The Heavies 2015: Recognising Industry Excellence

A night of celebration

The commercial vehicle industry is one of the unsung heroes of British business and commerce. It keeps the wheels of UK PLC on the move. Building and maintaining infrastructure to feed renewal and growth is vital, and the heavy haulage specialists that move it all certainly play their part. It’s a business that has to think big, with bridges, generators, wind turbines and tunneling machines just a few examples of their daily diet. It’s only right that the achievements of those who drive the business, and for whom abnormal is normal, should be celebrated. Nimble Media Ltd, publishers of the only dedicated abnormal load industry title, HeavyTorque, have hosted the first awards to recognise excellence: The Heavies.

The Heavies Awards 2015

Hangar 42, Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground was the venue for the celebration, on March 27th 2015. Here we record the winners and those highly commended, and the industry’s movers and shakers who generously supported the event. A premier event needs top MCs and we were delighted to have the co-founders of FairFuelUK to announce and present the awards. Quentin Willson and Howard Cox’s campaign has now become the UK’s most successful public protest petition.

Job of the Year (CAT1) – WINNER

Stewart International Transport

For the transportation of four large gripper machines from Immingham Docks to Foynes Dock, Limerick. Their biggest undertaking of the year, this family firm shone, demonstrating coordination skills under pressure. Managing the final stages of the job, along a fully working dock, their objectives were safely achieved. Travelling from Northern Ireland to collect the award on the night, The Heavies welcomed Mr. Paul Stewart from Stewart International Transport.

L-R Howard Cox, Paul Stewart and Quentin Willson

Job of the Year (CAT2) – Sponsored by King Trailers Ltd

Kingswell Haulage

The movement of a wind farm support vessel, constructed in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, covered only a short distance, but required operating to very tight tolerances. With over 40 years of experience in transporting large plant and machinery, Kingswell had to crane the vessel out of it’s construction shed and then utilise a 60 ton 4-axle extendable Broshuis full steer trailer to effect the move over the difficult site. Working with only 50mm to spare between keel and trailer, they had to negotiate boatyard buildings and uneven terrain to reach a successful outcome.

Presented by Mr. Lee Tipton, sales director, King Trailers Ltd, the award for Job of the Year (CAT2) was accepted by Mr. Rob Kingswell, of Kingswell Haulage Ltd.

L-R Howard Cox, Rob Kingswell, Lee Tipton (King Trailers) and Quentin Willson

Job of the Year (CAT3) – WINNER – Sponsored by Nooteboom and HSE Nooteboom

Collett & Sons Ltd

In recognition for the movement of a 4.72m-diameter tunnel boring machine – affectionately known as Cleopatra – from Hackney Substation to Shawell in Leicestershire, this company spent nine months planning the move.

Innovative methods employed included having the entire combination parked facing the direction of oncoming traffic to allow the ballast tractor to be disconnected from the front of the trailer, and re-attached on the opposite end – effectively flipping the combination 180 degrees. This avoided the need for physically turning the trailer and load, and allowed the team to continue on the proposed route.

Presented by Mr. John Houghton, UK country sales manager, HSE Nooteboom, the judge’s choice was Collett & Sons Ltd. Collecting the award on the night, was Mr. Eric Crosby, project director at Collett & Sons Ltd.L-R Howard Cox, Eric Crosby, John Houghton (HSE Nooteboom) and Quentin Willson

Job of the Year (BE16 or VR1) – HIGHLY COMMENDED

Allelys Heavy Haulage Ltd

To move nearly 1,000 tonnes of generators, between Didcot E, and EDF’s Cottam power stations, this operator received very short lead times, and was up against a host of legal, road routing, bridge and shipping issues. The Highly Commended operator of this category demonstrated clear thinking under considerable pressure.

They delivered to demanding criteria, without compromising on safety, or damaging customer relations – a thoroughly professional result that is a credit to the industry.

Collecting the Highly Commended certificate on the night was Mr. David Allely, managing director of Allelys Heavy Haulage Ltd.L-R Howard Cox, David Allely and Quentin Willson

Job of the Year (BE16 or VR1) – WINNER

GCS Johnson Ltd

Our winner, and one of the founder members of the Heavy Transport Association, was established in 1969 with one flat bed trailer and a tractor unit. Fifty years on, our winner boasts an innovative fleet of modern trailers and vehicles – meeting virtually any heavy and abnormal load requirement.

The award was presented for their movement of two tunnel boring machines, each weighing 1,100 tonnes and over 7m in diameter, they were a vital part of the Crossrail project, the largest civil engineering project currently underway in Europe. Over nine months planning took place to enable each machine to be transported in twin convoys, over two separate months. The worthy winner of course, was GCS Johnson Ltd.

