Naval Shipyard Improves Processes with Transporter Fleet

Shipyard Industry


To maintain fleet readiness for the United States’ submarines, Naval Sea Systems Command uses Wheelift transporters in its global shipyard facilities.


Provide a heavy-capacity lift handling system with omni-directional movement capabilities, incremental positioning accuracy, and reliability in a coastal marine environment.


A fleet with 8 self-loading Wheelift transporters that together provide flexibility and capacity to aid dry-dock, yard, and machine shop applications in the naval shipyard.


  • 150-ton individual capacities
  • Multi-mode capabilities for up to 600-ton capacity
  • Ability to operate in hostile environments
  • 10” vertical lift
  • +/- 4 degree articulation
  • Diesel power source
  • Naval Heavy Capacity Assembly

    Wheelift transporters allows the Navy to accurately position and place large, heavy parts for assembly.

  • Naval hardware being shipped to Wheelift

    A truck delivering Navy hardware to the Wheelift facility in Waterloo, Iowa.

  • Naval Submarine Heavy Assembly

    The Navy uses multiple Wheelift transporters in tandem to place long shafts on vessels.

  • Wheelift team

    The entire Wheelift team takes great pride in every transporter we make.

  • Naval Omni Directional Transporter

    Omni-directional travel, even in multi-mode, allows transport flexibility.

  • Navy Uses Wheelift Transporters for Submarine Assembly

    The United States Navy uses Wheelift transporters to assemble Navy vessels.

  • Heavy Load Transporter for Submarine Assembly

    With vertical lift, Wheelift transporters can self-load by driving under the loaded pallets.

About the Product.

The Naval Sea Systems Command employs Wheelift transporters to lift, transport, and process major propulsor and shaft components, as well as other large components within the shipyards.

Transporters in the fleet can work individually or in multi-mode as part of a system of transporters that act as a single higher-capacity transporter. When operating concurrently, a single operator using a single controller operates multiple transporters.

The transporters have the capability to precisely and accurately lift, transport, and control a load possessing a high degree of maneuverability. They automatically control a load’s position by adjusting to variations in the surface over which it rolls, while imparting low contact pressures to those underlying surfaces. Wheelift technology enables effortless travel over 6-degree slopes and climbs through a wide variety of obstructions or depressions.

The Wheelift transporters at the coastal shipyard operate in a very hostile environment, including dirt/grit, high humidity, salt spray, wind velocities of 25 MPH, and air temperatures ranging from -20°F (-29°C) to +110°F (43°C).

The shipyard saw the following benefits:

  • Significant process improvements, which led to reductions in fleet downtime
  • Reductions in non-value-added tooling setups and staging labor
  • Complete process flexibility through a universal handling platform

Would a fleet of heavy-capacity Wheelift transporters streamline your manufacturing processes? Contact us for a free analysis.