M&S Transport

Delivering 3 Oversize Switchboards up And Down Dirt Tracks to Concrete Slabs in The Middle of One of The Highest Rainfall Zones on The Mid-NSW Coast

The Nepean Dam is a heritage-listed dam split across Avon in the Wingecarribee Shire, and Bargo in the Wollondilly Shire, in New South Wales, Australia. The reservoir created by the dam spreads across Avon, Bargo and Yerrinbool. It is a stunning natural water catchment, but not an easy destination to navigate when you are asked to deliver 3 large electrical switchboards.

M&S Transport were up for the challenge and set about planning for the assignment. Then the client told us we had to go up and down a couple of dirt tracks. They forgot to mention the old bridge crossing whilst accessible, was skinny.

The project management team at M&S Transport will often do a “fly-by” or “drive-by” of routes when asked to deliver large, over size freight or where the delivery address appears challenging. This was critical to the success of this delivery of very tall switchboards to the Bargo Dam.

The initial entry to the site identified the need to trim back a significant number of branches from overgrown trees that if left unchecked, would have resulted in damage to the switchboards and the vehicles themselves. Not too hard.

As our site inspection continued, it appeared that all was in order and the job could proceed. The drop point for switchboard 1 was simple enough, a concrete slab just down from the car park with no critical obstructions. But the drop points for switchboard 2 and 3 was anything but simple.

It turned out that the second location was accessible only via a dirt track that wound its way over the top of a large hill and then down the other side at a sharp incline. Challenging enough but not the hardest part. The hardest part was navigating the very thin old bridge crossing which required precision driving and support from front and rear spotters to complete safely.

In addition to tree-spotting along the way, checking both the width of the road and the height of over-hanging branches, the turning circle required for the final 2 switchboards kept us focused. We needed to be precise and confident with our teamwork which on this, and many other occasions, worked exceptionally well.

We overcame considerable delivery challenges to get the switchboards in place safely and securely.

Good advance planning derived from prudent and observant site visits helped make the difference for this assignment which tested our planners, drivers and vehicles!

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