Collecting the award on the night, The Heavies welcomed Mr. Geoff Johnson, managing director of GCS Johnson Ltd.L-R Howard Cox, Geoff Johnson and Quentin Willson

Pilot Car/Escort Operator of the Year – WINNER – Sponsored by Collett & Sons Ltd

Wide Load Services

For taking over the movement 170ft-long Kursk beams, after the load had become stuck on site. Intervening, and reassessing the site to find an alternative route by conducting a site survey, our winner personally walked the route to find an appropriate solution, paying special attention to avoiding curb and pavement damage.

While escorting a move towards the end of 2014, our winner was involved in a serious road accident, leaving his vehicle written off, and him out of action for a lengthy period of time. We are very pleased to report that he is now back doing what he does best in a new hi-spec escort vehicle.

Mr. David Collett, managing director, Collett & Sons Ltd, presented the award to Mr. Chris Hustwick of Wide Load Services.L-R Howard Cox, Chris Hustwick, David Collett and Quentin Willson

Project of the Year – HIGHLY COMMENDED – Sponsored by Faymonville, Traffco Ltd and Rydam Universal Ltd

JB Rawcliffe and Sons Ltd

The overcoming of extraordinary access issues were at the heart of this company’s achievement. To place two large CNC components in a restricted and sensitive workspace, highly innovative solutions were developed using a self-propelled heavy load trailer, turntable, nylon machinery skates, and a crane. Load orientation presented continuous challenges that required real engineering skill and finesse.

Presenting the highly commended award to Mr. Stuart Rawcliffe, director of JB Rawcliffe & Sons Ltd were category sponsors representatives Mr. Peter Dougan, director, Traffco Ltd and Mr. John Green, director, Rydam Universal Ltd.L-R Howard Cox, John Green (Rydam Universal) Stuart Rawcliffe, Peter Dougan (Traffco) and Quentin Willson

Project of the Year – WINNER – Sponsored by Faymonville, Traffco Ltd and Rydam Universal Ltd

Sarens UK

The winner of this award was chosen for their innovative work on the Lee Tunnel project, installing 3,000 tonnes of concrete props, against a very tight deadline. Despite receiving the order with only six-week’s notice, health and safety remained a top priority, and their creative solutions also delivered cost savings for the customer. With their company motto: “Nothing too heavy, nothing too high,” the overall category winner was Sarens UK.

Presenting the award were category sponsors Mr. Peter Dougan, director, Traffco Ltd, and Mr. John Green, director, Rydam Universal Ltd to Mr. Alister Smith, contracts manager for Sarens UK.

Employee/Team of the Year – WINNER

FTX Logistics Ltd, Commercial Contract Engineers and West End Garage

Up to thirty heavy equipment transporters owned and operated by KBR FTX Logistics have been on operations with the British Army in Iraq on Operation Telic, and in Afghanistan on Operation Herrick since 2003. Many suffering heavy damage through enemy action by improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and others through use over extreme terrain outside of the vehicle deign operating envelope.

In partnership with the Ministry of Defence it was decided to rebuild badly damaged HET tractors and trailers to a roadworthy condition for continued use. In keeping with UK Government initiatives, FTX procured the services of SMEs. West End Garage based in Bruton Somerset, and Commercial Contract Engineers (CCE) based in Rochdale to undertake the work on the tractor units. King Vehicle Engineering were contracted to repair and refurbish the trailers.

For pulling the expertise of these separate parties together, enabling vehicles and trailers to return to theatre with the minimum of delay, the award for Team of the Year was presented to FTX Logistics, Commercial Contract Engineers and West End Garage.

The award was collected by Mr. Phil Ewbank, chairman of Commercial Contract Engineers, Mr. Gordon Fry, managing director from West End Garage, and Mr. Ian Bryant, managing director of FTX Logistics.L-R Howard Cox, Phil Ewbank, Gordon Fry, Ian Bryant and Quentin Willson

Environmental Initiative of the Year – WINNER

Volvo Trucks

Presenter at The Heavies, Quentin Willson, said, “As an ambassador for FairFuelUK, this category is very close to my heart. This award is for companies, however large or small, for which sustainability is a top management priority and which forms a central part of the corporate agenda and company culture.

Sustainability is defined as the continued assessment of impact on the local environment; a commitment to low carbon inputs and outcomes, the use and re-use of resources and adherence to regulation. The judges were looking for a firm who’s sustainable culture has tangible benefits at a local, regional or national level.” He continued, “No shortlist this time just a clear winner. With a reputation for heavy truck transmissions, and now with unique innovations that further exploit the environmental benefits of Euro 6 emissions, this company continues to lead the field.” Quentin concluded, “It gives me great pleasure to present this award to Volvo Trucks.”

