TERRY SAVERY, WHO HAS JUST RETIRED, WAS A LEAD DRIVER FOR ALLEYS HEAVY HAULAGE. HEAVYTORQUE TALKS TO HIM ABOUT HIS NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENTS – MOVING SOME OF THE BIGGEST LOADS ON UK ROADS OVER MORE THAN THREE DECADES.
While the specialist heavy transport industry uses some of the most sophisticated equipment available, all of it is of little use without the right personnel capable of operating the vehicles, trailers and other specialist equipment to its optimum. While heavy transport is very much a team effort, the key person in many moves is the lead driver, the man or women at the front, choosing the line to follow, making all of the important decisions, whether to proceed or stop at a key point, if there are multiple tractors pushing and pulling the load, deciding when more effort is required to maintain progress.
AFTER THE LEAD SHOWN BY FAYMONVILLE, THE FIRST TO INTRODUCE A HYDRAULIC WIDTH-ADJUSTABLE BED AS AN OPTION WITH ITS POPULAR MULTI-MAX STEP-FRAME RANGE, ITS ARCH-RIVAL DUTCH TRAILER MANUFACTURER NOOTEBOOM HAS NOW INTRODUCED ITS NEW HYDRAULIC BED TRAILER. HEAVYTORQUE TALKS TO DAVID SAUNDERS TRANSPORT WHICH RECENTLY TOOK DELIVERY OF THE FIRST PRODUCTION EXAMPLE OF THE NEW NOOTEBOOM DESIGN.
The use of over-width trailers for carrying loads that do not take the gross weight of the complete outfit over the 44 tonnes Construction and Use limit, has been a contentious issue for some time. For a while there were varying levels of enforcement throughout the country. In some regions the authorities did not push the point unless their operators were flouting the law on a regular basis, in other areas a far harder line was taken. Now the rules are being enforced broadly in almost every region, the net effect has been that most operators have had to seriously reconsider their step-frame trailer purchasing plans.
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE-BASED GUNDEL TRANSPORT SERVICES PROVIDES SPECIALIST CRANE HIRE AND MECHANICAL HAULAGE CAPABILITY ON A NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL SCALE. HEAVYTORQUE TALKS TO ITS FOUNDER.
Kevin Gundel likes a challenge. “If a job comes in that’s interesting, I’ll probably be all over it,” says the man who founded Gundel Transport Services (GTS) 34 years ago. By interesting, Gundel probably means a job where he can use his specialist knowledge of working with truck and trailer-mounted cranes, “We want to give a solution to people who’ve got a problem, where we can.” The current GTS fleet gives a flavour of the kind of work that the firm takes on. Currently, there are six MAN tractor units in GTS livery, one fitted with a crane.
GEORGE CURTIS WAS AN IMPORTANT PLAYER IN THE HEAVY HAULAGE INDUSTRY UNTIL HIS SUDDEN DEATH 25 YEARS AGO. HE WAS ONE OF THE MEN BEHIND LOAD OUT SPECIALIST TSL BEFORE STARTING HIS OWN COMPANY, G E CURTIS (HEAVY HAULAGE), IN 1981. HIS SON, MARK CURTIS, WHO USED TO DRIVE FOR HIS DAD BUT NOW WORKS FOR SARENS, HAS BEEN TELLING HEAVYTORQUE HOW HIS DAD’S LEGACY CONTINUES.
“Heads we’ll tell them we can do it; tails we’ll tell them we can’t!” It was a Sunday morning, and George Curtis had taken his son, Mark, out for a route survey. George had been given the chance to quote for the movement of nine big vessels out of Gainsborough, but the high load route was going to be a nightmare, along small roads, and at one point, on what was barely more than a farm track. There was a sharp turn in the nearby village of Laughton, and the two men weren’t convinced the tractor and bogies would be able to make the turn.
