said Aaron Nirider, the Senior Project Manager for GSS. “It really set us up for the next two projects that we did for them.”

The next projects were the Elk Wind Project and the Hawkeye Project. 

The Elk Wind Project involved the transportation of 17 Nacells, Hubs, Blade sets, DTA’s, and Generators – from O’Neill, Nebraska, to Greeley, Iowa; over 400 miles. 

The Hawkeye Project, as the name suggests, was another 400-mile project in which 15 Nacelles, Hubs, Blade sets, DTA’s, and Generators were also loaded out of O’Neill, Nebraska, and delivered to Hawkeye, Iowa. 

All three Repower Projects proved that GSS continues to deliver in more ways than one. 

“We received all three jobs at the same time,” Nirider shared. “But the first project we completed really set the tone. Especially with them being a new customer, it was really good to show them, especially on that first project, what we’re all about and how we do business.” 

Nirider stated that he spoke with the customer shortly after the completion of the CWS project to get feedback on the company’s performance. 

“They were very impressed with us,” he said. “They were very excited for us to start the remaining projects, and afterward, they said they were impressed with those too. Each project kind of compounded on itself and helped the next one. By the end of it, they were extremely pleased with our work and, hopefully, some future work will come out of it.” 

Nirider stated that each project had 12 drivers, as well as a site manager. Nirider said the site manager, Bob Marino, oversaw all three projects and did an incredible job. 

“A lot of the credit is given to Bob for his work on these,” he stated. “With the logistics onsite, keeping good face with the customer, and everything else he did. He did a great job.” 

As did the drivers. Each of the 12 drivers operated efficiently, effectively, and, most of all, safely. Safety, as is always the case with Takkion companies, was the number one priority. 

“It’s the most important aspect of any project we do,” Nirider said. “Everything in our company is dependent on how we put our safety procedures in place. We ran route surveys prior to loading the components to make sure that there were no obstructions, such as power lines hanging low, bridges, construction, and to make sure all the turns could be made safely.

Safety is the number one consideration on any and every project Takkion takes on, and one of the most important aspects of safety and of the success of the project as a whole is communication.

“Another important part of any successful project is communication. These three projects specifically had great lines of communication between the trucks, the site, and the office. There are many reasons why these projects were successful, and the fact that the communication was streamlined was a big driver of that success”, Nirider said.

Altogether, these three projects – CWS, Elk Wind, and Hawkeye – were a big victory for GSS and for Takkion as a whole. They completed all three projects with only two minor incidents. Most importantly, they were a victory for the customer. GSS strives to deliver consistent customer service in each and every project they complete. These latest projects were just further examples of that.

GSS and TP&L Partner Together on Foote Creek Wind Farm Project

When Takkion acquired Transportation Partners & Logistics, Global Specialized Services, Airway Services, and RENEW Energy, the overarching goal was to become an all-in-one service provider in the wind industry. Since these acquisitions, several key projects have been just that, with the Foote Creek Wind Farm being one of the most recent examples of the partnership between the companies.

Recently, GSS and TP&L worked together to offload, store, complete maintenance on, transport, offload, and erect all necessary components of the Foote Creek Wind Farm – a 41.4-megawatt renewable energy project located in Carbon County, Wyoming.

“In 2020, we transported 10 wind turbines from Colorado to Casper, and they went into storage,” said Dylan Wisroth, the Senior Operations Manager for Global Specialized Services. “They were stored and maintained by TP&L for three years, leading up to the Foote Creek Project. 10 of the 11 wind turbines used in that project were stored by TP&L.”

“All the maintenance was complete for the turbines prior to them going out into the field,” he stated. “And it’s a really cool project because it is one of the first ones that we handled together from start to finish – from transportation, to maintenance, to storage, and then to final offload and erection.”

The Foote Creek project, which is scheduled to be up and fully functional by the end of 2023, isn’t just a victory for TP&L and GSS – it’s a victory for all of the Takkion companies, and it’s a prime example of just what can be accomplished when these teams work together.

“This is a special project for all of us at Takkion,” Wisroth said. “It’s definitely the first time we’ve done a full, turnkey project like this.”