Commercial Director for Volvo Trucks, Mr. Mike Corcoran, duly accepted the award.L-R Howard Cox, Mike Corcoran and Quentin Willson

Most Significant Safety Initiative – WINNER – Sponsored by Volvo Trucks

Collett & Sons Ltd

The heavy and abnormal load industry relies on the upmost safety, care and attention to detail. As an industry, they constantly strive for new ways to improve safety credentials. There was no shortlist for this category as the Judges decided on a clear winner. The winning entrant has developed, and delivered, a safety-training programme to maintain their SHEQ values – delivering safety, safe driving, managing work related road risk and addressing their business needs.

The ‘Safe Urban Driving Courses’ – created with national Cycle Instructors – Approved by FORS and JAUPT – the training programme offer drivers a valuable insight into sharing road space with vulnerable road users. Providing seven hours of Drivers Periodical Training towards their Driver CPC. This company can now also share their knowledge with any FORS-registered operator to deliver a nationally approved training programme.

Mr. Nigel Thornton from Collett & Sons Ltd collected the award for Most Significant Safety initiative from Mr. Mike Corcoran, commercial director, Volvo Trucks

L-R Howard Cox, Nigel Thornton, Mike Corcoran (Volvo Trucks) and Quentin Willson

Operator of the Year – WINNER – Sponsored by Commercial Motor & Truck & Driver

Collett and Sons Ltd

From their establishment in 1928 with a horse and cart, to being a pre-eminent company in their specialised field offering 60 trucks and 100 diverse trailers, this company provides an award-winning service. Our winning Operator of the Year employs over 100 personnel across three depots, and has an extraordinarily varied portfolio of work. Running a modern, innovative fleet, they provide all the expertise and equipment associated with heavy transport, heavy lift and marine on a worldwide basis across the renewables, power generation, heavy engineering and oil and gas sectors.

Offering clients a service from concept to completion, the award for Operator of the Year was presented by Will Shiers, editor of Commercial Motor, to Mr. David Collett, managing director of Collett & Sons Ltd.L-R Howard Cox, David Collett, Will Shiers (Commercial Motor) and Quentin Willson

Innovation of the Year – End User (WINNER) – Sponsored by HeavyTorque


In October 2014 ALE unveiled its latest innovation and the first in the next generation of vehicles in the heavylift industry, the Trojan truck. The Trojan was designed by ALE engineers and produced in the UK. The truck signals a major breakthrough in capability, fuel efficiency and reliability, and its unique feature is its ability to link up multiple tractor units in a command and drone convoy. The command vehicle controls not only itself but all tractors in the convoy linked mechanically, by air, and by the Electronic CAN Bus System.

The market-leading truck has been well received by the consumer and industry media throughout the trucking and Heavy lift sectors, with coverage throughout the world.

Accepting the award from Vicky Binley, commercial director of HeavyTorque magazine, was project manager for ALE, Mr. Gary Butler.L-R Howard Cox, Vicky Binley, Gary Butler and Quentin Willson


In an industry full of exciting ideas and seemingly endless new solutions, this category attracted a large number of entries, proving that the abnormal load industry globally has much to be proud of when it comes to developing solutions for complex technical problems – and also prides itself in questioning existing practices and coming up with new ways of addressing everyday operational issues.

For 2015, there were a great number of entries, and the judges singled out three awards, one highly commended, and two joint winners.


Innovation of the Year – Manufacturer – HIGHLY COMMENDED – Sponsored by HeavyTorque


For the design and delivery of the second generation of Super Wing Carriers – specifically for the transportation of very long wind turbine blades. This company is addressing a rapidly growing environmental sector, and they have exceeded the critical transport demands laid down by their customers in the highly specialised field of wind turbines.

Accepting the Highly Commended award from Vicky Binley, commercial director of HeavyTorque magazine, was Mr. John Houghton, UK country sales manager for HSE Nooteboom.

L-R Howard Cox, Vicky Binley, John Houghton and Quentin Willson

Innovation of the Year – Manufacturer – JOINT WINNER – Sponsored by HeavyTorque


For giving their customers an infinitely flexible methodology that is a true bespoke service. Creative solutions embodied in their CombiMax trailer system include a hook system to give the fastest and easiest way to disconnect the goose-neck from the front axle bogie. This saves time while loading the front bogie on the low-bed for empty runs. Their add-on beam is one of the most significant innovations.

Never before has a modular system been combinable with a telescopic beam, without a massive impact on the total length of the combination. Finally, the universal coupling head is the interface between all CombiMAX components. It offers the possibility to adapt your trailer to your specific transport application.