RJT EXCAVATIONS’ LATEST FACTORY-BUILT SCANIA S730 8X4 HEAVY HAULAGE TRACTOR UNIT WAS THE FIRST OF ITS TYPE IN SCOTLAND AND ONLY THE SECOND SUCH VEHICLE TO ENTER SERVICE IN THE UK. HEAVYTORQUE HEADS FOR THE SCOTTISH BORDER TO VISIT A BUSINESS THAT’S AHEAD ON AGGREGATE.
Located close to the English border at Carter Bar on the A68, the historic Scottish town of Jedburgh has seen its fair share of raids and skirmishes over the past 1,000 years. However, its strategic position has also bought in valuable trade over this area. Nowadays the town’s peace and quiet is only shattered once a year, when locals compete in ‘The Ba’ – a riotous medieval football game that’s become in a long-standing tradition in a select few historically rich, Scottish towns. Despite the changes and challenges of the past few decades, Jedburgh is still home to a good number of industries and businesses.
CIVIL ENGINEERING EXPERTS MGL CONTRACTORS HAS ADDED ANOTHER STRING TO ITS BOW WITH A SUCCESSFUL HEAVY HAULAGE DIVISION. HEAVYTORQUE CAUGHT UP WITH THE SCOTTISH FIRM TO HEAR HOW ITS EXPANDING FLEET IS HELPING TO DRIVE THE COMPANY THROUGH SOME TESTING TIMES.
Sometimes, as the old adage tells us, you have to speculate to accumulate. The philosophy certainly seems to be ringing true for Inverness-based MGL Contractors. The firm has seen the heavy haulage side of its business boom in recent months with its expanding fleet. While civil engineering and major earthworks remain the core activities of the business, its transport division has really taken off and earlier this year it added a Volvo FH16 750 8×4 tractor unit to help keep up with demand. “It’s a big step up for us and initially we were a little sceptical of buying something of that value,” admits Keith Leslie, operations manager at MGL. “We had some doubts whether we could justify the investment but since we’ve got it, we’ve never looked back.
PENNYS GROUP HAS RECENTLY MARKED 60 YEARS OF TRADING. THE FOUNDER ROGER PENNY, AND SOME OF THE OTHER MAIN PLAYERS AT THE BUSINESS, TALKED TO HEAVYTORQUE ABOUT WHAT HAS KEPT DRIVING THE COMPANY FORWARD THROUGH SIX DECADES OF SUCCESS.
While most people his age may be enjoying their well-earned retirements, the indomitable Roger Penny is not that way inclined. At the grand old age of 82, Penny is still overseeing the running of Pennys Group – the company he has built from scratch through his own sheer hard work and keen eye for opportunity. “Oh, he’s still very much the boss that’s for sure,” laughs Stuart McArdle, the business’s transport manager. “He’s in every day, making sure things are being done as he wants them to be.” At the end of last year, Pennys Group celebrated its 60th anniversary and it’s fair to say the company has come a long way in those six decades. It all began in Roger Penny’s own back garden – in Ston Easton, near Bath – which he used as a base to hire out tractors to local farmers and contractors in the surrounding area.
HEAVY HAULAGE OPERATORS AND THEIR CUSTOMERS ARE FACING A CRISIS AS MORE AND MORE STRINGENT WEIGHT LIMITS ARE BEING IMPOSED ON KEY MOTORWAYS AND ESTABLISHED HEAVY LOAD ROUTES. IN THIS SPECIAL REPORT, HEAVYTORQUE ASKS WHY BLANKET RESTRICTIONS OF 44-TONNES GROSS HAVE BEEN INTRODUCED IN MANY AREAS OF THE COUNTRY, MOST RECENTLY IN YORKSHIRE AND THE NORTH EAST.
“We’ve got a major problem,” David Collett, the managing director of Collett and Sons, told me in June, “and at the moment we can’t find a way around it. Literally.” Earlier this year, the Yorkshire-based heavy haulier won a contract for the movement of 15 fabrications from Wakefield to Immingham Docks for export. They’re not huge by Collett’s standards. The biggest weighed 53 tonnes, and other loads were running under STGO Cat 2. Since April, they’ve been moving them in batches of three loads along the normal heavy load route via the M1, M62, M18 and M180.