ISSUE TWENTY SIX: WITH 180 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 26 (April 2021) is now finally 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 April (late March).
Should you have missed out on our little teasers, please find herewith nine extremely good reasons why this is a must-buy!
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COVER STORY: MORE REINDEER, LESS STREET FURNITURE!
MAR-TRAIN HEAVY HAULAGE LTD., ESTABLISHED IN NORTHERN IRELAND MORE THAN FORTY YEARS AGO, HAS JUST OPENED A NEW BASE IN BERGEN, NORWAY, WHERE THE COMPANY IS SPECIALISING IN THE TRANSPORT OF COMPONENTS FOR WIND FARMS. MANAGING DIRECTOR TIM MARTIN HAS BEEN EXPLAINING TO JON HARLE HOW HEAVY HAULAGE DIFFERS IN THE LAND OF THE MIDNIGHT SUN.
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.
WHEN THE BOAT COMES IN
FAMILY-RUN PJ DOWNS & SONS HAS ACCRUED OVER 40 YEARS’ EXPERIENCE TRANSPORTING, BOATS, MASTS, MACHINERY AND MANY OTHER CARGO TYPES. JOHN HENDERSON TALKS TO SECOND GENERATION, ALLAN DOWNS ABOUT THE FIRM AND ITS LATEST FLAGSHIP SCANIA RIGID CRANE TRUCK.
The old saying ‘time and tide wait for no man,’ is particularly apt in road transport, where often as not you’re only as good as your last job. Timed deliveries are commonplace in our industry, but additionally, boat transporter PJ Downs & Sons also requires a good working knowledge of tides in and around the many harbours or marinas it’s worked in since 1979. The firm’s signature service has seen it transport virtually every type of vessel over the years, from houseboats, motor cruisers and racing yachts, right through to catamarans, royal barges and lifeboats.
SWEET AND LOW
WHEN VOLVO INTRODUCED ITS NEW VERSION OF THE I-SHIFT AUTOMATED TRANSMISSION IN MARCH 2016, WITH THE OPTION ON EITHER ONE OR TWO VERY LOW RATIO CRAWLER GEARS, THE HEAVY HAULAGE WORLD SAT UP AND TOOK NOTICE. BOB BEECH CATCHES UP WITH AE YATES, ONE OF THE FIRST OPERATORS TO USE THE VEHICLE WITH THE NEW TRANSMISSION.
Bolton-based AE Yates Group, is a civil engineering, piling, soil stabilisation, horizontal directional drilling and specialist construction services company, which operates its own heavy haulage division. It had recently replaced its existing FH16/600 6×4 tractor unit, with a new FH16/750 8×4 tridem tractor equipped with both the I-Shift crawler transmission and fully air-suspended rear bogie. The truck had already impressed both the operator and its regular driver with its early performance, so we were keen to see how it had fared over the intervening four years or so.
THE BONNET ENTHUSIASTS
OVER THE YEARS, LENGTH AND OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS HAVE CONSIGNED BONNETED TRUCKS TO THE PAST IN MOST AREAS APART FROM NORTH AMERICA. HOWEVER, THERE ARE STILL SOME ENTHUSIASTS WHO ARE ARE PREPARED TO PAY FOR WHAT THEY REALLY WANT. BOB BEECH EXPLAINS HOW SPECIALIST CONVERTERS ARE ADAPTING EXISTING FORWARD CONTROL VEHICLES TO MEET THEIR CUSTOMER’S REQUIREMENTS.
At one time bonneted tractor units were a regular feature of heavy haulage operations. British manufacturers such as Scammell built normal control designs covering the entire weight range, from a 25-tons Highwayman to a 240-tons Contractor. They created a huge impression upon all who saw them, but gradually the more compact forward control designs won out for all but the most specialist of heavyweight applications.
BASED IN THE EAST MIDLANDS THE COLLINS EARTHWORKS GROUP, WHICH OFFERS A WIDE RANGE OF SERVICES, HAS AN EXTENSIVE FLEET OF OVER 50 VEHICLES IN ITS TRANSPORT DIVISION AND ACHIEVES OVER 3,000 MOVEMENTS OF HEAVY PLANT EQUIPMENT EACH YEAR AND, AS BOB BEECH FINDS OUT, HAS A LOYALTY TO VOLVOS.
