Previously operated by Whitaker Tankers as an inland tanker barge, the Humber Navigator was identified by Robert Wynn and Sons Ltd as a vessel which could be converted to carry loads weighing up to some 300 tonnes.
On Friday 30th March 2001, Wynns conveyed an 11.5m long, 5.2m wide, 4.8m high representation of a transformer weighing approximately 270 tonnes, through the centre arch of the historic Town Bridge in Newark, Nottinghamshire a seven span masonry arch bridge built in 1775.
Before this trial was undertaken, it was previously thought impossible to navigate the river Trent with such huge loads beyond the first lock at Cromwell.
On completion of the trial, the vessel was purchased by Wynns Limited and renamed the Inland Navigator.
In conjunction with Foster North Associates, naval architects of Hull, Whitaker Tankers, certified by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and surveyors Liverpool and Glasgow Salvage Association, the vessel was comprehensively strengthened over a period of 5 months to carry large single piece Abnormal Indivisible Loads.
The Inland Navigator will carry single pieces up to some 300 tonnes or subject to surveys, single pieces or multiple loads up to 300 tonnes. The Inland Navigator provides unprecedented penetration of the inland waterway network and is capable of carrying abnormal loads to locations such as Leeds, Nottingham, Rotherham and Worcester.