It’s been stated that the turbine technology of this wind farm will increase the energy output of the entire facility by 60 percent, producing enough energy to power 19,500 “typical” homes throughout this region in Wyoming. It’s an important project, and it wouldn’t have happened the way it did without the combined efforts of TP&L and GSS.

“When Takkion was built, our dream from day one has been to strategically acquire other companies and position ourselves as a one-stop-shop,” Wisroth said. “This is full-scope, from start to finish. It wasn’t necessarily awarded to us as a full-scope project at the very beginning due to the services being separated between multiple customers, but it became full-scope by the end of it, which is really special and is an accolade for Takkion in and of itself. This project is a monumental project that everyone within Takkion is proud of.“

That success will continue to present itself in the coming weeks, months, and years, and it is a testament to a motto, a mindset, that everybody throughout all Takkion companies exemplifies.

“It’s something we bring up in every senior management meeting when we’re all sitting around the same table talking about growth and future opportunities,” Wisroth revealed. The motto is ‘One team, one goal, one standard.’ We’re one team, we have one goal in mind, and we’re offering the same high-quality standard across the board.”

The Foote Creek Wind Farm project is proof of that.

Global Specialized Services Recognized for Industry Support and Dedication

Global Specialized Services recently received a Longevity Award from the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association. SC&RA is an international organization comprised of more than 1,350 members from 46 nations. 

SC&RA’s Longevity Awards are presented to member companies for their longtime support and dedication to the Association and its mission. GSS was recognized with the 10-Year Award. 

GSS is committed to its mission of excellence. It keeps the company focused on providing customers with the highest quality service, overseen by their highly trained team and helmed by over 50 years of experience in the trucking industry. 

Firms across the United States and around the world submit dozens of entries to the SC&RA Awards competition each year. The Awards program recognizes worldwide excellence in the crane, rigging, and specialized transportation industry. 

GSS is proud to work with the top 25 asset owners and the top OEMs in North America. It is an affiliate of Transportation Partners & Logistics who, in 2012, operated the largest wind distribution hub in North America. 

GSS provides industry-leading solutions for heavy haul transportation and crane services, and it has done so for more than a decade. 

“The SC&RA has helped GSS lean on other members of the organization in the crane and transportation business to help complete projects quickly and efficiently for our vast customer base. I have had the unique pleasure of collaborating with a good number of individuals and companies from the SC&RA, successfully utilizing them as subcontractors under our scope on a number of different project. One this is clear and consistent among the SC&RA companies: Having a high level of integrity and get the job done safely and efficiently, whatever it takes. The SC&RA has been a vital part to our successful partnerships in the industry.”  Matt Orr, General Manager GSS

Global Specialized Services has, and will continue to serve their clients within their industries for years to come. They have what it takes to produce the highest quality experience when it comes to project site transportation and logistics. This award is proof of that. 

About SC&RAThe Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) is an international trade association of more than 1,350 members from 46 nations. Our members are involved in specialized transportation, crane and rigging operations, machinery moving and erecting, industrial maintenance, millwrighting, manufacturing, concrete pumping, and rental services. SC&RA helps members run more efficient and safer businesses by monitoring and affecting pending legislation and regulatory policies at the state and national levels and researching and reporting on safety concerns and best business practices. For more information, visit

GSS – Blade Move

Global Specialized Services, LLC and Transportation Partners & Logistics have recently partnered for a project out of Enid, Oklahoma, in which 34 wind turbine towers were transported to a wind farm in Crescent, Oklahoma. 

While this would be just another day in the life of a TP&L and GSS employee, this particular story stands out because of the size of the blades. 

They were 80 meters long, making them the largest blades that GSS has ever moved on a traditional beam trailer. 

“The distance between the two locations was only about 50 miles, but the overall length was close to 300 feet going down the road,” said Aaron Nirider, a project manager with GSS. “There were definitely challenges that went along with that, so I guess we’re fortunate that it was only 50 miles.” 

Still, distance aside, the fact that this project transported such large blades nearly 50 miles – without one incident or accident – merits acknowledgement. 

Of course, when transporting blades of that size, as Nirider alluded to, there are a myriad of challenges associated with the transport but, as always, both GSS and TP&L proved that they were up to the challenge. 

