ISSUE TWENTY SEVEN: WITH 140+ PAGES OF FIRST-CLASS HEAVY HAULAGE CONTENT, WHAT MORE CAN YOU WISH FOR? HEAVYTORQUE, BRITAIN’S BEST LOVED SPECIALIST TRANSPORT TITLE!
I am delighted to advise that Issue 27 (July 2021) is now in the hands of our printers. It will be printed over the next 10 days and we expect to have the magazine in circulation for the beginning of July (late June).
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COVER STORY: RAISING THE BAR!
BACK IN MAY, EDINBURGH-BASED, BERNARD HUNTER MOBILE CRANES HIT NEW HEIGHTS WITH SCOTLAND’S FIRST 700-TONNE LIEBHERR CRANE. HEAVYTORQUE CALLED IN AT THE FIRM’S GILMERTON ROAD HEADQUARTERS TO REPORT ON A BOOM IN BUSINESS.
As three heavy duty Volvo tractors struggled to move an 85 tonne tower section up a steep icy track on a windswept Norwegian mountain way beyond the Arctic Circle, Tim Martin must have had second thoughts about his decision to expand into Scandinavia. But it wasn’t the first risk he’d taken. Back in 2014, Lisburn-based Mar-Train had opened a new operation in County Limerick, in the Republic of Ireland, and became the first heavy haulage company to have both a UK and Irish haulage licence. It was their experience with moving wind turbine components on both sides of the border and throughout the UK which led to them working on a wind farm project in the north of Norway and ultimately to the establishment of Mar-Train Heavy Haulage (Norway) AS at the end of last year.
SEVERAL TRANSPORT OFFICES HAVE DIECAST SCALE MODELS OF THEIR VEHICLES ON DISPLAY, AND MANY HAULAGE ENTHUSIASTS HAVE THEIR OWN SMALL COLLECTIONS. BUT HEAVYTORQUE HAS BEEN TALKING TO A COMMERCIAL PILOT IN CYPRUS WHO HAS TAKEN MODEL COLLECTING TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL.
There’s not much that Modestos Meletiou hasn’t driven in his time. From bulldozers and forklift trucks, through lowloaders and fuel tankers, to helicopters and commercial jets. His current job during the summer is piloting a fire-fighting plane to tackle wildfires over his native Cyprus. But whatever he’s doing during the day, he always comes back to the same thing at night: assembling die-cast models. He has over 6,500 at present, including what’s believed to be the world’s biggest collection of 1:200 scale civilian aircraft models.
STEPSTAR, AIMED AT THE LIGHTER END
GOLDHOFER PLANS TO INCREASE ITS MARKET SHARE IN THE UK AND MARK HOWE HAS BEEN BROUGHT IN TO HEAD THE OPERATION. HEAVYTORQUE FINDS OUT ABOUT THE CONCEPT BEHIND THE STEPSTAR AND THE RANGE OF AFTERMARKET SERVICES THAT ARE BEING INTRODUCED.
German specialist trailer manufacturer Goldhofer is well known in the UK for its wide range of superbly engineered specialist designs, with particular emphasis upon the heavy end of the market with its multi-axle modular equipment, SPMT’s, girder bridge and other deck options, along with specialist extenders and numerous other high capacity designs. It also offers a wide range of step-frame designs with a number of axle and suspension options, including the innovative MPA hydraulic MacPherson Strut design, the STZ-L and STZ-H beam axle designs with air and hydraulic suspension respectively. Also the ARCUS P and PK designs, with pendle axles able to handle payloads of up to 130 tonnes.
ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR
RJC LOWLOADERS IN HIGHAM FERRERS IN NORTHAMPTONSHIRE IS ONE OF A GROUP OF COMPANIES BEARING THE INITIALS OF THE MAN WHO STARTED HIS FIRST HAULAGE BUSINESS MORE THAN 50 YEARS AGO. RAYMOND JAMES CRAWLEY MAY BE 75 NOW, BUT IS SHOWING NO SIGNS OF SLOWING DOWN, AS HEAVYTORQUE DISCOVERS.
At the age of 15, Ray Crawley didn’t run off to join the circus, but he probably did the next best thing. He joined a travelling fair. From 1961 to 1971 he worked for Thurston’s Family Fun Fair. He operated various rides, including the Waltzer, and later he ran a stall with his young wife, Janet. But as far as he was concerned, the best bit was when the fair packed up and moved on to the next town. “I was a second man to start with,” he tells me. “We had an ex-Pickfords Scammell. It took three men and a piece of rope to start it. We used to tow three trailers, and I loved it.”
