FINDING A REGULAR FLOW OF WORK IS A PROBLEM FOR MOST SPECIALIST HAULIERS. THE FURTHER YOU GO FROM AREAS WITH HEAVY INDUSTRY OR BIG INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS THE TOUGHER IT BECOMES. WMB HEAVY HAULAGE OF CARRUTHERSTOWN, FOUND THAT BEING ABLE TO TURN YOUR HAND TO MANY DIFFERENT TASKS IS THE WAY TO KEEP BUSY IN RURAL AREAS, AS BOB BEECH DISCOVERS.
While STGO Cat 3 high-power tractor units pulling multi-axle trailers grab the headlines, the majority of specialist operators tend to stick to lower weights – generally in the 44 to 80 tonnes range – and so can be both ﬂexible and responsive. Murray Brown and Jon Smail of WMB Heavy Haulage have found that sticking to this sector works well for them. Located in Southern Scotland, on the main A75 east of Dumfries, they have tailored the operation to meet the needs of their customer base. This mixed workload includes industrial boilers for a local manufacturer, all types of construction and farm machinery; and large timber harvesting equipment for the wider region’s extensive forests. WMB have been pleased to support their local aviation museum, by way of the relocation of several historic aircraft and memorabilia from around the UK to Dumfries. Other specialist jobs occur on a regular basis. At the time of our visit Jon was quoting for the delivery of a number of tracked, articulated lifeboat launching machines – to be delivered to numerous remote lifeboat stations throughout the country.
Murray comes from a farming background but (like many in that industry) has had to turn his hand to other trades to keep busy during quiet periods. This included spells of driving for local transport companies. On leaving farming he set up WMB assisted by Jon on the technical side. He drives on a regular basis and administers the business with the assistance of his brother Gavin and niece Mairi, who is Jon’s wife.
Jon originally trained as a farrier and blacksmith, before moving on to welding and fabrication. He then went into road transport, ﬁrst with other family members, and then three years driving low-loaders for Hodge Heavy Haulage – which gave him a taste for specialist work. Further experience was gained in open cast mining, initially operating heavy plant and then running the workshops. All of this means he is now able to design and build equipment to suit a speciﬁc job – and yet still make it multi-functional into the bargain.