“The first big challenge is obviously permitting,” Nirider said. “That includes working with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and getting a permitted route that is doable. The other challenge that comes with that is once you get the permit and are physically running the blades, you have to make sure that we are set up correctly on all of our turns.”

In order to do that, project managers have to work with contractors to pull signs and build radiuses, ensuring that they have enough room to make those corners. 

Matt Athey, the project manager directly involved with this blade move, stated that there are a lot of logistics to consider when it comes to moving blades of any size, let alone blades that are 80 meters long. 

“Permits are a big deal,” he reiterated. “Especially when you’re running that large of components. Especially in Oklahoma, it takes a little longer to get permits back. So there’s a lot of coordination ahead of time to make sure that you have permits for every run.”

Athey stated that GSS ran nine trucks every day that were hauling 12 different components on the route. 

“It shows that we can be efficient, but safe,” Athey said. “We haven’t had any incidents. We’re spacing our trucks out, keeping the DOT happy, the trooper’s happy and, most importantly, the customer happy.”

He stated that GSS has 34 total towers to deliver for this project, with 12 components per tower. The team delivered one tower a day, in order to meet the delivery schedule of the customer. 

Another big consideration throughout this whole process are the actual roads they travel. 

“We had to do a lot of civil work too,” Nirider said. “A lot of pre-project civil work. Coming out of our yard in Enid, Oklahoma, we actually had to build a radius through the right-of-way on Highway 412, so we could travel across the oncoming lane, the median, and into the eastbound lane in order to get these blades out of our yard. This was necessary because we couldn’t make the turn out of our yard on the road that is already there.

So, GSS met with several different civil companies, landscaping companies, and land surveying companies to create a new radius, in order to make the turns with the blades.

“A lot of work was done with drafting, with AutoCAD, AutoTurn, with aerial imagery, and more,” Nirider offered. “A lot of planning was put into place before the project even started, in order to make sure it was successful.”

That reason, and many more, are why GSS, TP&L, and all of the TAKKION companies have cemented themselves as the standard bearers of the wind industry. They put in the work before, during, and after any project for which they are hired. 

“It’s a long process but, in the end, we do everything we can to meet all of our customers’ needs,” Nirider said. “Obviously, in this case, one of their needs was to get these blades to site. So we’re gonna do what it takes to get them to site. It doesn’t matter how long out we need to start working on a project; we’ll start doing it in order to make sure that it’s done right.” 

That is the attitude that separates GSS from any of its competitors. That is the mindset that allows TAKKION to continue to serve customers across the country, ensuring to them that their projects are in the best of hands. 

“These are the largest blades we’ve hauled,” Nirider stated. “It just kind of goes to show you GSS’s capabilities – there’s nothing that we can’t do. As these manufacturers keep coming out with these bigger, longer, and heavier blades, we have to adapt to that. So being able to adapt to that and being versatile, we’re able to keep up in the industry and take on these projects and run them safely and efficiently.

GSS- AC-450

Global Specialized Services was proud to showcase the newest addition to its fleet of cranes – the AC 450 – at ConExpo-Con/AGG, the largest construction show in North America! 

The AC-450 is a 500-ton mobile hydraulic crane that runs on seven axles. This crane is as compact as 6-axle cranes, but it has the capacity of many 8-axle cranes. 

“This crane is one hundred percent mobile,” said Mike Orr, the Crane Operations Manager for GSS. “This cuts down on transportation costs, because mobilization makes this much more efficient and affordable than conventional crawler cranes. A crane of this size, in a crawler category, would probably be in the neighborhood of 25 loads; we can move this one in seven loads.” 

The AC-450’s mobilization is one of its most important features, but it’s not the only thing. 

“One of the benefits of this crane is that it’s got 260 feet of main boom,” Orr said. “Which means all you’ve got to do is pull up onto the job site, hang some counterweights, and you can send out 260 feet of boom and go to work. Or you can put it in 265 feet of luffing jib, which gives you a 410-foot max tip height.” 

Which means, in Layman’s terms, that it can reach really, really tall places. 

