WYNNS’ GLORY DAYS MAY BE BEHIND THEM, BUT THIS DOES NOT DIMINISH THE INCREDIBLE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE PAST. IN THE FIRST OF THIS NEW SERIES, ANDY ADAMS TALKS TO JOHN WYNN ABOUT THE EARLY YEARS OF TRAILER TECHNOLOGY.
Heavy haulage can easily be perceived as a romantic business, and one that is full of tales of ‘derring-do’. But it’s all too easy to be seduced by the charisma and romance of the tractor when the truth is that heavy haulage is as much about the trailer as its prime mover. After all, the tractor simply provides sufficient grunt to actually move the load, whereas the trailer has to be capable of holding the load securely in place during the move, supporting the load’s weight – a weight that’s often very considerable – and providing the steersman with facilities required to hep the tractor guide the load into position without incident.
In the early days of the business, a trailer was really nothing more than a platform on wheels. In the 1920’s, for example, even the heaviest loads were carried on nothing more sophisticated than an extensible trailer running on a pair of solid-tyred axles, or a low-loader semi-trailer, again generally shod with solid tyres. As riveted construction gave way to welding, the carrying capacity of the trailers increased but the use of solid tyres was always a constraining factor and the heavy loading from the closely spaced hard rubber wheels played havoc with road surfaces.
A perfect example of the early 1920’s trailer
nothing more than a platform on solid tyres.
Trailer 302, riding on solid tyres, was used to bring the North British locomotive to the Festival of Britain.
When the locomotive was removed from the site, it was carried on trailer 333, riding on pneumatic tyres.