HeavyTorque prides itself on delivering a plethora of well-balanced technical and informative features – please see below a small selection of those stories gracing Issues I and II - January 2015 and April 2015 respectively.
Whole Vehicle type approval
SPECIFYING AND BUYING TRUCKS AND TRAILERS HAS NEVER BEEN EASY, BUT THE ADVENT OF NEW TYPE APPROVAL LEGISLATION BRINGS WITH IT EXTRA PITFALLS FOR THE STGO OPERATOR. HEAVYTORQUE LOOKS AT THE AIMS OF THE NEW RULES
As with much legislation that affects road transport, the ECWVTA (European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval) legislation seeks to run a hot iron over Europe, and get rid of any creases in the way vehicles are designed and built. For truck manufacturers, there are certainly associated costs, but for trailer makers it is even more expensive. As of the end of October 2014, the rules now consider a vehicle chassis and its body as a single unit to be type approved, not two products as previously.
HEAVYTORQUE LEARNS ABOUT ALE’S LATEST DEVELOPMENT, BUT ALSO DETAILS ITS LINKS WITH THE UK’S HEAVY HAULAGE INDUSTRY OF YESTERYEAR
When it comes to the history of ultra-heavy haulage in the UK, the number six has often had some significance. In the immediate post-war period, Wynns infamously rebuilt six ex-military Pacific M26 ‘Dragon Wagons’ as heavy prime movers. These were to have a major impact, both visual and functional, on the heavy haulage that was required to rebuild the country after the conflict.
Then, in the late 1970s, Scammell produced six Mark 2 Contractors, with pivotal design input from Stan Anderson, Wynns’ chief fleet engineer at the time. Again these gave – and, in some cases, still provide – sterling service, with many anecdotal accounts of moving gross weights that far exceed the design ratings.
Fast-forward to the present day, and we are witnessing an example of a premier transport engineering company building, in house, six specialist prime movers to meet the specific needs which are unique to this industry. ALE, the Hixon, Stafford based heavy transportation and engineering company has just revealed to the public its latest solution for providing traction for moving massive, indivisible loads for the foreseeable future.
HEAVY HAULAGE SPECIALISTS HAVEN’T WARMED TO AUTOMATED MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS (AMTS) AS MUCH AS REGULAR 44-TONNE OPERATORS, GENERALLY PREFERRING MANUAL BOXES. HEAVY TORQUE HAS BEEN TO GERMANY AND DRIVEN SOMETHING THAT MAY CHANGE THEIR MINDS. HEAVYTORQUE REPORTS FROM MUNSINGEN
Truck manufacturers are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to developing specialist chassis for niche markets. The numbers often just don’t stack up with the investment taking years to recoup. Truck factories that produce on a grand scale, and with in excess of 100,000 trucks a year coming off the line at Mercedes-Benz Wörth plant near Karlsruhe, it is the biggest in Europe, often operate on economies of scale that do not favour specialist buyers.
Heavier Loads, Heavier Products
DOES THE ABILITY TO TRANSPORT HEAVIER LOADS ENCOURAGE INDUSTRIES TO PRODUCE BIGGER PRODUCTS? OR IS THE SITUATION IN REVERSE, WHERE LARGER CONSTRUCTIONS DEMAND SUITABLE METHODS OF MOVEMENT TO BE DEVELOPED? HEAVYTORQUE INVESTIGATES
The world of heavy haulage is fraught with hurdles to be overcome, and troubles with the UK’s road network – and the planning and organisation of routes – comes near the top of the list. The problems may not be new, but they certainly continue to challenge hauliers and specialist freight movement companies. If anything, the conundrums are becoming more
difficult to solve, as the size of the parts that are being moved are growing, along with the vehicles that move them.
In the past few months, the industry has seen major investments by major operators in equipment from a number of manufacturers, such as Goldhofer and Scheuerle, which illustrates the direction the market is travelling in. However, one look at the history of self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs) produced by TII Group confirms just how much the systems have evolved - and why they have needed to.
Days Gone By
A REGULAR SERIES THAT LOOKS BACK AT HOW LIFE USED TO BE IN THE WORLD OF HEAVY HAULAGE. THIS ISSUE, HEAVYTORQUE CHARTS THE MOVEMENT OF A REGENERATOR IN CHESHIRE, FOLLOWING AN OIL REFINERY UPGRADE IN 1986
The not so silent majority can always be relied upon to have opinions regarding the price of fuel, the need for better roads, and the cost of energy. But once such infrastructure improvements create the need for abnormal/indivisible loads to be moved, those same people will be even more vocal that things “shouldn’t occur on that route”. There are, however, occasions, when a movement is so spectacular that the interest, and wow factor, is great enough to overwhelm even the staunchest NIMBY.
One such event was in December 1986, when a 647-tonne component, forming part of a £400 million upgrade at an oil refinery in Cheshire, was transported 11km along public highways from the nearest quayside to the construction site.