Collins Earthworks Group is well known for its strong allegiance to Volvo products. Its transport division, which includes tippers, heavy tractor units for the low-loaders and even the chassis for its road sweepers, all come from the Swedish manufacturer. But it doesn’t end there, the construction equipment fleet is dominated by Volvo – excavators, dump trucks and graders. If Volvo makes it, Collins almost certainly operates it. The transport division is responsible for shifting all of this equipment, along with other non-Volvo equipment, which includes bulldozers, tracked crushers and screening plant, soil stabilisation machines and a host of other lighter machines and assorted equipment.
HERBIE’S PROVES A BANGING SUCCESS
FROM OLD BANGERS TO BOMB-PROOF WINDOWS, THERE’S NOT MUCH HERBIE’S HAULAGE HASN’T MOVED SINCE THE BUSINESS WAS ESTABLISHED A SHADE LESS THAN TWO DECADES AGO. HARRISON THOMAS CAUGHT UP WITH OWNER DARREN ‘HERBIE’ HERBERT TO LEARN A LITTLE MORE.
If you want something large shifting and you’re based in the Northamptonshire area, then there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll be pointed in the direction of Herbie’s Haulage. Established in 2002, the low-loader and crane vehicle specialists has made quite a name over the past 19 years. Thanks in part to the business’s larger-than-life owner. Darren Herbert, aka ‘Herbie’, has built the company from scratch and now runs a fleet of eight Volvo trucks, transporting a wide range of heavy-duty machinery all around the UK.
IF THE ENGINE IS RUNNING, THEY’VE GOT SOUL!
MANY HEAVY TORQUE READERS COLLECT MODELS OF THEIR FAVOURITE TRUCKS, BUT DAVE WEEDON COLLECTS THE REAL THING. HE NOW OWNS SCORES OF CLASSIC HEAVY HAULAGE TRUCKS AND TRAILERS, AS WELL AS FIRE ENGINES, EXCAVATORS AND OTHER PLANT. JON HARLE HAS BEEN TO MEET HIM.
Dave Weedon has been passionate about big trucks since he was a small boy growing up in York. His best mate was Martin King, and Martin’s Dad, Lol King, was a driver with the legendary heavy haulage company, Elliott of York. “We used to love being taken up to Elliott’s yard to look around,” Weedon tells me. “I remember Lol lifting us up into the new cab of their Pacific. It was fabulous. Lol used to drive a Scammell Highwayman, then a Foden S20, and sometimes he’d take us out with him. We used to take turns to sit on the bonnet, because there was only one seat. I loved it. When I got a bit older, me and my mate used to cycle up to Northallerton to look at the vehicles and trailers in Sunters’ yard, or go across to Pickfords in Leeds.”
BRAKING NEW GROUND
DESPITE THE CHALLENGES OF A GLOBAL PANDEMIC, TOTALKARE COMPLETED A MOVE TO NEW PREMISES DURING 2020, IN ADDITION TO SUPPLYING RECORD NUMBERS OF ITS NEW MOBILE BRAKE TESTER UNITS. JOHN HENDERSON TALKS TO CEO DAVID HALL ABOUT A BUSINESS THAT SHOWS NO SIGNS OF SLOWING.
There was no shortage of moving stories during 2020, a year in which the global COVID-19 pandemic changed everything we thought we knew about business. Despite this background of uncertainty and restrictions, West Midlands-based Totalkare still managed to relocate to a new, purpose-built premises in Kingswinford. This marked a major milestone for the firm, established in 1953 as Walter Somers Material Handling, which had been based in Halesowen.
TRUE NORTHERN GRIT
ELLIOTTS OF YORK WAS A TRADITIONAL HEAVY HAULAGE COMPANY THAT DEVELOPED A REPUTATION FOR BEING ABLE TO MOVE PRETTY WELL ANYTHING UNTIL THE UNTIMELY DEATH OF ITS FOUNDER, EDWIN ELLIOTT, IN 1975. EDWIN’S SONS, EDWIN JUNIOR AND PETER, HAVE BEEN SPEAKING TO JON HARLE ABOUT THEIR FATHER’S REFUSAL TO BE BEATEN BY A LOAD.
Young Edwin Elliott was having a difficult day. It was the 1940s, Britain was at war, and he was trying to make a living with one of his first low-loaders, an old chain-drive Scammell with solid tyres. The Watford-based manufacturer had a reputation for building powerful vehicles that could move pretty well anything, but they weren’t too keen on stopping. And the brakes on Edwin’s Scammmell were particularly poor. He’d devised his own modification, involving a piece of rope tied to the foot pedal, which meant he was able to pump the brakes faster.