ISSUE ELEVEN: WITH 160+ PAGES OF FIRST-CLASS JOURNALISM AND PHOTOGRAPHY, WHAT MORE CAN YOU WISH FOR? BULK & TIPPER, BRITAIN’S BEST LOVED NICHE TRANSPORT TITLE!
I am delighted to advise that Issue 11 (Ocotber 2021) is now in the capable hands of our printers. It will be printed within the next week or so, and so we expect to have the magazine in circulation before the end of September.
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THE BLUE VALLEY
A ONE-TIME COAL-HAULAGE OPERATOR ALAN PRICE AND SONS, BASED IN BARGOED SOUTH WALES, MOVED INTO OTHER BULK HAULAGE SECTORS AS THE COAL PRODUCTION STARTED TO DECLINE. BOB BEECH TALKS TO THE FAMILY.
For generations the South Wales Valleys were synonymous with coal mining and other associated heavy industries. Coal was quite literally king in terms of heat and power generation and the rich seams of high-quality coal found beneath the ground in this area was in demand throughout the UK and many other parts of the world.
Each valley was home to dozens of deep mines which led to the establishment of numerous towns and villages. The incredibly tough and extremely hazardous working conditions underground meant that people were bound together by the shared hardships.
VOLUMINOUS ASPECTS OF CIVIL ENGINEERING
IT’S MORE THAN 50 YEARS SINCE A YOUNG IRISHMAN CALLED TOM FERNCOMBE MOVED TO LONDON IN SEARCH OF WORK. NOW HE’S THE CHAIRMAN OF A GROUP OF CONTRACTING AND CIVIL ENGINEERING COMPANIES WITH AN ANNUAL TURNOVER IN EXCESS OF ONE HUNDRED MILLION POUNDS. JON HARLE HAS BEEN TALKING TO HIS GRANDSON, CONOR AND THE TEAM, WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MANAGING THE GROUP’S FLEET OF BULK HAULAGE VEHICLES.
There was little work available in rural Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s, which is why Tom Ferncombe, and hundreds of his compatriots, took the decision to move to England to look for employment. Arriving in South West London in the early 1960s, Ferncombe’s first business venture was as an agent, providing labour for civil engineers and utility companies. He’d collect his fellow Irishmen early in the morning, and take them to sites all over the South East and East Anglia, and then pick them all up again at the end of the day.
COVER STORY: BOOMING IN THE WEST
BARRACHANDER QUARRY SUPPLIES MAJOR INFRASTRUCTURE, HOUSING AND COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENTS AS WELL AS LARGE-SCALE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS FROM THE WEST COAST OF SCOTLAND. JOHN KENDALL TALKS TO THE MCCRAE FAMILY WHICH OWNS AND OPERATES THE QUARRY.
I don’t know about you, but if someone mentions a quarry, I tend to think big – Torr Works in Somerset for example, with its own railhead and long-established quarrying activity. According to the British Geological Survey there are more than 2,000 active mines and quarries in the UK. Between them, they produce a wide range of minerals including construction aggregates, building stone, coal and industrial minerals.
Inevitably, the type of mineral extracted determines where across the country the quarries are situated. As a generalisation, igneous and metamorphic rock resources tend to be focussed in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England, with some additional resources in Wales and the south-west.
HOSTILE PLACES ON A DAILY BASIS
DK BARNSLEY AND SONS RUNS OVER 50 ARTICULATED LORRIES ACROSS THE UK AS WELL AS EUROPE AND PROVIDES A 24-HOUR SERVICE, SEVEN DAYS A WEEK WITH ITS OWN FLEET AS WELL AS WORKING ALONGSIDE CONTRACTORS. BOB BEECH FINDS OUT ABOUT THE TOUGH TYPE OF WORK.
Moving scrap metal in steel body tipping trailers is most definitely one of the tougher jobs in bulk haulage. The cargo, and most importantly the individuals loading it, can be hard on the truck and trailer. Tipping scrap metal in its many forms needs a cool head – loads can stick and jam in the body – so drivers need to be alert. Also, metal debris that inevitably finds its way to the floor in many collection and delivery points presents a threat to tyres. Once again, the driver needs to be ever vigilant, checking the tyres at every opportunity.
IN FULL FLOOD
LEICESTERSHIRE TIPPER OPERATOR FLOOD TRANSPORT HAS BUILT ITSELF UP STEADILY OVER THE PAST TWO DECADES FROM A SINGLE TRUCK TO A 12-STRONG FLEET WITH A COMBINATION OF HARD GRAFT, GOOD SERVICE AND STICKING TO WHAT IT DOES BEST. ROBIN MECZES REPORTS.
A lot of the haulage concerns Bulk & Tipper encounters have been tempted to branch out in a new direction at some point. Some move from transport into storage while others – particularly those serving quarries – make a shift into materials recycling and supply. Even those that don’t take on additional activities of one sort or another are often tempted to expand their operation radically by buying up a rival transport operator, rather than relying on organic growth. None of these is the case at Leicestershire tipper operator Flood Transport, however, which for over two decades now has been happy to keep its operation to pure transport and has grown its customer base by providing a top-notch service, rather than buying up rivals to snap up market share overnight.