The Combination Game
WANT TO KNOW WHICH MANUFACTURERS OFFER WHAT WHEN IT COMES TO VEHICLE CONFIGURATIONS FOR CONSTRUCTION AND USE? HEAVYTORQUE IS YOUR GUIDE
The biggest combinations used by specialist transport companies might tend to attract the most attention, many operators find that their busiest outfits tend to be three-axle tractor units pulling three - or four-axle step frame trailers. These combinations provide a high level of flexibility, often grossing between 44 and 65 tonnes, possibly going as far as 80 tonnes, dependent upon specification. For many fleets these adaptable outfits are key to their operation, the ability to handle medium weight STGO Cat 2 loads and still be employed on normal Construction and Use work when required is vital.
With so many choices, it is sometimes difficult to appreciate who offers what, so here is a guide to manufacturer specifications.
GEMMA GRIMES, DIRECTOR OF ONSHORE RENEWABLES AT RENEWABLEUK, EXPLAINS WHY BRITAIN IS APPROACHING A DECISIVE MOMENT FOR ONSHORE WIND ENERGY
It is now just a matter of weeks before we know the result of what is promising to be one of the most unpredictable elections in British political history. All the opinion polls indicate that the forthcoming general election is too close to call; anything from a Conservative majority to a Labour-led coalition is possible.
At RenewableUK, we have been looking at all the potential scenarios quite closely as the outcome of May’s election could have significant ramifications for the UK’s wind industry.
IN A WORLD WHERE THE MAXIMUM WEIGHT OF A TRANSPORTABLE CARGO SEEMS TO BE ON AN UPWARD TREND, OPERATORS ARE KEEN TO USE THE MOST EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE TECHNIQUES TO GET ITEMS FROM A TO B. HOWEVER, THERE IS MORE THAN ONE WAY TO MOVE A HEAVY LOAD, EXPLAINS HEAVYTORQUE
The business of shifting heavy loads is possibly as old as civilisation itself. As soon as man tried to adapt his surrounding to suit his needs, there was a need to either move heavy objects to a place where they were useful, or out of the way.
In the modern world many heavy transport companies offer a range of specialist installation/removal services to their customers as part of a package. These services can include lifting, jacking and skidding heavy loads to get them either from a heavy transport vehicle to their required location, or vice-versa. Many of these specialists have turned this work into an art form, using a subtle combination of modern technology and techniques developed over generations.
Safer roads, Safer driving
COURSE ORGANISERS ARE TARGETTING TOWN AND CITY CENTRES IN A BID TO TRY AND IMPROVE DRIVING STANDARDS THROUGHOUT THE INDUSTRY. HEAVYTORQUE REPORTS ON WHAT EFFECT THEY COULD HAVE IN THE FUTURE
As we all know, safety is paramount throughout the heavy haulage industry, and the introduction of Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) strived to improve safety and help maintain high standards of driving. Many operators welcomed this standard with open arms, and around 1.1 million hours of Driver CPC training was logged in July 2014 alone.
As the dust settles on the first round of training, it’s clear that operators are dedicated to these safety standards across the transport, heavy haulage and abnormal load sector. Drivers are now becoming used to the idea of completing seven hours of training each year for the next five years in order to maintain their CPC qualification.
Days gone by
WHAT TOM SUNTER ACHIEVED WITH THE MOVEMENT OF 238-TONNE BOILERS FOR THE BRADWELL POWER STATION HAS BECOME FOLKLORE IN THE HEAVY HAULAGE INDUSTRY. AS HEAVYTORQUE RECALLS, THE OCCASION SHOWED HOW THE SUNTER BROS TEAM PROVED THEY WERE A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH.
Ever since the days of moving those plinths of rock to Stonehenge, the heavy haulage world has regularly achieved what normal mortals have thought was downright impossible. Although when it came to Bradwell Power Station, even some of the specialists shook their heads at what Tom Sunter was contemplating.
If details of the job arrived on the desk today, any heavy haulier worth their salt could have given a quote almost off the top of their head. True, they’d need to be capable of handling a concentrated 235 tons mass, but with two – three at best – 250 tonne eight wheelers in the arsenal, then the weight isn’t much to get excited about.
With load dimensions of 92ft-long and 22ft in diameter, you’d also need to push some modular axles under the load and, of course, probably set the trailer up at 3-file wide for added stability. But again, many could say, “been there – done that”, plus there’s always the self-propelled technology to use if needed.
Moving these masses – 12 of them in total, stretched out over an 18-month period – involved a 263-mile journey by road. As the manufacturer was on Teesside and the delivery point on the Essex coast at Bradwell, the Highway Authorities would have probably dictated a maritime involvement down the North Sea coast.
These days, such a job is just a walk in the park to an industry that can call on cranes to lift almost anything, anywhere. The assistance of Ro-Ro shipping/barges means that a few phone calls would tie the job together quicker than it would take to type out its mission statement.
The trouble is this job query didn’t land on the desk today, it was around 60 years ago. Back in the mid-1950s, the ro-ro shipping pioneers of Aberthaw and Kingsnorth Fisher were still to be formed, while the mobile crane world thought that a 20-tonne lifter was massive. And anyway, who, on earth, can move close to 300 tonnes, from a standing start, up a 1:10 incline? Fortunately, back then, someone had a plan.