Collecting the first of the two winning trophies for Innovation of the Year – Manufacturer, from Vicky Binley commercial director of HeavyTorque magazine, was the CEO of Faymonville, Mr. Alain Faymonville.L-R Howard Cox, Vicky Binley, Alain Faymonville and Quentin Willson

Innovation of the Year – Manufacturer – JOINT WINNER – Sponsored by HeavyTorque


For the development of their STZ–MPA, type semi low-loaders removing almost all upper limits on the range of applications, our second joint winner for Innovation of the Year: Manufacturer, went to the trailer manufacturer who has developed the lightest single wheel system on the trailer market. Designed using only three main components: a wheel carrier with brake, a shock-absorbing strut and one suspension arm.

Presenting the award once again was Vicky Binley, commercial director of HeavyTorque magazine. It was kindly accepted by Mr. Renato Ramella, head of sales Europe for Goldhofer.

L-R Howard Cox, Vicky Binley, Renato Ramella and Quentin Willson


The next two awards were judged slightly differently from the rest of our categories. HeavyTorque invited their readers to an open poll to pledge votes for their chosen vehicle and trailer manufacturers. The winners walked away in the knowledge that their companies are winning the votes of their peers and customers.


Vehicle Manufacturers of the Year – WINNER


Receiving 32.7% of all votes, our 2015 Vehicle Manufacturer of the Year award was presented to a truck manufacturer who had their latest innovation exhibited at the event. With their SLT heavy haulage tractor, and it’s game-changing Turbo Retarder Clutch, the award was accepted by Mr. Jim Lindsay from Mercedes-Benz UK.

L-R Howard Cox, Jim Lindsay and Quentin Willson

Trailer Manufacturer of the Year – WINNER

TII Group

Our second HeavyTorque readers poll award was for Trailer Manufacturer of the Year – an exceptionally close poll indeed. Receiving 25.8% of all votes – our 2015 Trailer Manufacturer of the Year award was awarded to an organisation with superior international standing, boasting the three widely recognised brands; Scheuerle, Nicolas and Kamag.

The award was presented to Mr. Rainer Sasse for the TII Group.(L-R) Howard Cox, Rainer Sasse and Quentin Willson

The Earl Attlee Award – for Personality of the Year – WINNER – Sponsored by West of Scotland Heavy Haulage

Mr. John Rodell

The climax of our evening, when we honoured a single personality for services above and beyond the “day job’ to the heavy and abnormal load industry, and for their outstanding personal contribution to the industry.

Lord Attlee and Jimmy Campbell, West of Scotland Heavy Haulage, announced the Heavies Personality of the Year, to receive the Earl Attlee Award. Jimmy Campbell described the achievements of a champion for the Zero Harm campaign, campaigner for implementation of industry qualifications for the safe escorting of abnormal loads, and Chairman of the HTA since 2009.

He awarded the Personality of Year, Heavies award, to Mr John Rodell.L-R Howard Cox, Jimmy Campbell, John Rodell, Lord Attlee and Quentin Willson

Judges Special Award – WINNER – Sponsored by Ana-Log & Didgi

Mr. David Collett

As with all specialised industries there are individuals who become pre-eminent by virtue of sheer hard work, innovation and a dogged dedication to their customer’s needs. Good old-fashioned pride in the job is alive and well in this sector leader.

The award for Judges Special belongs to a person who runs one of the UK’s largest heavy haulage companies. In addition to his busy day job he really does go the extra mile for the industry, an active member and former chairman of the HTA, president of the European association for abnormal road transport and mobile cranes, he even found time to climb Kilimanjaro for charity.

Mr. David Collett President of ESTA and MD Collett & Sons Ltd, accepted the award from Sarah Thompson and Steven Gibson, founders of the Ana-Log & Didgi charitable initiative.

L-R Howard Cox, Sarah Thompson, David Collett, Stephen Gibson and Quentin WIllson

Charity Draw

With all the industry’s movers and shakers together, two charities benefited from a raffle and draw which raised £2,220 for Prostate Cancer UK, and Make a Wish Foundation (brought together by The Great Adventures of Ana-Log & Didgi). Prizes ranged from an action packed off-road driving experience for a family of four at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, won by Ben Thompson from J Swingler Transport, six-bottles of champagne, and finally a lifetime subscription to HeavyTorque magazine, won by Maxine Halliwell and Michael Harland.


The Heavies 2016….

You’ll all be pleased to hear that plans are already afoot to grow the event significantly – the event will take place once again at the amazing Hangar 42 on Friday 18th March 2016.