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DENNIS CHILD

PERSONAL PROFILE

HeavyTorque Issue 8: Dennis Child

EVERY YOUNG BOY’S DREAM

DENNIS CHILD TELLS OF HIS TIME WORKING AS CHIEF MECHANICAL ENGINEER AT SOUTH AFRICAN UTILITY ESKOM, AND LATER FOR HEAVY HAULAGE SPECIALIST ROTRAN.

During his adolescence Dennis Child enthusiastically watched the Pacific Truck and Trailer heavies in the fleet operated by South African Railways and Harbours. He began by drawing, and later photographing the vehicles. This developed into a serious project with over 750,000 photographs currently in his collection. As his career in engineering developed, he was able to pursue his hobby alongside his professional duties. Here he describes the challenges and conditions faced by heavy hauliers working in South Africa.

In the early seventies South Africa was undertaking mega construction projects. Companies such as National Petroleum Refiners of South Africa (Natref) and energy and chemical company Sasol, as well as numerous others, required heavy loads to be moved from inland manufacturing facilities or from ports such as Richards Bay and Durban. “This was controlled by the Department of Transport (DoT) which selected the routes,” explains Child. “The DoT regulated the conveyance of abnormal loads with a view to safety and infrastructure protection. Loading was controlled according to the ‘foot print rule’. With the introduction of European-specified trailers in 2006 utilising the ‘effective width rule’ allowed operators to run at higher speeds and weights. This brought about efficiency benefits but, the three-metre-wide trailers had problems in high camber locations.

“With the approval of conveyance of the abnormal loads, the risk lies with the transporter and all submissions for exemption permits is done via a consultant engineer. Routes have varying maximum limits. Suspect bridges might require propping to avoid damage. Heavy tractor-units are restricted to exemption permit conditions which affects the Pacific and Tractomas units run by Rotran.

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Announcement

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It is with regret, that the HeavyTorque team have decided to take a stand based on an industry-wide ‘blind eye’ to the waste in the magazine and periodicals business.

HeavyTorque (#15, July 2018) was the final issue to grace the shop shelves, both on the High Street and across the travel network. As part of our onward strategy to adapt, HeavyTorque will now be distributed exclusively through controlled circulation and available through printed subscription.

Please note, this change will only affect newsstand purchasers. There will be no change for our loyal print subscribers.

Why the newsstand change? Quite simply, we can no longer (in good conscience) participate in a distribution programme that creates such an inherent waste of our precious natural resources – and money.

For those of you who have enjoyed HeavyTorque from the newsstand, we sincerely appreciate your business – and we would hope that you’ve enjoyed the magazine enough to consider a direct subscription?

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If you prefer to purchase individual issues (one at a time), you will still have the ability to do so, both online (via the website), or by calling our offices +44 (0) 1572 3450872. Orders for single issues received before the pre-publication deadline will be mailed along with the subscribers.

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