“With that kind of setback, you can reach the top of all wind towers for maintenance, gearbox changes, and more,” Orr stated. 

All of these features and more made the AC-450 the belle of the proverbial ball at the ConExpo-Con/AGG, which took place from March 13-17, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

“We’ve been talking about this crane for about eight months,” Orr said. “We secured the deal with Crane Works a couple months after we started talking about getting something in the 500-ton class. So, we partnered up with Crane Works and Tadano, and we found one that was going to be delivered and we found out that it was going to be the same crane that was coming to ConExpo, which really made them push it to get delivered overseas.”

It was delivered and it most certainly did deliver.

“It was actually the centerpiece of Tadano’s exhibit at ConExpo,” Orr said. “The expo itself was great. I went out the week before to make sure that the crane was in good shape and looked good for the show. And then we had really good conversations with Tadano and Crane Works and just went over a lot of the functions, processes, and procedures that go along with a crane of this magnitude.” 

At the expo, GSS also participated in a ‘passing-of-the-keys’ ceremony, as well as a customer appreciation dinner along with Crane Works. 

“It was a really neat experience,” Orr said. “I know for a fact that this crane in particular – there’s probably a hundred cranes in that show – and this crane here got, by far, the most attention.” 

As it should have. The AC-450 is a massive piece of equipment, but it moves like a much smaller crane. It has a capacity of 52,500 pounds at a 294-foot tip height and an 80-foot radius. It also has a 330,700-pound maximum counterweight.

“It’s a 500-ton crane that you don’t have to remove the boom from in order to move it,” Orr revealed. “It’s the only crane in its class, so you don’t have to remove the boom, which cuts down on a ton of transportation and it’s just a really neat looking crane. It’s just an amazing piece of equipment. It’s very impressive.” 

Despite its size, the mobility of the AC-450 is really its key defining feature. 

“This crane is 100% mobile,” Orr reiterated. “We can pull up to a job and get to work. It’s literally two hours from the time you pull up to the job, to the time you start working. It’s really raised our platform as a crane company and a crane provider.”

Orr, as well as every person who attended ConExpo, is in awe of this new crane. It’s a game-changer, and GSS is proud to have it. 

“The AC-450 will probably be the most versatile crane in the industry as of right now,” Orr stated. “Obviously they keep building things bigger and taller, but for what we’re dealing with right now, for everything that we’re working with, this is the crane. It’s the most versatile, heavy-lift crane that we have.”

Julie Masters Celebrates Ten Years with GSS/TP&L

Julie started working in the crane and trucking business seventeen years ago. She started as a crane dispatcher and converted over to a trucking broker. She started working for GSS in 2013 as their logistics coordinator. In the beginning, there were challenges, finding drivers to take loads and earn the business from new and familiar customers. 

“We all worked very hard to get the ball rolling, and before long, GSS was looking to expand the business and employees and we moved across town which is now the GSS & TP&L yards,” Julie said. “Ten years later, GSS is bigger, and always looking to expand our trucking, crane, and personnel needs.” 

Julie normally handles the brokerage for GSS. Moving cranes, wind components, equipment, for TP&L, IDS, and Renew, and lact units, and skids for companies in the oil industry. Her largest moves have been rig moves, and a drag line with more than 140 loads from Mississippi to ND a few years ago. 

“I feel like I have been fortunate to be mentored by the best in the business Jim Orr, Matt Orr, Justin Orr, Shana Anderson, Paul Masters, Clint Murray, Scott Miller, Paul Johnson, Mike Orr, Dylan Wisroth, Michael Pantuso, and many more including Trent Zempel, who in the beginning was our engineer, safety guy, permit guy, and much more,” Julie said. “Lorrie Blackford, also came with all of us to the best family-oriented, driven, and successful, new business. When we all started here ten years ago that is what we were all taking the chance on. Stability, a good working environment, and success, and we have all strived to keep achieving this goal. There have been new companies added who have helped with the success of all of the Takkion companies, and I appreciate all of their work ethic and drive for success. 