STEPPING ACROSS BORDERS ON A REGULAR BASIS
FAMILY-OWNED POTTERIES HEAVY HAULAGE HAS OVER 25 YEARS’ EXPERIENCE OF MOVING ABNORMAL LOADS THROUGHOUT THE UK, IRELAND AND EUROPE AND IS CENTRALLY LOCATED IN STOKE-ON-TRENT, STAFFORDSHIRE. HEAVYTORQUE TALKS TO ITS OPERATIONS MANAGER ROBERT POWELL.
Specialist heavy transport is a demanding business at the best of times, requiring regular investment in the latest equipment, employing suitably qualified staff, and having the operational and support services required for a company to function safely, efficiently, and profitably. Step outside the UK on a regular basis and it becomes far more challenging – a considerable number of additional rules and regulations have to be complied with. The operator has to contend with lower axle weights, permit requirements, escort regulations, strict curfew hours for movements. All of this invariably differs between countries. Furthermore, the equipment operated has to comply with these additional rules, which can be at odds with our own domestic rules. Britain’s recent exit from the EU and the reintroduction of customs regulations, has added even more complexity to the task of moving oversized loads across borders.
WITH A LARGE FLEET OF HIGHLY DISTINCTIVE TRUCKS AND TRAILERS BACKED UP BY A COMPREHENSIVE WORKSHOP FACILITY, EAST SUSSEX-BASED RECOVERY SPECIALIST MICK GOULD COMMERCIALS IS READY FOR PRETTY MUCH ANYTHING, AS HEAVYTORQUE FINDS OUT.
If you’ve ever spent much time on the M20, M25 or M26 motorways in the south east of England, the chances are you’ll have spotted one of Mick Gould Commercials’ recovery vehicles. And you won’t just have given them a cursory glance, either, because the company’s fleet stands out from the crowd in a way few others can, incorporating a large number of classic bonneted North American trucks from Peterbilt, Kenworth, International and Western Star. The firm and its vehicle fleet have both come a long way from relatively humble roots back in 1983, when at the age of just 22, founder and MD Mick Gould set himself up as a sole trader to provide mobile commercial vehicle repairs, after cutting his teeth as an apprentice in an independent Foden dealership in Tunbridge Wells.
THE CHALLENGE TO TRANSPORT CRAWLER CRANES
HEAVY HAULAGE IS ONE OF THE MOST DEMANDING AND EXACTING SECTORS IN THE HAULAGE INDUSTRY. WHILE FOR SOME INVOLVED IN THE BUSINESS, OPERATING IN THE SECTOR HAS BEEN A CONSCIOUS CHOICE, FOR OTHERS IT’S NOT REALLY AN OPTION. THAT INCLUDES THE MANCHESTER-BASED Q CRANE AND PLANT HIRE, A MAJOR BUSINESS IN THE CRANE AND PLANT HIRE SECTOR. HEAVYTORQUE REPORTS.
Q Crane and Plant Hire can trace its roots back to a plant hire business established in 1972 to service the needs of a family civil engineering business. As the plant hire business grew, an obvious development path was to establish it as a commercial crane and plant hire business to supply third party customers. Q Crane and Plant Hire was launched by Anthony Quinn, the current managing director, introducing the first hydraulic crawler crane for hire in 1998. Since then it has been a story of continued investment, gradually growing the business and adding new equipment to the crane and plant hire fleets to build it into the business that it is today.
CONVENTIONAL LONGER AND HEAVIER ON TRIAL
VOLVO TRUCKS HAS BROUGHT A SWEDISH SPECIFICATION 6×2 RIGID AND A PURPOSE-BUILT TANDEM AXLE DOLLY INTO THE UK FOR TESTING. HEAVYTORQUE GETS TO DRIVE IT.
The heavy transport industry has by definition, operated vehicles that exceed the weights and dimensions allowed under the Construction and Use (C&U) Regulations for generations, but most operators within this sector operate conventional vehicles that give much needed flexibility, because a fair proportion of the workload might not require an oversize outfit.
Over the years the UK authorities have gradually increased the maximum gross weight for C&U operation. Back in 1964 articulated combinations were granted an uplift from 24 to 32 imperial tons. This remained in force until 1983, when five-axle artics were allowed to go to 38 tonnes, drawbar outfits lagged behind for some years, but eventually caught up, weight limits were increased to 40/41 tonnes and eventually 44 tonnes on six axles in the first decade of this century.