YEARS OF HARD GRAFT
IF WELL MAINTAINED THE EXPENSIVE HIGH-SPECIFICATION SCANIA V8 IS CAPABLE OF A LONG SERVICE LIFE AND RETAINS A HIGH SECOND-HAND VALUE. BOB BEECH TALKS TO MARTIN TAYLOR WHO HAS GRADUALLY MANAGED TO BUILD UP TO RUNNING TOP OF THE RANGE SCANIAS.
High powered Scania V8s are generally recognised for being the most expensive trucks to purchase from new. For decades the Swedish manufacturer has held firm when it comes to pricing with its top-power models. Some say that the trucks are overpriced and wouldn’t consider purchasing one, others might grumble, but end up paying because in their eyes, the product is ultimately worth the price charged.
It has to be said that this is generally reflected by the second-hand values high-specification V8s attain. If the truck is in good condition with a decent service history, these type of trucks often sell without being advertised. Just mention in passing that one might be for sale and word soon gets about, especially if the truck is coming from a good home.
A KEY INGREDIENT
APPROACHING ITS 160TH ANNIVERSARY IN BUSINESS, SIMPSONS MALT IS NOW AN ESTABLISHED LINK IN THE GLOBAL FOOD AND DRINK SUPPLY CHAIN. JOHN HENDERSON HEADS FOR THE SCOTTISH BORDER AT BERWICK-UPON-TWEED TO MEET DAVID MCCREATH, GROUP FLEET MANAGER AT THE FAMILY-RUN COMPANY.
The recent global pandemic brought an increased awareness of the importance of food supply. In the days before March 2020, the majority of the UK’s population had perhaps taken for granted that food and drink items seem to magically appear on the supermarket shelves overnight. With the pubs, hotels and restaurants all closed, many people turned to enjoying a dram of whisky or can of beer at home. While savouring the taste of a well-earned drink, some may have realised just how much hard work and logistics planning goes into producing said treat.
SALT OF THE EARTH
ALTHOUGH MANY IN THE MODERN MEDIA HAVE TAKEN TO DEMONISING SALT, IT’S ONE OF THE MOST ESSENTIAL MINERALS ON THE PLANET AND A BASIC CONSTITUENT OF MANY PRODUCTS AND PROCESSES. IT’S USED IN FOOD PRODUCTION, WATER TREATMENT, ANIMAL FEEDS AND NOT LEAST FOR ICE AND SNOW CLEARANCE IN WINTER. IN OTHER WORDS, WE COULD NOT LIVE WITHOUT IT. BOB BEECH TALKS TO ELLIOT WITHERS, THE FOUNDER OF SALT EXPRESS, THE UK’S LEADING INDEPENDENT ALTERNATIVE SALT PROCESSOR AND DISTRIBUTOR.
Salt has played a huge part in the development of civilisation and societies throughout the world. The ancient Greeks and the Romans among others, placed great value upon salt, using it as payment and a measure of wealth, so much so that it was used as an offering to the Gods at times. Its importance in many cultures is shown by its use in many phrases, such as ‘Salt of the earth’ to praise an individual, or ‘Not worth his salt’ to described a lazy or untrustworthy individual.
BUILDING TO THE CUSTOMER’S OWN SPECIFICATION
DERBYSHIRE-BASED SWADLINCOTE ALUMINIUM WELDING BUILDS ALL SIZES AND TYPES OF BODIES, NOT ONLY IN ALUMINIUM BUT ALSO IN STEEL. IT ADDITIONALLY PROVIDES A FULL COMMERCIAL VEHICLE REPAIR AND REFURBISHMENT SERVICE AND CAN TURN ITS HAND TO ALMOST ANYTHING. BOB BEECH TALKS TO THE WINFIELD FAMILY.
Many of the bigger tipper bodybuilders have streamlined their product ranges to boost efficiency and benefit from the economies of scale that large production runs inevitably bring. Trying to meet the exact needs of many customers is not for the bigger players, they invariably seek the big multiple orders to achieve greater efficiency. This can pose a problem for operators looking for a bespoke design to meet their exact needs. If they need the body and equipment to be tailored to do a particular job, they require the services of a company that has the flexibility and capability to cope with non-standard applications.
TESTING THE LATEST VOLVOS
IN THE EARLY PART OF THE SUMMER VOLVO TRUCKS HELD A BIG RIDE AND DRIVE EVENT AT THE MILLBROOK PROVING GROUND IN BEDFORDSHIRE. IT PROVIDED A WIDE SELECTION OF RIGIDS AND ARTICS FROM THE FM, FMX AND FH RANGES. BOB BEECH TRIED OUT THE LATEST MODELS OVER A RANGE OF ROUTES.
All of the trucks were laden and there was a separate off-road section for the two eight-wheel tippers available. The FM420 and FMX460 were obviously of great interest to Bulk and Tipper readers and we made a beeline for this pair. We also took an FM13/460 6×2 pusher axle tractor unit. It was coupled to a fully-laden silo tank trailer and is the type of outfit used by many operators in this sector. The FM is also popular for tipper operators looking to maximise payloads. Volvo also included a fully electric 6×2 rigid from the smaller FE range in the line-up, providing a potential glimpse into the future for UK truck operators.