WITH OVER 150+ 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 Twenty (October 2019) is now back from the printers, and very much in the public domain. Should you have missed out on our little teasers, please find herewith a short insight on what to expect from this latest bumper issue!
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COVER STORY: MCINTOSH, MERCEDES AND MIDGES!
THE NORTH SEA OIL BOOM 40 YEARS AGO CAME AT THE RIGHT TIME FOR ONE SCOTTISH BUSINESS, BUT HOW ARE THINGS NOW THAT THE OFFSHORE SECTOR HAS CONTRACTED? HEAVYTORQUE VISITS ONE OF THE UK’S NORTHERNMOST HEAVY HAULIERS.
It might not be the biggest heavy haulage company in the country, but it must be a contender for the operation with the most picturesque location. McIntosh Heavy Logistics is based near the village of Echt, about 12 miles inland from Aberdeen. The foothills of Royal Deeside rise up beyond the vehicle workshops, and it’s not unusual to see deer and badgers in the fields surrounding the depot. It’s the kind of place you’d have expected to find a holiday home, rather than a heavy haulage company. The origins of the firm can be traced back to 1951, when Albert and Margaret McIntosh started offering building services to local farmers and estate owners, operating from an old peat shed next to their home in nearby Crathes…
A CHARGEABLE OFFENCE
ABNORMAL LOAD ESCORT SERVICE PROVIDERS FACE NUMEROUS CHALLENGES IN THEIR DAY-TO-DAY WORK, BUT PERHAPS NONE SO GALLING AS THAT OF BEING CHARGED FOR POLICE SERVICES THEY NEITHER WANT NOR NEED. AND AS ONE RECENT DISPUTE UNDERLINES, IT’S AN ISSUE THAT SEEMS TO BE GETTING WORSE. HEAVYTORQUE REPORTS.
When Devon-based abnormal load escort services provider Teahan Convoi Service (TCS) was asked to organise the notifications and escorts of a 150-tonne combination for a regular customer carrying an electrical transformer from Hull to the Ferrybridge Power Station south-east of Leeds on a modular trailer early last year, there was little to indicate the problems the job would involve. But the move was to lead to a dispute between TCS and West Yorkshire Police over the provision of a police escort which forced the company to seek legal assistance, has had to incur unreasonable expense and inconvenience, and made it wonder if the police are not starting to treat the heavy haulage sector as a cash cow.
THE PILE DRIVERS
IVOR KING PILING MD SIMON KING TELLS HEAVYTORQUE WHY SERVICE IS KING, THAT EXCEEDING CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS IS A GIVEN AND HOW STRONG FAMILY VALUES AND A CAN-DO APPROACH ARE DRIVING THE COMPANY FORWARD.
We live in an age of ‘big’ personalities and even bigger egos – in sport, business and did someone mention politics? So it’s refreshing to encounter someone who not only has a real passion for the industry he works in, but has a genuinely modest, ‘feet firmly on the ground’ approach to life. We’re talking to Simon King, managing director of nationwide piling specialist Ivor King Piling, the business started by his Father 45-years ago. Every day the company’s transport services division moves its heavy piling rigs, monster crawler cranes, big pumps and shed-loads of other specialist equipment to and from sites throughout the country using its fleet of lorry cranes, artics and specialist trailers. Yet tell King he’s running a professional heavy-haulage operation and he baulks at the suggestion.
SAILING THROUGH IT
THINK ‘HEAVY HAULAGE’ AND WILLIAMS SHIPPING PROBABLY ISN’T THE FIRST NAME TO SPRING TO MIND. BUT DESPITE ITS ORIGINS IN THE MARINE SECTOR, THIS IS A COMPANY FOR WHICH ROAD TRANSPORT IN GENERAL AND OVERSIZED LOADS IN PARTICULAR ARE VERY MUCH AT THE HEART OF THINGS, AS HEAVYTORQUE DISCOVERS.
Not many heavy haulage operations can boast a 125-year company history and even fewer still can claim to remaining family-run after such a long time. But Williams Shipping, based in Millbrook, Southampton, is a surprisingly varied and resilient firm that knows just how to succeed in a competitive market. Part of its resilience comes from operating across four key sectors – marine services, logistics, container hire and sales, and marine lubricants distribution. It all began with the marine side in 1894, when founder George Williams gave up working on windjammers at the age of 30 to set up his own business, acquiring a pinnace (a small open boat used for rowing crews out to vessels) from the Royal Navy which he converted into a small sailing barge that could carry 20 tons of cargo.