“I try to take great pride in my work, and keeping the customers very satisfied with our safety and mindset to be #1. There are days when you might feel defeated, but you keep the mindset to never quit. There are a lot of hours behind all these companies. Hard work, dedication, and striving for excellence; that is what makes us great. Good people, good product, and the best trained people in the business. That is what makes me hold my head up high, and feel proud of where we started, and where we are going. I appreciate all my coworkers, drivers, and customers. There is never a question that can’t be answered with all the experience in this company.”  

 “Julie is married to Paul Masters, who is also employed as the Southern Regional Manager for TP&L. They met working together in 2008 and lived in Wyoming until 2020. They decided to move to Fort Worth, TX in May of 2020 to be closer to Paul’s sites, and warmer weather. 

“We packed up our life, our two Golden Doodles Cooper, and Romeo, our dog Theo, and our cat Zeus, and here we are living our best life in Texas,”Julie said. 

 In November 2021 things took a sad turn when Julie’s younger sister Lindsay passed away in a car accident. Paul and Julie, not having any children of their own, became the permanent guardians of their niece Alexis who is now 9 years old. 

“We have always had a relationship with Alexis, and Paul is her favorite,” Julie said. “She now resides with us in Texas and we enjoy the fun and love she brings to our life. You can always catch us hanging by our pool in the summer months or singing to Paul’s music in the car.  We recently went to Disneyland in October for her 9th birthday, and have plans to go somewhere educational this summer. 

“I love football, so you can catch us at an Alabama playoff game or now, a Dallas game once a year. Alexis wears her CD Lamb jersey with pride. Our life now revolves around her, and her volleyball camps, etc. We are living our best life. Paul and I used to live to work, and now with Alexis, it has taught us to enjoy the little things. A walk with our doodles, a movie, or a trip to the zoo, or water park. The Reunion Tower is cool in Dallas.”

 Her brother Kyle is also in Texas now, and her Mom winters in Texas to be close to family. 

 “The last ten years have been amazing and I am grateful for all of the people I have met along the way,” Julie said. “Ashley helps me in brokerage, and we have big plans to expand more. She has been a great addition to our team. I would like to thank all the GSS drivers, crane operators, riggers, mechanics, office staff, and everyone who makes us great.  In ten years, I have seen a lot of promotions and people excel to do their very best. I miss my coworkers in WY, but I am never too far away. We take a day trip of fifteen hours about three times a year back home and that is what makes life worth living. This job has helped me grow as a person. When they said this about family they meant it, and I consider all of you mine. Here is to 10 more years. My husband and I often joke that one of us is always on the phone, but it is ‘the life.’ I appreciate the opportunities I have been given and look forward to another 10 years.”

Haul Box Movers

At Global Specialized Services, one of the biggest services we offer are heavy haul transports. This includes Haul Box Moves, which involve moving and offloading oversized loads of coal, iron, or other materials to different sites across the country. 

One of the key people involved in Haul Box Moves is Condo Edwards, the Dispatch Permitting Specialist for GSS. 

While working for Austin Engineering, Edwards developed a close relationship with GSS and eventually wanted to make a career move. So he came to the company and began working primarily in the permitting department. 

When moving heavy loads across the United States, getting the correct type of permits are required in order to actually perform the transport. That’s where Edwards comes in, which is why he’s such an integral part of Haul Box Moves. 

“When I worked down at [Austin Engineering], I was sending quotes to Matt,” Edwards said. “Now that I work for GSS, they’re sending quotes to me, and I’m quoting them. Matt has just kind of handed that off to me to take care of, seeing as how I know how to load them, what we can haul, what type of equipment we’re going to need for the weights and widths we haul, etc.” 

There’s a process involved in Haul Box Moves, and that process illustrates how pivotal Edwards is to the entire operation. 

“Austin will send me a quote,” Edwards said. “I’ll figure out what the miles are, what we’re gonna charge per mile, the fuel costs, the permit costs, the pilot car costs, and the police escort costs because some states require police escorts. So I have to figure out which states they are, and then I have to go through my big book telling me what permits we need and what we’re going to be allowed to haul and where we can haul it, depending on the size of these things. 

GSS performs route surveys to ensure that drivers won’t run into any powerlines or telephone poles, or bridges, or any other obstruction. 

