$3 million boat makes pit stop in Craig | CraigDailyPress.com

$3 million boat makes pit stop in Craig

Lee Harstad

A heavy-weight journey from Wisconsin to Arizona made a stop-over in Craig Wednesday.

Perkins Specialized Transportation Contracting of Farmington, Minn., was pulling and pushing an enormous load with a maximum speed of 52 mph through the streets on the way to Arizona.

The load was a new, 315,000-pound, $3 million houseboat to be delivered to Lake Powell that lies in Utah and Arizona. The boat was built in La Crosse, Wisc., and the moving crew began the trek from La Crosse on Sept. 15 and should reach Lake Powell this weekend. From sunup to sundown each day the crew is on the move and is on schedule.

The 24-foot by 75-foot boat has a living space of 4,900 square feet, including eight bedrooms. Hauling a boat like this cross-country does cause a headache for other drivers as it is difficult for a boat of this size to share the highway.

According to Perkins rear escort David Latham, the crew does try to accommodate fellow travelers.

“We try not to cause any problems and try to be as courteous as possible. When a long string of cars lines up behind us, we pull over to let them pass,” Latham said. “I think we do a good job.”

According to Bob Hedstrom, push truck driver and load supervisor, the operation uses 108 tires 104 on the ground and four spares. His job is to push the boat while the truck in front pulls it. Hedstrom enjoys his job and, until they arrive in a city, it is somewhat uneventful.

“This is a good job for someone who likes to read books,” he said.

The tricky part comes into play once the crew enters a city.

According to Latham, the trailer is equipped with 3 feet of lift. It can be lowered to fit under objects such as bridges and raised to travel over obstacles such as railroad tracks. The trailer also has hydraulic steering systems in three different places.

As the boat travels through a city and faces a tight turn, the crew is able to turn and steer the boat by using a remote-control system and the hydraulic system.

The crew left Baggs, Wyo., Wednesday about 9:30 a.m. and arrived in Craig about noon. The boat was sold to the owner of Swift Trucking.