BACK TO SCHOOL
IN 2017 WE REPORTED ON ‘STAY SAFE – BE SEEN’, THE SCHOOLS SAFETY PROJECT CREATED BY HEAVY-HAULAGE SPECIALIST HUTCHINSON ENGINEERING SERVICES. HEAVYTORQUE HAS NOW SEEN IT IN ACTION, AND RECKONS IT’S A LIFE-SAVER.
Tough audience – two to 11-year olds. If you want to get a message over to them you’ve got to grab their attention fast, and keep it. Ryan Easom, transport manager with Hutchinson Engineering Services (HES) knows all about that. Regular HeavyTorque readers may recall our coverage of Hutchinson’s schools safety initiative: ‘Stay Safe – Be Seen’, launched in 2016, in a previous issue. We thought it was a cracking idea. However, we’d never actually seen it ‘live’. We have now, and feel even-more enthusiastic about it.
AS ONE DOORS CLOSES, ANOTHER OPENS
CLOSING A FAMILY TRANSPORT OPERATION IS A DIFFICULT TIME FOR ALL CONCERNED. THE EFFORT PUT INTO BUILDING IT UP OVER THE YEARS IS A STRAIN ON EVERYTHING AND BRINGING THINGS TO AN END CAN BE ADDITIONALLY STRESSFUL. HOWEVER, IT’S POSSIBLE TO VIEW THE PROCESS IN A POSITIVE LIGHT AND MOVE ON TO THE NEXT CHALLENGE THAT LIFE PRESENTS. HEAVYTORQUE TALKS TO OWNER DRIVER STEVE BUTLER WHO WAS IN EXACTLY THAT FRAME OF MIND ON THE FINAL DAY OF HIS OPERATION..
Well-known Lincolnshire-based Steve Butler started Steve Butler Heavy Transport some 15 years ago. The marketplace is changing rapidly and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for a small operator to compete with the bigger players in the market, no matter how well connected they are. But Butler was quite philosophical about the closure of the business and is justifiably proud of what he has achieved over the years and the professional way he has operated in that time.
THE THRILL OF MOVING HEAVY LOADS
IN THE SECOND OF OUR SERIES PAYING TRIBUTE TO THE HEROES OF HEAVY HAULAGE, HEAVYTORQUE MEETS PETER SEARSON, THE MAN LARGELY RESPONSIBLE FOR GUIDING HEANOR HAULAGE FROM A SMALL TIPPER OPERATION TO ONE OF THE INDUSTRY’S MOST INNOVATIVE AND RESPECTED HEAVYWEIGHTS.
The announcement in 2017 that Derbyshire-based Heanor Haulage was closing its transport operation after more than 80 years, and selling off its fleet, sent shockwaves around the industry. It was a particularly poignant decision for chairman, Peter Searson, who’d been with the company man and boy. But despite having to take that radical step, Searson, who’s now 84, still oozes passion and enthusiasm for the heavy haulage industry.
ALTHOUGH COMPANIES LIKE WYNNS, PICKFORDS AND SUNTERS BECAME THE BEST KNOWN HEAVYWEIGHTS OF OUR INDUSTRY DURING THE 1950S AND ‘60S, IT WAS MARSTON’S ROAD SERVICES AND EDWARD BOX WHO, BACK IN THE 1920S AND 30S, LAID THE FOUNDATIONS FOR WHAT WAS TO COME. HEAVYTORQUE HAS BEEN TALKING TO TRANSPORT HISTORIAN ROY LARKIN.
Although Tesla is trumpeting the imminent arrival of driverless cars, nearly 90 years ago you could sometimes see a driverless lorry on the roads. It was the Scammell 100-tonner, the largest vehicle in the world, and way ahead of its time. However, it wasn’t the most comfortable vehicle to drive, and, on a straight piece of road, crews would set the hand throttle, point it in the right direction and climb out to walk beside it. Sometimes they’d walk ahead and sit at the roadside waiting for their vehicle to catch up. It was one way of getting a bit of relief from the noise and vibration inside the cab.