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The Heavies 2020: Escort Operator of the Year






We specialise in the transportation and delivery of abnormal loads within a range of sectors, including the aerospace industry. Due to our involvement in the loading and unloading of oversize shipments at LUX Findel, Ostend and Liege cargo airports, we have very close ties within the industry and even to this day use the same local agent partners. We realised that with our wealth, strength of knowledge and established connections of UK and European abnormal loads, we should pursue this area further, thus, Fastrans Logistik Ltd was born.

Sean formed Fastrans Logistik Ltd back in 2013, the FAS stands for Fiona and Sean! With just one escort van at the beginning Sean has worked tremendously hard and we believe we are now the largest privately owned Pilot Car Escort Operator with a fleet of 11 vans.

Today sees our team moving in what we firmly believe is the best direction for us and more importantly our principal Clients. Alongside our abnormal load management service, we also expanded our fleet of pilot escort vehicles and focused on delivering a comprehensive range of services. These include site surveys, route planning, permit applications and a range of services. Training is an integral part of our business and most of our staff have attended and passed the City and Guilds Level 2 Escort Driver course and all our staff have attended and passed the RHA Escort Driver course. We also have staff trained as CSCS, NPORS and vehicle marshals.

Based in London, we are equipped to provide our abnormal loads and pilot escorting services across the UK and Europe. Our 11 vehicles are strategically spread around the UK to be available for any job nationwide.

This wide-spread reach and level of expertise gives Fastrans the ability to provide the premier Pilot Escorting service in the UK and is one of the many reasons why we can be considered as the go-to company for this type of work in conjunction with our strategic partners in Europe.

Heavy Haulage Experts – Years of Experience

Since 1984 we have been involved in the transport industry, from the beginning as:

• Drivers mates and ‘trailer boys’ during summer holidays
• Military training LGV, Motorbike and Demountable Rack Pick up Offload loading system (DROPS)
• LGV1 UK & European
• Plant operators
• Loaders / securers
• National and International

This gained our wealth of experience with our team dealing with customs clearance facilities and port booking systems, site visits to both UK & European Ports dealing directly with the shipping lines and port handlers to arrange/facilitate the loading unloading of abnormal load cargo shipments.

We are all proud to say we became well known pathfinders in both France and Germany and were the first to move completed aircraft wings by road from UK to Mainland Europe in Bespoke trailers which are indeed still moving today.

Our team assisted on many first time by road moves and due to some of our team speaking fluent German this really impressed our principal customers.

Our team grew its strength and knowledge within the aerospace industry, gaining a good reputation as a mover of aircraft engines and aircraft major components to/from UK – Europe.

This grew our Client and database of Agents and other Hauliers which to this day we still work with and indeed this excelled the wide range of abnormal load variety we move for these Clients, Agents and Hauliers.

They know we offer them the complete service from site survey route finding onto the permit application process, to the actual move on our in-house vehicles or if too heavy on one of our partner vehicles under our team’s guidance.

The wealth of expertise we gathered during this time proved invaluable and has made us the go-to provider of abnormal load management services we are today.

Our first project unfolded when Fastrans was approached by our Client in Germany to move a large aircraft wing, as they were informed by a Global Freight Forwarding Company that it would not be possible to obtain permission to move a load of this size on UK roads.

So, Fastrans set about contacting the Ministry of Transport, Highways Authority, Council and Police Forces across the UK. We then carried out a full route survey and obtained the necessary permissions and permits in order to carry out a trial move. We are pleased to confirm this was successful and went ahead without any incident whatsoever.

The total dimensions were a whopping 41.29 metres long by 5.98 metres wide by 4.50 metres high!


The first of Glasgow’s new Subway fleet – 2019
Fastrans carried out an extensive route survey and obtained the permits to transport new subway trains as part of a modernisation by SPT.

Glasgow’s making history as the first in the UK to run with no staff on board. In a major milestone for operator Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), the arrival of the new trains will start the beginning of a testing programme by manufacturer Stadler to ensure the trains are fully fit for purpose. It is only after this extensive testing by Stadler that it will be handed over to SPT to enter passenger service.

SPT’s new fleet will be driverless similar to those on the Docklands Light Railway in London, but, in a UK first, they will also have no other staff routinely present in the carriages either.

SPT Chair, Councillor Dr Martin Bartos said: “This is a fantastic day for the Subway and for everyone involved in the delivery of the Subway modernisation programme. We are delighted to see the first new train in Glasgow. It’s a big day for the project team who have worked tirelessly to achieve this milestone for the organisation.”

The first of the new trains will now begin a lengthy, offline testing period while work continues to install the new communications and controls systems in stations and tunnels which is necessary for the trains to run in passenger service.

The new trains and communication and control systems are all part of the £288 million Subway modernisation programme which also includes a major refurbishment of the system’s 15 stations; a complete overhaul of the Victorian tunnel system; and replacement of the Subway’s main infrastructure including tracks and the ramps and turnouts section where the trains enter and exit the system.

