WITH OVER 130+ PAGES OF FIRST-CLASS HEAVY HAULAGE CONTENT, WHAT MORE CAN YOU WISH FOR? HEAVYTORQUE, BRITAIN’S BEST LOVED SPECIALIST TRANSPORT TITLE!
And so folks….. Issue 21 (January 2020) is now in the very capable hands of our printers, and we expect to have the magazine back, and in circulation the week of the New Year.
Again, if you’re not signed up to an annual subscription, then theres no time like the present to get your hands on what is ultimately Great Britain’s (or the worlds) best loved specialist transport title – please click here. If a subscription is not your thing, then of course you can order this issue by clicking the button below.
Please note, any orders placed between Wednesday 24th December – Wednesday 1st January will be fulfilled as soon as we return from the festive period.
Please see below a short insight on just some of the many features inside Issue Twenty One (January 2020):
COVER STORY: THE HIRE THE BETTER
ABBA PLANT HIRE IN LINCOLN HAS TAKEN DELIVERY OF A SECOND 150-TONNE MERCEDES AROCS. BUT IS IT HELPING TO MAKE MONEY MONEY MONEY FOR THE COMPANY? HEAVYTORQUE HAS BEEN TO MEET THE INSPIRING SELF-MADE MAN BEHIND THE BUSINESS, AND SEVERAL OTHER BUSINESSES TOO!
I must admit I was a bit disappointed when I visited the offices of Abba Plant Hire in an industrial estate on the outskirts of Lincoln. I was half-expecting staff to be wearing spangly satin jumpsuits with glittery platform shoes and to be humming the soundtrack of Mamma Mia. But the company has nothing to do with the Swedish supergroup. According to John Martin-Hoyes, the founder and owner of the company, the name was chosen for very unglamorous reasons. “When we started the plant hire operation in 1983 it was long before the internet, so we needed a name that would be the first customers would find when they looked for plant hire companies in Yellow Pages. And you can’t get much closer to the beginning of the alphabet than A-B-B-A!” But the origins of the company go back a few years before 1983.
A FLEXIBLE AND LOYAL WORKFORCE
AUTOPLANT AND SISTER FIRM AUTO PAINT & BLAST OFFER A FULL SUITE OF SERVICES, FROM HGV, PLANT AND MACHINERY CONTRACT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR, ROADSIDE RECOVERY, GRIT BLASTING AND OF COURSE, LOW-LOADER HEAVY HAULAGE. BASED IN RENDLESHAM AND BUCKLESHAM IN SUFFOLK, THE BUSINESS HAS COME A LONG WAY SINCE ITS MD STRUCK OUT ON HIS OWN IN 2007.
Haulage can be a stressful game at the best of times, but it’s one that MD Michael Green of Autoplant enjoys and has developed to become a strong contender in the world of STGO movements. Autoplant is a business that is quite happy to hold its nerve if ever the wheels grind to a temporary halt and Green says this is down to the range of services it offers, as well as its flexible and loyal workforce. The group comprises contract maintenance and repair, lowloader recovery and machinery moves, as well as painting and blasting. Good staff are fiendishly difficult to find, but Green has found himself a bunch of devoted drivers, fitters, painters and engineers that can not only do a good job, they can also turn their hands to another part of the business should one side slow down.
BACK TO FLAT
FRUEHAUF HAS RE-ENTERED THE FLAT-TRAILER MARKET, AFTER MANY YEARS’ ABSENCE. HEAVYTORQUE TOOK A TRIP TO ITS 64-ACRE INVICTA WORKS, JUST OUTSIDE GRANTHAM, LINCOLNSHIRE, TO FIND OUT HOW IT HAPPENED.
At one time the humble flat platform, particularly in articulated form, was the backbone of the UK transport industry. They were used to transport almost every type of cargo as long as they could be loaded, retained and protected from the weather by a skilled driver. But over the past four decades curtainsiders, box vans and other specialised equipment have largely taken over this mainstream transport role. But there’s still a hard core of operators who have to use flat trailers because nothing else offers the same versatility for cargoes that cannot be readily carried with other types of bodywork.
NICHELY DOES IT ACROSS THE WATER
KENT-BASED CPL TRANSPORT SERVICES (UK) DOESN’T ADVERTISE. IT DOESN’T DO CONTRACT WORK EITHER. HEAVYTORQUE MEETS A THRIVING INTERNATIONAL AND ‘SPECIAL’ ABNORMAL LOADS COMPANY WITH EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SATISFACTION..
