STARTING OUT IN 1976 WITH A SINGLE FORD “D” SERIES TRUCK, CHRIS BENNETT HEAVY HAULAGE, BASED IN BREDBURY, GREATER MANCHESTER, HAS GROWN TO BECOME A LEADING OPERATOR OF HEAVY FREIGHT AND GENERAL HAULAGE. BOB BEECH MEETS THE FAMILY.
PHOTOGRAPHY: CRAIG PUSEY
Building and sustaining a heavy haulage operation for over four decades is a considerable achievement, especially with the dramatic changes that the UK’s industrial base has undergone in this period. Back in the 70’s many of our northern towns had scores of heavy engineering and metal fabrication companies on almost every corner, this created strong demand for specialist hauliers to transport their products to construction sites, large industrial plants and the docks for export. Most operators were able to work within their own area for most of the time, even loads that took them to other parts of the country were invariably on behalf of local customers.
While we still have a considerable amount of heavy industry, much of it is now widely spread around the country. The heavy haulier has to be prepared to travel far and wide if that is what the customer demands. In addition, they have to offer a wide range of services in order to meet the needs of clients. This often includes, crane-equipped trucks, lighter rigid vehicles and all manner of specialist trailers in order to handle a wide range of different cargoes. The hauliers that have adapted to cope with this ever-changing marketplace have thrived, others that tried to resist change and failed to adapt have invariably struggled and in a number of instances disappeared.