WITH OVER 130+ PAGES OF FIRST-CLASS HEAVY HAULAGE CONTENT, WHAT MORE CAN YOU WISH FOR? HEAVYTORQUE, BRITAIN’S BEST LOVED SPECIALIST TRANSPORT TITLE!
Issue 22 (April 2020) is now in the very capable hands of our printers, and we expect to have the magazine back, and in circulation week commencing 13th April.
Should you have missed out on our little teasers, please find herewith a short insight on what to expect from this latest bumper issue!
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 best niche transport title – to place your subscription order, please click here. If a subscription is not your thing, then of course you can order this issue by clicking the button below.
COVER STORY: VIRTUAL REALITY TURNS THE CORNER
FOR OVER 40 YEARS, THE SMALL SCOTTISH HIGHLAND TOWN OF WICK HAS WITNESSED HUGE SUBSEA OIL AND GAS STRUCTURES BEING MANOEUVRED THROUGH ITS NARROW STREETS. IT DIDN’T SEEM POSSIBLE TO MOVE EVEN LARGER TOWHEADS ALONG THE ROUTE – UNTIL HEAVY TRANSPORT SPECIALIST MAMMOET AND OFFSHORE ENGINEERING CONTRACTOR SUBSEA 7 BROUGHT IN CUTTING-EDGE VIRTUAL REALITY AND SELF-PROPELLED TRANSPORT TECHNOLOGIES. JOHN MALCOLM TELLS THE STORY.
Since 1980 Subsea 7, a global leader in the delivery of offshore energy projects and services, has operated a unique site in the far North-east of Scotland at Wester, near Wick, where it fabricates subsea systems called Pipeline Bundles for the North Sea oil and gas market.
These are massive structures, up to 7.7km in length and weighing up to 10,500 tonnes, which are launched at Wester by a fleet of tugs and vessels that haul the completed Pipeline Bundles off the narrow gauge rail lines, down temporary launch ways and out to sea. The Pipeline Bundles are submerged and towed by tugs at a controlled water depth, keeping clear of the seabed to avoid stress fatigue-inducing wave motions and surface shipping traffic.
YOU SAY TOMATO
BUCKS-BASED TOMATO PLANT DOESN’T ADVERTISE, DOESN’T PUT TELEPHONE NUMBERS ON ITS TRUCKS AND USES SOCIAL MEDIA TO SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT ITS BUSINESS. BRIAN WEATHERLEY MEETS A COMPANY THAT PLAYS BY ITS OWN RULES.
Let’s face it Tomato Plant isn’t your average ‘run-of the-mill’ plant haulier. One look at its trucks tells you the Iver, Bucks-based company is quirky, original and just a little bit irreverent. It’s a philosophy founder Keith Williams has stuck with ever since 2011. But then as he freely admits: “I’m easily bored, I like a bit of fun. We’re never going to be a pallet haulier. I like specialised, ‘interesting’ markets.”
Sitting chatting to Williams and general manager Mark Dyos is like listening to a pair of well-rehearsed sporting pundits – there’s a lot of banter and cross-talk, but like all the best pundits it’s backed up by an awful lot of knowledge and experience. Or to put it another way, the humour never gets in the way of the serious stuff.
FIVE YEARS AGO, ONE OF OUR READERS WAS INSPIRED BY AN ARTICLE IN THIS MAGAZINE. JON HARLE HAS BEEN SPEAKING TO THE MAN WHO CAN ONLY BE DESCRIBED AS A MODEL CITIZEN!
When Ray Harrison, a ground support engineer at Stansted Airport, saw the feature in the very first edition of Heavy Torque about ALE’s new Trojan ballasted tractors, he thought to himself “I want one of them!” Not a real one! That would have been a bit expensive, and it’s unlikely his driveway could have supported the 72 tonne weight. But Harrison, who lives in Felixstowe, is a radio-controlled (RC) model enthusiast, and he vowed to build a model Trojan.
Harrison, who’s now 58, has been building RC models for about 15 years. He started off with boats, before turning his attention to trucks, and, particularly, heavy haulage vehicles. Until he started his Trojan project, his biggest model had been a double-swan-neck girder trailer carrying a….