Due to the dimensions of the Subway, the new train sets are the same length and size as the existing rolling stock. Inside passengers will now be able to walk the entire length of the train and enjoy an open front view into the tunnels.

Two more new trains are due to be delivered by the end of the summer for the first phase of testing.

Work on the Subway Modernisation programme began in July 2011 with the refurbishment of Hillhead station.

Fastrans’ pilot escort and security service ensured a smooth delivery.

To date, 11 stations out of 15 have now been refurbished, with another two (St George’s Cross and Cowcaddens) due to be finished by Summer 2019.

As part of the modernisation programme, the Subway has also introduced Smartcard technology which is now being used by ScotRail and a number of bus operators across the West of Scotland transport network. Fastrans liaised with the client and Partners in Europe and also unloading point at Glasgow and local Police and Council to ensure smooth delivery.

Fastrans carried out extensive route survey and obtained the permits to move.

As well as providing Pilot Escort Service during the journey to delivery point, Fastrans Logistik also provided 24/7 Security CCTC monitored to ensure the safety of the load at all times.

Pictures of the trains being transported north of the border had been shared by eagle-eyed Scots on social media yesterday.

“They were spotted on an abnormal load on the M74 and at Hamilton services. Hmmm… I wonder where these are going… any ideas @GlasgowSubway?”
— Connor McQuade (@ConMcQ) May 2, 2019

Blackpool Trams
This is the latest addition to Blackpool’s fleet of trams.

It is the first of two new arrivals to boost the number of trams in the resort to 18.

Blackpool Transport announced in March 2017 it was adding extra capacity as annual passenger numbers passed the 5m mark last year, the highest total since 1994.

We ensured that delivery of the tram went ahead without issue.

Fastrans were approached by our Client in Germany as they had been told it would not be possible to deliver the tram due to ongoing roadworks. Fastrans carried out route surveys and consulted with the local Council, Police and other authorities and obtained permit and permission to move the tram to its destination in Blackpool.

The new tram was delivered in December 2017, coming off the M55 at junction three. It had been due to travel to Windy Harbour and west towards Plymouth Road, however the route was changed. Instead of making its way over Plymouth Road bridge and to the Promenade via Warbeck Hill Road it headed further north en route to the seafront. Once unloaded it was driven to the depot. Further trams were then delivered in 2018 with Fastrans again proving escort and permit support.

The original 16 Flexity2 trams were brought in when the tramway re-opened in 2012 following a £100m investment including replacement of the track and construction of a new depot at Squires Gate.

MRI Magnet removal Fazakerley Liverpool 2018
Other than Aerospace one of our strengths is within the medical sector. We specialise in assisting the removal and installation of large medical components including MRI and CT scanners.

We provide this service all over the ~UK and mainland Europe and have done so for several years.

One of our Clients recommended us to the main manufacturer of MRI scanner magnets as they need to remove a live magnetised unit from a hospital in Liverpool and previously a sub-contractor had not taken the live magnet into account and therefore caused havoc when trying to move out of the hospital pulling signs and signposts out of the ground.

We were tasked with assisting in the removal of the unit from the hospital and then providing the transportation and destruction solution.

We set about the task of finding the parameters of the magnetic field and then organising the construction and manufacture of a bespoke transportation crate.

Once everything was in place and the client was happy with our proposal and project plan, we were awarded the contract. Of course, it goes without saying that our Team also provided the escort vehicles on this project.

We are pleased to say the removal, transportation and destruction of the live magnetised unit went ahead without any issues and the client was so impressed our Team are now currently for this year 2020 looking at a major removal in Germany.

Safe Contractor Cert:



Entry overview
Our Escort Driver Dan Parsons, joined us in early 2018 at the age of just 24, having never worked in our industry before. After over a year of working closely with our Heavy Haulage Drivers and Transport Planning team, he has developed into a very professional and conscientious member of the team.

Describe the main objectives
Having developed our previous Escort Driver into a very capable Heavy Lorry Mounted crane driver, Dan joined us having no idea of what our industry was about, but with a good attitude towards learning new things and being a very capable van driver, he felt he could take on the new challenge and bring us the professional Escort driver we needed.

Being keen to start as he meant to go on, Dan took to reading up on the law regarding escorting and using the Approved Codes of Practice for self-escorting and load marking to ensure he worked to the highest standards possible.

In a bid to understand things fully he chose to get more involved with the drivers’ activities, gaining valuable knowledge of the ways to load, unload and restrain the abnormal loads he escorts.

Soon the Lorry Mounted cranes turned Dan’s head, and so whenever possible he gets tuition from the Hiab drivers and has now become a competent Hiab operator now ready to finish his ALLMI D1+E training and has already successfully completed his slinger/ signaller qualification.