“The route survey will pinpoint all those obstacles, and then, when we get to the mine site, we make sure to do a complete job safety analysis,” Michael Orr offered. “We get everybody on board and have a nice 10-15 minute discussion of any hazards, anything to watch out for, and we ask if anybody has any questions, they need to be addressed before we do the job.” 

Safety is the utmost priority, and it’s something that GSS – something that Michael Orr and Condo Edwards, personally – take seriously. 

GSS’ commitment to safety is just one of the reasons why Austin Engineering continues to hire them to perform these Haul Box Moves. 

“We’ve got the equipment to do what we need to do, and we can haul just about any size that is requested,” Edwards said. “We’ve got 10 years of experience hauling these things. The drivers that we’re putting on these projects have years of experience hauling these haul boxes at this width. We’ve become very proficient at hauling these and hauling them safely for the public and for everybody else involved in the process.” 

GSS: Magenta Wind Farm

Global Specialized Services was recently awarded the Magenta Wind Farm Project and they began making their first deliveries on November 14. 

The project came after GSS made a bid for it in the fourth quarter of 2021, and it was awarded in the spring of 2022. This will be GSS’ first project of the year for this specific client, and it’s a big one.

The Magenta Wind Farm is located in Fluvanna, Texas. GSS will be hauling components out of the Port of Aransas, Texas, as well as the Port of Brownsville, Texas. According to Aaron Nirider, Project Manager at GSS, the wind blades will be coming out of the Port of Brownsville, while the towers, nacelles, hubs, and drive trains will be coming out of the Port of Aransas.

Aaron Nirider said that this project is an exciting one, but it will also be a difficult project thanks, in part, to the eleven-part wind towers that will soon be getting erected. 

“There are five specific tower sections to these towers,” Nirider stated. “If you’re paying attention to the wind industry, you’ll notice that everything’s getting heavier. So right there, you’re faced with a challenge right off the bat. These blades are 77.5 meters, and just routing them through the state of Texas is a job in itself.” 

Luckily, GSS has partnered with the TXDOT to ensure a safe and speedy delivery process. 

“We’ve definitely worked hand-in-hand with the Texas Department of Transportation every day for the last four or five months,” Nirider said. “Especially trying to find routes. We realized that we’ve gotta work on this early enough on the front end to make sure we have everything lined up, but you have to understand that in Texas, construction pops up every so often.”

Construction aside, we have sent Scott Miller with GSS to run various route surveys, to determine bump-outs on turns, making sure they can get under and across bridges, and more. 

“That’s where our site survey specialist comes in,” Nirider said. “He physically runs the route and notes things like, ‘Even though TXDOT thinks we can make this turn, based on the length of this component, the turning radius and the steering angles of the trailer, we won’t be able to make the turn.’ And that’s when we try to find a different route.” 

Nirider said that GSS has two sets of equipment running each component out of the Port of Aransas, and 3-4 sets running the blades out of the Port of Brownsville. There are 11 total components to haul per tower and GSS has a total of 25 different trucks on this project. The entire project is made up of 38 total towers, and GSS is required to complete four towers a week, meaning the projected completion date is sometime in January. It’s a massive project, but the crew at GSS is more than up for the task. 

“We’re always in the business of customer service,” Nirider stated. “Especially with projects of this size. We’re always focused on keeping our customers updated with what we’re hearing on our end and just being very transparent with them on what’s going on with our routing, our permits, our start dates, when our trucks can actually be down there. We pride ourselves on being transparent. And we’ve gotten all good feedback from this customer so far. They understand the difficulty of these projects, based on the size of the components.

The client is confident, too. Because GSS has continued to prove itself with projects big and small. 

“We’ve got so much experience in our office; in the GSS office itself and through TP&L and all of our other companies,” Nirider said. “I think our customer service makes us the best choice for this project as well. We pride ourselves on customer service and making sure we can do everything in our power to get these components delivered to the site safely and on time.

And that’s exactly why the Magenta Wind Farm is in very, very good hands.

GSS Consulting Division

Global Specialized Services offers a wealth of services to customers in the Northwest and Midwest areas of the country, including trucking, heavy-haul, and crane services. GSS also offers Rail Logistics and can assist with everything from unloading at the dock, loading to rail, movement to truck, unloading products, and more.