You may have seen one of CPL Transport Services (UK)’s outfits on the road. Its well-presented tractors sport a ‘less-is-more’ understated livery that suggests a highly-professional outfit. In short, it does what it says on the front of its trucks – International Abnormal Transport. Yet that’s hardly the full-story. While it doesn’t court publicity, some of the loads it has carried have certainly attracted attention. Like the 30ft-long Tyrannosaurus Rex which appeared in the BBC’s popular ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’ series. Managing director Colin Lumsden recalls with a wry smile: “The driver said he had some fun coming down the motorway with it. When you moved the steering wheel, its tail got a bit of movement. I was in my car and heard over the radio that there was a dinosaur on the M1 causing ‘a bit of a stir’…”
HIAB, WHICH STARTED OUT 75 YEARS AGO AS A SMALL SWEDISH MANUFACTURER, IS NOW PART OF THE CARGOTEC CORPORATION – A MULTI-NATIONAL ORGANISATION THAT PRODUCES A WIDE RANGE OF EQUIPMENT SOLD THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. HEAVYTORQUE VISITED ITS UK BASE AT ELLESMERE, SHROPSHIRE.
There is a very select group of companies whose products, and inadvertently their brand name, have become the generic term for almost every product in that particular sector. Think in terms of Hoover for vacuum cleaners, Jeep or Land Rover for 4x4s and JCB for excavators. The same applies to Hiab, one of the innovators and now the biggest manufacturer of truck-mounted lorry loaders and knuckle boom cranes.
IN THE DARK OVER SAFETY?
A RECENT POLICY CHANGE AT NORFOLK CONSTABULARY HAS FORCED ONE ABNORMAL LOADS CONSIGNOR THERE TO PUT OVERSIZED VEHICLES ONTO THE ROADS WHEN THEY ARE AT THEIR BUSIEST. HEAVYTORQUE FINDS OUT MORE.
Common sense dictates that it’s much safer to allow oversized loads to move about when the roads are at their quietest. Abnormal loads, after all, can pose a physical threat to other motorists, many of whom do not understand the manoeuvres large vehicles are forced to make. And such loads also tend to slow down traffic and frustrate other road users, which can clearly give rise to further issues. But common sense appears to be in short supply at Norfolk Constabulary, judging by the experiences of one abnormal loads operator in the region – which has been told by the police force there that it can no longer start journeys out of the area during the early hours of the morning, despite doing so without incident for years.
ON A ROLL
ABERDEEN-BASED DYCE CARRIERS LTD KEEPS ITS BUSINESS MOMENTUM MOVING FORWARD WITH AN ONGOING FOCUS ON ITS DIVERSE CUSTOMER BASE AND INVESTMENT IN NEW VEHICLE TECHNOLOGIES. HEAVYTORQUE VISITS THE GRANITE CITY TO TALK WITH MANAGING DIRECTOR, JASON MOIR AND TRANSPORT MANAGER, COLIN JOHNSTONE.
Diversification has been a key business element in Dyce Carriers’ success during the past 47 years. The discovery of North Sea oil in the early 1970s, launched many a business in North East Scotland, however, this operation began with parcel deliveries back in 1973. Company founder, the late Dave Moir, had previously worked in one of Aberdeen’s paper mills before spotting an opportunity to deliver and collect packages from his former employer. Starting out with a Morris Minor van, Moir, with his wife Jean working alongside, soon progressed to a Ford Transit and then onto the maker’s venerable D Series truck.
BECKS, BOGIES AND THE BIG BOPPER
EDWARD BECK AND SON’S BRIGHT YELLOW LOW LOADERS WERE A REGULAR SIGHT ON THE ROADS OF THE NORTH WEST FOR SEVERAL DECADES. BUT YOU COULDN’T MAKE UP THE STORY OF HOW THE BUSINESS FIRST STARTED. HEAVYTORQUE HAS BEEN SPEAKING TO EDWARD’S SON, TEDDY, WHO WAS THE LAST MANAGING DIRECTOR OF THE COMPANY BEFORE IT CLOSED IN 1972..
When they come to write the history of heavy haulage in the UK, whole chapters will be dedicated to people like Robert Wynn, Thomas Sunter and Siddle Cook. But I suspect there’ll be no mention of a Mr Pendlebury of Gatley in Cheshire. But if it hadn’t been for him, Edward Beck would probably never have started his heavy haulage operation. He left school in 1926 at the age of 14 and started work for the Manchester stationery firm, John Heywood. He didn’t really enjoy office work, and wanted a job outside, so when he was old enough, he applied to the civil engineering company, Sir Lindsay Parkinson, who were building the East Lancs Road at the time….