Dan is now preparing for his LGV C class licence and is looking to be an LGV driver in the next 12 months.

What were the outcomes?
Dan has developed into a very competent Escort Driver.

He is BPSS and now an SC (Security Clearance )- for Military Moves, allowing him to carry out Section 5 and Military items transportation.

Dan is an excellent planner of abnormal journey’s giving full feedback to the office and briefing of drivers on routes and the Do and don’ts of the planned move.

Dan worked closely with our MD to create an Escort Van that allows him to have night outs in a safe and comfortable environment, whilst protecting the financial stability of the business, to ensure a good resale is achieved at the end of its working life.

Dan regularly organises and trains the support escort drivers from our casual labour force when required and sets up the control for larger moves where several escort vehicles are involved, and when we use subcontracted escort assistance for the large jobs.

Dan is the main Escort controller for our A400M Wing moves each month also.

When working in the yard, Dan has developed skills with reversing of trailers and large loads and is well on his way to becoming an effective LGV driver in the future.

In short (40 words), please summaries your entry
Dan has developed himself as much as we have, the whole team enjoy working with him and feel fully supported by his professional and conscientious work ethic.



Priest Abnormal Load Services was founded by myself Jason Priest in April 2016. Since then there has been slow and steady growth to the company. We now run two Mercedes Vito pilot vehicles and one Vauxhall combo day van. We also work closely with a number of owner driver pilot car operators who share the same work ethics as us.

We work with a growing number of heavy and general hauliers providing them with pilot vehicles, trailer assistants & steersman, permits & movement orders, route & site surveys and more recently project and transport photography/videography services.

Describe the main objectives
Our primary objective is to assist with the safe movement of abnormal loads within the UK.

To facilitate this we use high output Wheelan LED warning light systems and 3M diamond grade chapter 8 marking with day glow yellow bonnets on our vehicles.

Our vehicles also have front and rear cctv systems with a permanent live view to the rear of the vehicles to assist us with identifying hazards and preventing accidents when escorting very heavy, slow moving loads on our road network.

All of our Pilot Vehicles meet or exceed Highways Agency Code of practice.

Our secondary objective is to provide our customers with a unique support service that not only covers the usual pilot cars, permits, route & site surveys but also more niche services like trailer operative/steersman with knowledge of a wide range of trailer types and modular configurations.

More recently we have been providing customers with onsite Photography and Videography services to help document and/or promote their special projects and services.

We now also have the added bonus of being a CAA PfCO qualified drone operator. We are using a commercially insured DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone which can provide 20MP RAW photography and 4K video.

This could also be deployed for other practical purposes such as checking for clearance at low bridges, cables, gantry’s etc as well as providing a unique view of projects, sites and routes.

What were the outcomes?
In our short history we have been involved with a number of large transformer movements including one with Allelys Goldhofer Faktor 5 girder frame with a gross train weight of 650t gross train weight and with a total length of nearly 100m.

We’ve assisted in the movement of a large number of trains and railway rolling stock including famous steam locomotives like 60163 “Tornado” & 70000 Britannia. The movement of the latter was featured on the Yesterday TV series “Train Truckers”. The 6 part show aired this year and although it primarily followed Allelys we also featured working with them in all 6 episodes.

Over the last 18 months we have provided safe passage into Liverpool for over 70 new sets of 2,3 & 4 car CAF railway carriages for upgrade to Northern Arriva’s rolling stock; as well as a large number of 4.2m wide Titan Portacabins destined for Ireland.

We have safely escorted all wide, modular concrete sections into the new Town House Development at Kingston Upon Thames, University.

We have also assisted Allelys & Osprey Heavy Lift with a number of high profile projects including some at the new Hinckley Point C Nuclear Power station.

On one such project we assisted with the delivery of 6 sections of a new jetty which will provide access to the site by sea. Each section was up to 35m long x 4.8m wide. We provided escort vehicles and steersman services for the entirety of the journey from Bristol to the holding area and then steersman services from the holding area in to the heart of the vast HPC site.

For the last 3 years we have provided 2 escort vehicles for “The Dunstable Charity Truck Convoy” which with, in excess of 200 vehicles taking part is believed to be the largest of its kind in the UK. This year we also provided 3 escort vehicles for “Alfie’s Convoy” escorting a precession of 170 trucks from Windsor Racecourse to Staines and back again with minimum of police assistance.

In short (40 words), please summaries your entry
PALS a unique transport support service that can assist you to plan & notify your movement, help you to load/unload your cargo, steer/operate your trailer, escort you safely on your journey, and photograph or even film your job.

Video Coverage (TV Series):

Jason Priest, Priest Abnormal Load Services (2)
Vito 111 CDI - Priest Abnormal Load Services (14)
Vito 111 CDI - Priest Abnormal Load Services (42)
Vito 111 CDI - Priest Abnormal Load Services (39)