Sunday, 8 January 2017

More heavy hauls.

Hello. Wenda asks how do you practice for something like that, referring to the previous post of moving an abnormal road. The answer is, it takes years of training. There is a lot of work done before the load hits the road. When anything large needs to be moved, tenders are invited from haulage companies who have the equipment to deal with it. ALE can haul the biggest loads in the country, they also do a lot of work in other countries. Their drivers spend months away from home all over the world.

The haulage company awarded the contract will organize the route, timing is very important, some loads can be moved at night, others can't. Dimensions and weight of the load are taken into account. This preparation work can take a year or more. There will be trips out to physically measure up the width of the proposed route and photograph any obstacles, making notes of any street furniture that will have to be removed. I imagine that some of this work can now be done on a computer.

Highways and Bridge Authorities need to be notified, plus British Telecom, Rivers Authorities, and British Rail. There are weight limits on a lot of roads so this must be taken into account when planning the route.

Young lads join a heavy haulage company as a 'mate'. They are trained to assist the driver with loading and unloading, and to be a second pair of eyes when manoeuvering in tight places. Eventually they work their way up to driving, the company may pay for the training if they want to keep them. It's not like any other lorry driving job, drivers stay with the same company for years.

I got up to an 80 tonner in the three years that I did it. The longest loads I did were intercity railway carriages from Felixstowe to Birmingham. Nothing as big as ALE, but we did work with them on some jobs, transporting the smaller pieces to site. If you want to see some of my trucking stories they are here.

I've found some more vids of Abnormal Load Engineering, take a look at these. Absolutely amazing. The first one is speeded up, these heavy loads are normally moved at walking pace. Anything faster and the tyeres will blow out.

Here is a short police video explaining a bit about their role in escorting abnormal loads.

I'm going to have to go. I've got a ginger cat in my face. Thanks for popping in. We'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip.


  1. Thank you it is fascinating. I don't know anyone who drives a truck it's a bit like a tank. I don't know anyone that does that I am too scared to drive and diabetes is too unstable so I do admire you.

  2. Well I watch the videos read the old blog, thank you,it really makes me appreciate you and all other truckers more. I used to work in a cafe along a high way (in Canada) we got alot of truckers,in the winter they come in white faced and wide eyed I wish I knew more then.

  3. I love mechanics, industry and logistics; it really could not be praised enough. This makes the world go around!

  4. I always used to find the cooling towers at Gerry ridge very menacing when I was a kid. Now I am nostalgic for the memory.

  5. I loved watching these video's - it's amazing the tight spots they can manoeuvre they gigantic loads - what skill these drivers have. My heart was in my mouth seeing men underneath the loads (but knowing the steel ropes can take the weight). Once again, thanks for sharing.

  6. I was always interested in learning how to operate heavy highway construction equipment! Had I not got married at a young age and started a family I probably would have pursued a career in highway construction.

  7. Great videos-thanks so much for posting them. What a fascinating world.

  8. Bloominek! I misread your last few words as "I'm going to have a go". For a second, I thought you were off doing your trucking again :-) BrendaR

  9. Your post brought back some memories. In the mid-1980s I worked for a commercial landscaping company in New Jersey. They had the contract to deliver the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree every year (still do.) They used a pole truck and the logistics preparations started several months early. Our people cut the tree, transported it into New York City, and set it up for decorating.
    Sarah in rainy California

  10. Last year I had the opportunity to wath the parts of a giant wind turbine being transported through our neighbour village. I had to stay up until 2 AM, but it was well worth it. The truckers manoeuvered their loads more easily than I do my tiny Skoda Citigo. I think we usually don´t think about what these truckers do, but we really should appreciate it more.

  11. Really enjoyed the videos Ilona. You really should write a book about your life as a trucker. I'd hate to see all these memories disappear. Kristel


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