MAN STEPS FORWARD
NEW HEAVILY-REVISED MAN RANGE WAS LAUNCHED AT A LAVISH PRESS EVENT IN BILBOA, NORTHERN SPAIN. BOB BEECH WENT ALONG TO SURVEY THE NEW VEHICLES AND TAKE A TEST DRIVE.
The new trucks will replace the existing range from 7.5 to 250 tonnes over the next few months and represents a major step forward for the German-based manufacturer. The launch concentrated on the heavier models and MAN has worked hard to both increase market share and win back customer confidence in the UK after issues with Euro 5 EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) only engines. The company has been totally upfront about these problems and dealt with them in a very professional way. The respective Euro 6 version of the D26 12.4-litre engine is substantially modified, it appears to be pretty much trouble-free and increasing numbers are in service with fleets of all sizes.
NEW UK DISTRIBUTOR MM ACQUISITIONS IS CONSTANTLY IMPROVING THE VIABILITY OF KÄSSBOHRER’S TRAILER BRAND IN THE UK, AS ROBIN MECZES FINDS OUT.
An improved product based on premium components, with shorter lead times, faster delivery of spare parts and a warranty that includes full roadside recovery… since becoming the UK agent for Kässbohrer last autumn, MM Acquisitions has been busy pulling out the stops in reviving the brand’s value proposition.
Based in Preston, Lancashire, MM Acquisitions has been involved in used vehicle sales for over 25 years, selling everything from 7.5-tonners up to heavy-duty tractor units and from curtainsiders to low-loaders. But from October last year, it added a new string to its bow when it became the sole UK sales agent for Kässbohrer.
CONCORDE’S LIFE IN THE SLOW LANE
CONCORDE MAY HAVE BEEN A SUPERSONIC PASSENGER AIRCRAFT AND THE PLAYTHING OF THE RICH AND FAMOUS, BUT AS JON HARLE REPORTS, IT WAS MOVED AT A SNAIL’S PACE BY LOW-LOADER AT THE START, AND AT THE FINISH, OF ITS CAREER.
It’s a memory that’ll stay with me forever. It was one of those glorious summer evenings during the long school holidays of 1969. I was 12 years old, and kicking a football around with a few friends near where I lived in Gloucestershire when we heard an aeroplane approaching. It was nothing unusual to see planes flying overhead, but this one sounded different, and quite low. We stopped the game and looked up, to see the prototype Concorde 002 drifting noisily across the blue sky, the late evening sunlight glinting on those graceful white wings. It was the most magnificent thing we’d ever seen, like a real life space rocket, and it was low enough for us to see the red stripe along the length of the fuselage, and the blue flash on the tail. We watched, enthralled, as it disappeared from view, presumably on its way to RAF Fairford where it was based at the time. The game of football was forgotten as we ran home to tell our parents that we’d seen the most famous aeroplane in the world.
CAUTION KEEPS THE WHEELS TURNING
AXLE HAULAGE HAS BUILT ITS REPUTATION BY RESISTING THE OPPORTUNITY TO GROW TOO FAST TOO QUICKLY AND INSTEAD HAS CHOSEN THE LESS RISKY ROUTE OF STEADY, ORGANIC GROWTH, CONTINUOUS REINVESTMENT AND HELPING TO KEEP ITS LOYAL CUSTOMERS INFORMED OF INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS. CHRIS TINDALL FINDS OUT HOW THE BEDFORDSHIRE HAULIER HAS KEPT THE WHEELS TURNING FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS.
Tucked away on an unassuming Dunstable street, nestled between a quantity surveyor and a fish and chip shop, sits the head office of nationwide heavy haulage, groupage, contract vehicle hire and warehousing firm Axle Haulage. Trading since 1988, the company’s gradual and highly successful penetration into the civil engineering, construction, rail and manufacturing sectors contrasts with the modest surroundings of Axle Haulage’s administrative headquarters. Of course, these are just the offices where post is delivered, deals are struck and operator licences are maintained. The business end of haulage takes place out of strategically placed operating centres in Bedford, Coventry, Yeovil, St Neots and Grays, as well as elsewhere in Dunstable.