Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.
Where there are open spaces, we take wind turbines for granted.
Amazon, and we assume there was no problem getting them there.
Sometimes, though, things are a little different.
A video posted last week to Facebook showed Scottish transport company McFadyens trying to maneuver a 198-foot wind turbine blade on a trailer around a 90-degree turn on a tiny road in the Scottish Highlands.
The world was mesmerized. More than 4 million people have watched it. Praise for the driver and his companions was enormous.
How could he not only get it round the bend, but also actually keep the truck in the right lane (or the left lane, as they call it in the UK)?
How was it possible that it missed hitting something by seeming inches? It slowly edged around a corner whose designers had surely never envisaged such a vast machine’s mission.
So I contacted McFadyen’s owner Charles McFadyen and wondered how much practice such a maneuver might involve.
It turns out the answer was “plenty.”
“For this project we need to complete the same turn 198 times,” he says.
Won’t this make the drivers a touch demented? The precision required seems astonishing.
“Coming from Campbeltown in the West Coast of Scotland, we are used to these type of roads, but for sure we only employ the best drivers around,” McFadyen tells me.
The trailer is made by Nooteboom in the Netherlands and McFadyen says that his company, founded in 1901, simply has the expertise for these things.
So the next time you see wind turbines just standing there, trying to do some good for mankind, consider for a moment the effort it might have taken to get them there.
Correction, Oct. 9, 9 p.m. PT: An earlier version of this article omitted that this is one blade.