Leading Orange County Engineering Firm Begins Moving Six Giant Coke Drums This Week; Uses Proven Processes from Moving the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

ANAHEIM, CA — Recent high-profile transportation projects have increased awareness around the science of moving massive objects and more specifically Plump Engineering, a fully integrated architecture and engineering firm specializing in transporting heavy objects through urban environments. Currently, Plump Engineering is working with the Chevron El Segundo Refinery to move six giant coke drums that measure 100 feet long and 28 feet across, and weigh more than 500,000 pounds.

In the last 12 months, Plump Engineering has demonstrated its experience through the successful moves of a 340-ton rock used in the “Levitated Mass” exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Space Shuttle Endeavour from LAX to the California Science Center. The firm has created a proven process for deciphering the best routes, shielding city infrastructure and limiting any impact on traffic or environments.
“Our engineering process begins with considering all possibilities to ensure the safe journey of any massive object regardless of size and weight,” said Richard Plump, principal of Plump Engineering. “At this stage, we have this transportation process down to a science; however, with the coke drum project, moving six gigantic objects verses one required special planning and a detailed, time-sensitive schedule.”

For Chevron, Plump Engineering implemented a comprehensive suite of engineering services to protect roadways along the Pacific Coast Highway and Sepulveda Boulevard, preventing damage to sewer/storm drain systems, protecting all underground utilities, and safeguarding above-ground wires and traffic signals. This process requires extensive planning and exploration to meet transportation standards.
“We worked with state, county and local municipalities to ensure the safe movement of the coke drums and minimize the impact on local businesses and residents,” said Steve Wicklund, project manager with Plump Engineering.

“Our relevant experience in transporting the Space Shuttle Endeavour last year helped us to create a detailed logistics and transportation plan for this project.”

As part of the transportation process, Plump Engineering continually measures infrastructure along the entire route as the drums are moved during the overnight hours of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on special transporters. Limited road closures will take place along the route beginning February 20, and continuing through the next two consecutive Wednesdays on February 27 and March 6. These coke drums, which were manufactured in Spain, will replace current models in the Chevron refinery's coke unit, where materials like gasoline, diesel and jet fuel are derived from crude oil.

“There is a lot of complexity involved in preparing and conducting a move of this scale,” said Plump. “Addressing the myriad of potential above-and-beyond complications is what we do, and transporting massive objects will continue to be a signature service for our firm.”



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