Recently, GSS has added a Consulting Division to its repertoire, to assist customers in various types of scenarios when it comes to heavy-haul wind components.

“Service-wise, what we can provide is pre-construction consulting to help mitigate any potential issues that are going to come up on that project site in the future,” said Dylan Wisroth, the Senior Operations Manager with GSS.

Wisroth said that the consulting services GSS offers are vast and varied. They include in-person consulting, where consultants will meet with the customer and their team to go over whatever situation they may be facing. They will help them to decide that best haul routes, as well as how to build their string roads, how to build their radius’, how to go about getting permits, and more. In many cases, consultants will actually do the pre-project permitting themselves for the site, acquiring the permits and putting them in order for the customer.

Route planning is an especially large part of GSS’ Consulting Division, as that’s one of the most important parts of any project.

“Site surveys and route surveys are a big part of this service,” said Michael Pantuso, the Operations Field Manager with GSS. “Site surveys are huge. Route surveys are massive too, because these components keep getting larger and larger and the infrastructure in the United States is not set up for that. So having to find the right routes to get some of this equipment to sites, especially where they build the wind farms – those are crucial.”

Additionally, consultants can perform ‘load-outs,’ advising customers on the types of equipment and components to use for each project, as well as traffic control plans.

GSS can also provide customers with drone footage of potential land where projects may take place.

“If they just want a flyover to get the lay of the land so that they can supply that to their team, we can do that,” Wisroth stated. “We’ll just do an auto-turn based on a drone footage snapshot, because Google images are not as accurate. So, the best way to do it is with a drone. We’ll also do dry runs. So, if our customers get to a portion of the project and they believe that the roads are built to where they can get components in there and they want to do a dry run, we’ll actually have one of our trucks and blade trailers go out to the site and actually drive all the site roads to make sure that those clearances are good and that there are no issues. Those are all part of the consulting service.”

The Consulting Division of GSS is a labor of love for Pantuso, who has worked in the heavy-haul industry for almost three decades.

“Ever since I took this position, [consulting] was one of the things that I honed in on and focused on because there were so many areas that this could benefit the company in, and it could broaden our customer base,” Pantuso said. “My 5-year-plan is to have a very large division that employs quite a bit of people. I’d like to have 10 permanent people, just like myself, doing this all over North America and possibly going global with it. We can do this. This is something that’s really, really exciting. And it’s a great opportunity.”

Pantuso said his number one goal is to build the division, and his number two goal is for it to actually finance itself.

Both are goals that could very easily be attained.

Right now, Wisroth said there are only about three people heading up the division at the moment, but the more that word gets out that this is a service GSS offers, the more customers will want to utilize it, resulting in more people being hired to perform the consulting.

This is just one of the services that separate GSS from its competitors, but it’s a stark reminder that GSS is committed to providing beginning-to-end services, allowing customers to rest easy knowing that every step of the haul is being handled by true experts in the field.

And make no mistake about it, Pantuso is very much an expert in this field. He has the experience and, maybe even more importantly, he has the passion to see this division flourish.

“Every person that’s a part of this division are all former heavy haul truck drivers that are trained on all forms of equipment,” he stated. “Consistency is key. So, everybody that comes aboard is going to be trained exactly the same way, to do it exactly the same way, to assess the situation exactly the same way. And they’re all going to have real-world experience.”

Wisroth agreed.

“What separates us from our competitors is just the background of each of our guys on-site,” he stated. “Each one of them come with 25-plus years of heavy haul experience. And, for the most part, I think that we work in every area. We’ve done a lot of work in power plants, mining, wind, oil and gas, and more. And, really, the whole purpose of this division is to save these companies money. We can save companies millions of dollars.”

That is the biggest goal off the Consulting Division of GSS and it’s Pantuso’s goal as well – a goal that he believes his team is more than capable of reaching.

“If you take all the people that could make the decisions to run something here, we have well over 200 years of experience, collectively,” he said. “We have that mix between the younger generation in our office that are brilliant, and then we have my generation that are older and have done all of this stuff before. So, it’s a great mix that we put together, and I think we’re unstoppable.”